J.F. McCLOY LIMITED, a Kenyan company was founded in 1975 as a general engineering concern but specializing in the manufacture of Fans, Heat Exchangers and other equipment for the Tea and Coffee industries.
In the late 1970’s it was decided to design and build a Fluid Bed Drier for the tea Industry.
The design of the drier was based on the extensive knowledge and wide practical experience of the Managing Director and was formulated entirely from the known requirements, both theoretical and practical of the industry.
The aim was to build a Drier which would operate entirely on the basis of the complete fluidization of the tea without recourse to any form of mechanical agitation and at the same time to offer greatly improved economy in fuel and power, minimum maintenance and simplicity of operation.
A prototype was built and installed at a local tea factory and for the next five years continuous and intensive research was carried out in the field under normal maintenance and simplicity of operation.
New models were being sold regularly, each showing some improvement on earlier models so that by the early 1980’s it was possible to formulate a basic design which is still in us today.
At that time factory line throughputs were in the region of 300-400 kilograms of made tea per hour and range of 5 models were on offer.
Most of the sales were for the 2 Stage Model with a designed evaporation of 890 kg per hour giving a throughput of 400 – 500 kg made tea per hour with normal CTC manufacture.
A three stage model was included in the range primarily for LTP manufacture which incorporated a vibrating first sage and could give similar throughput with incoming moisture contents of up to 72% as is normal practice in LTP lines.
With the increasing demand for greater throughputs the 3 stage model developed further and the current model has designed evaporation of 1360kgs of water per hour giving throughput in excess of 600kgs of made tea per hour from processed leaf at 70% MC. At the same time efficiency has been greatly increased over the 2 stage model.
The success of this model has been amply demonstrated by the OVER 400 units of B/600/3 stage driers operational in various factories in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Over the years, many small improvements to the basic design have been incorporated which keeps McCloy in the forefront in the tea industry. For factories wishing to increase throughput of existing 2 Stages Driers without complete replacement, McCloys have supplied Pre-Driers with an evaporation of 900kgs water per hour which boost throughput by up to 50%. Although a little less efficient than the 3 Stage machine, it not permit comparable throughput at a much lower capital cost
Inquiries for even greater throughputs have enabled McCloys to develop an almost entirely new model to give an evaporation rate of 2250kgs of water per hour – 1000kgs of made tea at 2.5% MC( moisture contect) from fermented leaf at 70% MC – the McCloy MEGA B/1000/3. We have 5 units of this model now operational, at Ragati Tea Factory -KTDA, Kanyenyaini Tea Factory - KTDA, Changoi Factory - Wlliamson Tea Kenya Ltd, at Jamji Factory - Unilever Tea Kenya Ltd and Kibwele Factory - Unilever Tea Tanzania Ltd.
This model occupies the same floor area as the earlier models but is slightly higher. Recirculation of the heated air has given a significant reduction in steam usage.
Today there are OVER 400 McCloy Driers of the three models operating in 15 countries on 3 continents, a sure proof of the technical superiority of the McCloy design.