South African Journal of Industrial Engineering
versión On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versión impresa ISSN 1012-277X
MABVUU, N. et al. Towards the implementation of e-manufacturing: Design of an automatic tea drying control system. S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.3, pp.199-211. ISSN 2224-7890.
Many of the production costs for producing tea are attributable to the process of drying the tea. E-manufacturing can assist companies to reduce these production costs by making crucial information available to decision-makers so that they can make informed decisions. This paper presents an application of e-manufacturing to the design of an automatic tea drying control system. This control system will ensure that the multiple drying parameters such as temperature, dryer-exit tea moisture content, and fuel consumption are maintained at optimal states during the course of the drying of tea. The additional aim of this system is to balance the cost of production and the quality of the final product. Using the Guggenheim-Anderson-De Boer (GAB) model, the optimum drying temperature was found to be 100-110°C, while maintaining a dryer-exit tea moisture content of 3 to 3.12 per cent, at a drying rate of 3 per cent per minute. A Barix control application to control the system's activities, using the web user interface (WUI), was also developed.