Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, choosing a mixer from the wide range of available options can be confusing and overwhelming. This article suggests some questions to consider in the mixer selection process.
Before choosing, the most important decision is whether to produce in batches or continuously. Will the process require regular recipe changes or will the same product be produced day in and day out? If no changes are required, then it makes sense to consider continuous processing using large stationary mixers coupled to upstream and downstream processes. However, many manufacturers are finding that consumer desire for more variety is leading to more recipes being added to an ever-expanding portfolio. The result is more recipe variations than ever before. This leads to the need to scrutinize how blending is carried out. In this case, batching is the only way to go.
Consider these eight points when choosing a mixer for your powder mixing plant, mainly in the case of batches, as this is an ever-expanding range of considerations.
Free-flowing powders with similar composition particle sizes will mix readily. Gentler mixing methods will work well here, such as tumbling mixing or ribbon mixing.
On the other hand, in order to mix sticky powders with a viscous consistency homogeneously, the material needs to be processed in such a way that the particles are forced to fold and combine. In this case, a high shear mixer in the form of a tool or enhancer is required. Applying the right amount of shear is essential to get the particles to engage and mix with each other, however, if not managed properly, particle degradation and heat build-up can occur.
High Shear Mixer
Bigger is not necessarily better for the mixer. The mixer may be large enough to match the order quantity and batch size, but be aware of the loading time. Consider how long it takes to tear open and dump a 25 kg bag of ingredients to fill it. Then consider how long it will take to empty the product into the package. During this time, the mixer will be idle and inefficient. Companies often do not realise the cost of time lost in filling and emptying the mixer, but should consider the waste it represents.
Also, consider whether there are different batch sizes required. Does the customer always want the same size order? Is it necessary to produce half or a quarter of a large batch in small quantities? If there is a great deal of variability, consider mixing with a medium-sized bulk container system (IBC), which can accommodate different sized containers on one high shear mixer.
Don't be fooled by claims of a mixing time of only four minutes. It is important to weigh up the entire end-to-end process phase of mixing, from filling the mixer to emptying the mixer and getting it ready for re-entry into operation. Mixing may only take four minutes, but loading may take two hours and the end of packing may take three hours - a total mixing time of five hours and four minutes.
The mixing cycle for in-box/IBC mixing may take longer (usually 10 to 15 minutes) but time can be saved as the formulation is done off-line and the container is immediately removed from the mixer and taken out for packing. The filling, mixing, and packaging process steps are carried out simultaneously. The high shear mixer itself does not require cleaning and can therefore be returned to use immediately and free of charge. The only limiting factor is how quickly the operator can set up and remove the bins from the mixer.
If you want to know more information about the best high shear mixer wholesale, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.
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