Vacuum moisturizing

Application

Moisturizing raw tobacco bales.

The question

Vacuum moisturizingMost tobacco processors have a warehouse full of compressed bales of raw tobacco, imported from various tobacco-producing countries. The stock remains there for some time and is later mixed to get the correct blend.

The tobacco is pressed to restrict the volume and dried to prevent the formation of mould.  The bales have to be pulled apart before the tobacco can be further processed and that must be done carefully to prevent the stalks and leaves breaking. One solution is to slice the bales and then moisten them in a direct conditioning cylinder, a DCC, but this damages some of the raw product and its temperature load is high.

Indigo Engineering vacuum moisturizing

Vacuum moisturizingThe Indigo Engineering vacuum moisturizing will give you the perfect end result. The whole bale of raw tobacco is transported into the vacuum chamber. Once the door is closed, a deep vacuum is applied so that a small part of the residual moisture evaporates and creates open cells. At the same time the rest volume air still present in the tobacco cells increases causing the tobacco to open up. Wet steam at a temperature less than 60 degrees is injected in very slowly and controlled once the deep vacuum has been achieved. The chamber is, as it were, aerated with steam that penetrates the bales of tobacco and condenses. The tobacco becomes warm and moist. The vacuum is again applied when the pressure has risen to a certain level. After this step steam is injected again. This cycle is repeated several times depending on the type of tobacco. The whole process takes 20- 30 minutes.

Characteristics – Advantages

  1. Very short process duration.
  2. Optimal moisturizing to the core due to total control of the process.
  3. No steam consumption due to steam ejectors; great savings in steam consumption, water consumption and water removal.
  4. Controlled and reproducible process; no differences between summer and winter.
  5. Cooling system not required for cooling down condensed steam.
  6. Solid, strong vacuum chamber made from stainless steel for a long lifespan; built to fit the local situation.
  7. Very modern pump technology: low steam consumption, low maintenance costs, long lifespan.
  8. Customer-oriented software in the required language with extensive operating options.
  9. Indigo’s long experience in the tobacco industry with many different sorts of tobacco and pressings.
  10. Many references.

High quality technology

Indigo Engineering provides a complete turnkey solution consisting of vacuum chamber, pump system, control and software, logistics for feeding in and unloading tobacco.

The vacuum chamber made entirely from stainless steel and therefore maintenance free Various versions are available, depending on the local situation. The method of feeding products into the vacuum chamber is qualifying for the choice of the door and the feed systems. There is also a turnkey solution for existing vacuum chambers.

The pump system is designed to obtain a deep vacuum, necessary for getting the low starting moisture contents to the required end result. The pump system is constructed using the most modern fully dry-running pump technology which saves you steam, energy, water and maintenance costs.

The control we have developed regulates the process accurately, monitors, controls and corrects the process. Several pre-set menus can be used for various products and loads.

References

Indigo Engineering has carried out various projects for prominent the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Hungary and England. Ask our customers about their experiences.