DOST-FPRDI develop low-cost dryer for handicraft products

By Aerol B. Patena

MANILA, Feb 19 (PNA) — The Forest Products Research and Development Institute–Department of Science and Technology (FPRDI-DOST) have developed a handicraft dryer that would ensure cheaper and efficient drying of raw materials and products.

The equipment would help address the concerns of the local handicraft industry on the high cost of dryers and unpredictable weather that affect the delivery of their products to the market

“Many small and medium players in the local handicraft industry do not have their own dryers because of the high investment cost. They simply rely on the sun to dry their materials or products and so they often end up victims of bad weather. The rainy season cripples their production and they cannot deliver on time, thus, their products are oftentimes attack by molds because these are not thoroughly dried,” FPRDI-DOST director Dr. Romulo Aggangan said.

The FPRDI had manufactured a low-cost handicraft dryer (LCHD) by simplifying the design of its furnace-type lumber dryer and using surplus materials to save on material and fabrication costs.

A prototype measuring 10 cubic meters which cost USD 250,000 has been tested in Paete, Laguna and was found to be more effective on wood fuel use.

Two other companies have adopted LCHD of bigger capacities for their production process.

Starwood, Inc. in Valenzuela, which manufactures export-quality handicrafts from driftwood, also built two units of 18 cubic meter-capacity dryers in its plant.

On other hand, Masaeco Development Corp. in Indang, Cavite which makes handicrafts from handmade paper now uses a 35 cubic meter-capacity dryer instead of their previous kerosene-fired dryer that consumes as much as P 60,000 worth of kerosene per month.

The Philippines continues to be a leader in handicraft production worldwide with exports estimated to have reached USD 130 million in 2012, the FPRDI-DOST said. (PNA)