The drying cars containing the green bricks proceed along walkways to the dryers. Each dryer can accommodate approximately 83,600 bricks. The drying takes place by means of a ventilation system, which uses excess heat from the tunnel kiln, piped in through large ducts. Once the drying process is complete, the bricks are around six percent smaller. This is known as ‘drying shrinkage’. Although each type of brick has its own drying process, the minimum drying time is 48 hours.
Once dry, the bricks are prepared for the firing process. They are brought in rows from the dryers to the setting machine, where they are placed in an established pattern and transferred to the setting conveyor. From there, the bricks are lifted and stacked in a particular configuration on the tunnel kiln cars.