About Total Drying
Industrial drying technology is an area which demands an innovative approach to produce solutions which satisfy customers demands.
The problems will not be solved by anything less than a dynamic partnership betweenscientists, technologists and manufacturers.
How can low energy methods be incorporated into the drying process?
How can low noise techniques be applied to high speed flow impact?
How can total moisture removal be achieved on fast moving containers?
How can condensation on cold surfaces be stopped?
How can bacteria spread by air-born moisture droplets be removed?
The project that is currently in place as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Secomak Ltd and the University of Hertfordshire addresses these problems.
If you would like to be involved in any aspect of this work or would like to contribute your views on drying processes and problems please contact us via this blog.
This Partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme (KTP). KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with the other government funding organisations.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

We inflate buoys faster!

The University of Hertfordshire (UH) and Secomak have been working on rapid inflation and deflation of marker buoys for the Formula 1 of powerboat racing.

Two final year UH engineering students, Adam Caffrey and Scott Smith are working with Mel Wilby of Cardinal Fluid Systems on rapid inflation and deflation of powerboat buoys. Mel is former race team manager for Sunseeker boats and his son Andy races powerboats in P1 meetings around the world.

The use of novel aerodynamic devices called Coanda Ringjets form the basis of the work and an inflation and deflation time of around five minutes is the aim. An innovative approach is necessary as health and safety issues exist in electrical driven blowers that are currently used in hazardous environments. Adam and Scott hope to visit one of the P1 racing events in Europe to trial their system.

The Ringjets and industrial experience are being provided by Secomak Ltd, market leader in flow systems. They are based in Elstree, Hertfordshire and are involved with the University in a very successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

By David Dell (University Lecturer and Product Development Manager)

Friday, 5 February 2010


An output of the Secomak/UH KTP

The Drying Centre is located in the ‘Energy Centre’ at the University of Hertfordshire. It was established in the early stages of the KTP and has been fully operational for approximately 12 months.

High speed conveyor operation up to 1200 containers per minute is available with wetting and drying stations. The area is currently in use by BSc, BEng, MSc and PhD students for the completion of projects in conjunction with Secomak. These include low energy techniques in drying, anti-condensation trials, and high speed photography for flow visualization and noise reduction.

Secomak equipment trials also take place in this area. The facility is fully equipped to University safety standards. It is envisaged that this area will continue to develop after the current KTP end date of July 2010. Secomak capital equipment resides in the area with ongoing costs covered by the KTP.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Prestigious Award for Secomak

Machinery Excellence from Secomak
The Secomak Tornado has been recognised in the 2009 Machinery of Excellence category at the Starpack Awards. The Starpack Awards is the premier UK annual scheme recognising innovation in packaging design and technology. The judging of the award was based on technical development, sustainability, material interface and innovation in PLC technology.
The Secomak Tornado is a water removal system which sets industrial drying standards by revolutionising the removal of water from food containers and packaging. This innovative product uses the Coanda aerodynamic effect to create powerful blasts of suction from specially profiled Ringjet air amplifiers. The technology has been fully tested in Secomak’s Drying Centre, part of the Sustainable Energy Laboratories at the University of Hertfordshire. The unit incorporates a fully patented coaxial jet system to first displace and then remove bulk water from the ends of containers, especially in the canning process. It has received accolades from users on high speed conveyor lines in the food and drinks industry with energy savings of at least 30% compared with conventional solutions and containment of the removed water for drainage or recycling. Additional energy saving is achieved with a Secomak Airsaver unit which provides intelligent ‘supply on demand’ control. Energy efficiency and low noise operation are key features along with stainless steel construction, low maintenance and ease of fitting. It’s accepted as the most cost-effective solution to water removal to the level required by the can maker’s code. It’s outstanding ‘green’ credentials combine low energy supply levels and total water recycling.
David Dell, Secomak’s Product Development Manager, welcomed the award as an indication of Secomak’s commitment to energy saving products concerned with an innovative approach in drying and water removal.

Sunday, 11 October 2009


David Palmer (KTP Associate) is playing a key role on the Secomak stand at Drinktec Munich. Drinktec is the largest International Food and Drink Exhibition which is held every four years at the prestigious Trade Fair Centre complex just outside Munich.
The KTP in ‘Total Drying’ incorporates innovative scientific approaches to the drying process. Two key elements of this work are to be exhibited at Munich – energy saving and conditioned air to exclude condensation.

David has been involved in electronic control and under the supervision of his Company Supervisor has completed a demonstration rig to explain to visitors how the Secomak ECO systems can provide 30-60% savings in energy. This rig has provided valuable practical experience in electronics. The new Secomak ‘PowerCAT’ Conditioned Atmosphere Tunnel will be shown which provides a solution to condensation reformation, particularly on chilled drink containers. Development work on this equipment has been part of the KTP project activity.

Friday, 17 April 2009


Three MSc students from the Czech Republic are working at the University of Hertfordshire Drying Centre on Total Drying projects.
They are Hana Gusnarova, Pavlina Svecova and David Krpalek who are all funded by the Erasmus student exchange scheme operating from Brno College of Technology.

They arrived at Hatfield on 1st February 2009 and will be working on their MSc projects until 1st June 2009.

Hana, Pavlina and David have helped with the establishment of the Drying Centre which forms part of the Sustainable Energy facility on the Hatfield Campus. The project has provided them with an opportunity to learn practical engineering skills as well as a theoretical application of their background studies in Mechanical Engineering and Air Conditioning.

Secomak equipment forms the basis of all their testing and the work is focussed on the part played by conditioned air in the drying process. This work is supervised by David Dell. David Palmer, KTP Associate, is working closely with the trio with knowledge transfer being the key aim of the exchange visit.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Five come to Secomak

Five University of Hertfordshire students from the AADE Engineering Department are working with Secomak on their final year projects. Secomak Ltd is a leading drying specialists based at Elstree Herts. The five students are pictured below and are from Undergraduate courses in Aerospace, Aerospace Systems and Mechanical Engineering.

Secomak are currently partners on a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) project with the University of Hertfordshire and each of the students is able to further their own knowledge in their particular subject area by investigating a real world application.

Noura Bhakti, a final year student in Mechanical Engineering is designing a new Airknife using computational fluid dynamics software and she will also investigate how best the Airknives can be incorporated into a drying machine to enable consistent setting. The Airknife provides the high velocity stream of air which impacts onto containers to remove the moisture

Mihir Thakkar is another Mechanical Engineering student who is evaluating the energy levels throughout a drying machine from the motor driven blower inlet to the Airknife high velocity outlet. Energy is a crucial issue and a clear understanding of the process will enable energy savings to be identified.

Brendan Quinn is an Aerospace Systems student who is analysing the current ECO-pack product which Secomak incorporates in their machines with the aim of creating additional control features. The ECO-pack already has the capacity of saving 40-50% of the electrical costs and Brendan hopes to add another 10% saving to this figure.

Lazeros Aresto is a student in Aerospace Engineering and Management and his knowledge of aerodynamics is helping him to investigate the part that both turbulent and laminar flows play in the successful removal of the water from the surface of a wet container such as a can or a bottle. This fundamental study will have real implications in the creation of the ‘total drying machine’ which is the central aim of the KTP study.

The fifth student is Navin Chohan who is studying Aerospace engineering and is researching case studies of the airborne bacteriological contamination such as Legionella in the food and drink industry and how to mitigate these occurrences. There is an opportunity to create in-built systems in the drying machine to eradicate bacteriological transfer through the machine.

By using the combined resources of Secomak and the University, the students are able to experience the application of their studies in an industrial setting and to obtain a ‘business facing’ view to enable them to move forward into their chosen careers with confidence and enhanced skills. They can do this with the knowledge that they have the support of the University staff and its facilities such as the Laboratories and the LRC. They may even be fortunate enough to gain a post as a KTP Associate on graduation. – The number of funded KTP projects in Engineering is increasing and the University of Hertfordshire is a leader in establishing such projects.

For further information on KTP opportunities see http://www.ktponline.org.uk/

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Horizon - The monthly newspaper of the University of Hertfordshire Article

UK's most energy efficient dryer developed

A total drying solution for the manufacturing industry which is more energy efficient than any other on the market is being developed by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Hertfordshire and Secomak.

The University, which is the UK's leading business facing university, has built strong links with Secomak, the industry leader in air movement technologies and one of the outcomes of this collaboration is a total drying solution. (See KTP Blog http://www.totaldrying.com/).

The solution is the result of a government funded KTP to which University of Hertfordshire graduate in Aerospace Systems, David Palmer has brought his skills in Computational Fluid Dynamics, project management and project planning to deliver a drying process which is modelled on the energy expenditure of a hybrid car and can realise up to fifty percent energy savings.

At the moment, the total drying solution is used primarily to dry bottles or cans, and the system can be customised to dry any container and also has potential to dry sheet metal or plastic extrusions.

“The big advantage of this system is that the machine is equipped with sensors which sense when products need to be dried, rather than the dryer working all the time,” said David. “This works in a similar way to energy saving systems in hybrid vehicles and means that the energy consumption of our machine is directly proportional to the throughput of the product.”

Secomak currently has three other University connected staff. David Dell, who works part-time as a Senior Lecturer at the University's School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering and the rest of the time at Secomak as a Product Development Manager; Kim Whiteford, a third year University student in Human Resources who is on a twelve month placement in Human Resources at Secomak and James Reed, a third year University student in Marketing who is on a twelve month placement in Marketing with the company.

From left to right: David Palmer, David Dell, Kim Whiteford and James Reed. They are looking at a Powerstrip Dryer as produced by Secomak Ltd.

To see the original article please follow link: