Innovative Thinking

A cost-effective and practical flat-pack solution

When Mitchell Dryers was asked to supply a band conveyer dryer to a food processing company in India, the customer had two key questions for us: how could we cost-effectively ship something so big from the UK, and how could equipment so large be manoeuvred into their building? The global pandemic posed a further customer concern: if travel restrictions meant Mitchell Dryers couldn’t provide site support, could the dryer still be up and running on time?

Back in the UK we quickly concluded that a flat-pack concept was the ideal answer and our engineers set about designing a solution. “Although it’s flat-pack, it still has to meet the tried and tested standards that all of our dryers are built to,” confirms Steve Giersch, project manager at Mitchell Dryers.

“The technology in the flat-pack solution is exactly the same technology we use in our conventional band dryers, and the end-product is every bit as solid and robust. We think the flat-pack concept is innovative and pretty unique, and as well as being more cost-effective to ship it’s also ideally suited to customer sites that are in especially remote or difficult to access locations.” 

When the team came to pack up the dryer they took a series of photographs and generated 3D images to show how it had been packaged and how it should be unloaded. Step-by-step instructions on how to build the dryer were also included. “We worked on the principle that if Covid restrictions prevented us from being on site to supervise the installation and commissioning, then the work could still go ahead with us providing remote technical support from the UK.”

It’s a way of working which Steve sees continuing into the future, whether or not there are pandemic constraints. “Some customers are very hands-off and are looking for a turnkey solution from us, but others like to be closely involved and are also keen to find ways to keep costs down. Sometimes there’s no substitute for us being on site, but there is definitely also a place for remote support.”

A relatively recent recruit to Mitchell Dryers who’s gained project engineering expertise in a number of industries, Steve sees his team as the prime interface with the customer once an order has been placed. “We’ll assign a dedicated project engineer to each contract so that the customer has a single point of contact in Mitchell Dryers, and one key job of that engineer is to keep the customer fully up to speed with our progress against the plan.”

James Douglas, technical director at Mitchell Dryers, is frequently involved at the commissioning of a project but also has an essential role to play in the very early development of the design. “It’s not unusual for a year or two to elapse between the initial customer call and the placing of the order, as was the case with this project,” he explains. “The customer had a lot of technical questions for us and wanted to evaluate a number of different market opportunities before the formal design process kicked off. A big part of our role is providing the expertise and knowledge to help them make the right decision.”

Related Solution

Band Dryer
Band Dryers

Related Industry

Food

Related Solution

Band Dryer
Band Dryers

Related Industry

Food

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