A common process in a number of industries—from food and pharmaceuticals to minerals and chemicals—is to blend or mix together powder ingredients.
When this is a required process, then it is important to choose the right mixer. This can seem like a daunting process as there are a number of different choices that need to be made. Use the following helpful tips to ensure that you make the right decision for your needs.
- Continuous or Batch—among the first decisions that you need to make is whether you need a batch mixer or a continuous one. Batch mixing allows the entire batch to be identified, making it traceable so that quality control as a whole can be better maintained. These operations are also quite versatile, allowing a single blender to be used to mix many different ingredients together. It also makes it possible to take on multipurpose operations.
- Size of the batch—the biggest mixer isn’t always the best one for every purpose. Some types of mixer won’t produce a completely homogeneous mix if the volume is too large or if the mixing time is drawn out.
- Mixing time—the ideal is to minimize the amount of mixing time required to achieve a homogeneous mix as this keeps the costs down and ensures the lowest product degradation when working with sensitive materials. Gentle action and efficiency should be a goal for blending operations.
- Power consumption—as energy costs continue to rise, it is important to think about the actual power that is consumed for blending, and not just the installed motor power. Some equipment achieves notably lower power loads by mixing only small portions at a time as the mixing arm rotates its way through the mass.
- Discharge ease—one of the most critical functions of a batch blender is the ease with which to fully and smoothly empty the blender without leaving any residual bridging or “heel”. When considering a piece of equipment, look at the size of the discharge opening as a number of blended powder products can be a bit sticky or may not have good flow properties.
- Internal finish of the mixer—for most purposes, the smoother the internal finish of the mixer, the better, as it is very helpful in the discharge. In both the pharmaceutical and the food industries, stainless steel with an internal mirror finish are often selected.
- Ease of cleaning and prevention of cross contamination—this is always important but is particularly vital when one mixer will be employed for different products. Cleaning in place (CIP) or sterilization in place (SIP) can be installed in equipment where cleaning is exceptionally important, such as in food and chemical industries.
- Desired outcome—it’s a good idea to have a clear picture of what you want as a result from your equipment so that you can speak with a specialist and receive the advice you need.
Factory space requirements—though this is something that may seem rather obvious, it is something that requires careful consideration. The reason is that the mixer’s footprint isn’t the only thing that needs to be remembered. There must also be room for loading, discharge, maintenance, and cleaning. Height restrictions should also be considered.
- System design—as much as possible, consider the design of the entire system when selecting the mixer. It is never considered to be too early to do this.
It is a good idea to speak with an expert from Perry Videx before making a final selection, as this can make the difference between being completely satisfied with a piece of equipment or making a costly mistake that could have an impact on various stages of the process and, therefore, the finally quality of the product. The Sales Managers at Perry Videx are available to help you to make the right choices for your mixer selection.None found.