Vacuum drying cigars

Application

Vacuum drying cigars

The question

Vacuum drying cigars A cigar consists of the tobacco blend and one of more layers of tobacco wrap . The wrap is a strip of tobacco leaf that is wound on to the wrapping machine from a bobbin and then wrapped around the tobacco blend. The strips of wrap are glued using water cellulose adhesive that is sprayed onto the strip before wrapping. After wrapping, the outer layers contain a surplus of moisture that is drawn into the tobacco from the adhesive. If you do nothing about the increased moisture content, the cigars will start to go mouldy in the packaging and turn green. Another problem is that the wrapped cigar will become limp and difficult to handle due to the increased moisture content. Therefore the cigars have to be dried before being divided, having their heads cut off and packed in a box, tin of plastic packaging. The ideal final moisture content is 12 – 15%.

The drying cigars are stood upright in trays which, depending on the format, can take approx. 2500 cigars. There are different techniques for drying cigars but they have various disadvantages:

Technique

Disadvantages

Ventilator on or after the wrapping machine Relative humidity effects the result, longer drying time, no uniform drying
Storing in area with low rel. humidity Takes a long time, high energy costs, large warehouse needed, high intermediate stock costs
High frequency drying High temperature, loss of flavour
Hot air drying High temperature, loss of flavour

Indigo Engineering vacuum drying

Vacuum drying cigars Vacuum drying by Indigo Engineering has many advantages in respect to the other techniques mentioned. The final result can be accurately regulated, there is no temperature load and, consequently, no loss of flavour and they are not affected by the outside temperature. Moreover the cigars are less limp from the temperature reduction and therefore easier to handle. They are dry within an hour. The Indigo system also makes it also possible to dry ready packaged cigars.

Characteristics – advantages

  1. Very short drying time.
  2. Uniform drying.
  3. Controllable and reproducible process.
  4. Solid, strong vacuum chamber made from stainless steel for a long lifespan; built to fit the local situation.
  5. Very modern pump technology: low steam consumption, low maintenance costs, long lifespan.
  6. Customer-oriented software in the required language with extensive operating options.
  7. Indigo’s long experience in the tobacco industry with many different cigar types and specifications.
  8. Many references.

High quality technology

Indigo Engineering has developed the vacuum dryer specifically for this application. It is a complete turnkey machine consisting of: vacuum chamber, pump system, control and software, logistics for feeding in and unloading tobacco.

The vacuum chamber is made entirely from stainless steel and therefore maintenance free. Several 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 the deep vacuum required to get 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 tobacco companies in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Hungary and England. Manufacturers have been using this system for years where natural wraps are used for one or more layers. Ask our customers about their experiences.