A working model of Cartigliano’s radio frequency (RF) drying technology commanded much attention at the machinery manufacturer’s stand at Tanning Tech 2019, with senior executives from some of the biggest tanning groups in the world taking time to see demonstrations of how the technology works.
Cartigliano’s research and development director for its RF division, Fernando Bressan, told World Leather that one striking advantage of drying hides in this way, compared to, say, infrared technology, is that the RF dryer consumes energy only when there are hides inside. “It’s intrinsically more efficient,” Mr Bressan said, “thanks to the physics. The electric field only forms when there is moisture present, which in this case can only happen when there are hides. Conventional dryers remain on all the time because they have to heat the air to work and they heat the air whether hides are present or not.”
The company first developed an RF dryer for finishing but has now extended its offering to offer RF drying technology for crust too. Mr Bressan said it’s proving to be of particular interest to large automotive tanners because it increases their efficiency and their just-in-time capabilities.
“Real savings will come after the drying,” Mr Bressan added, “because it reduces the amount of milling required. Plus, you are not shrinking the hide, then stretching it again to regain area, which is not natural and is not good for the hides.”