New Year, New Mixers
Mixing equipment faces natural wear and tear with daily use, and sometimes it can be difficult to tell when a replacement is necessary. Taking the time to examine your equipment and identify any damage – especially that which can lead to downtime or pose a safety hazard – is essential to keep processes running smoothly. Regularly inspecting your equipment for signs of rust or corrosion, overheating, loose mountings or couplings, or tank degradation is a necessity. And checking the functionality of your mixer doesn’t just save you time and money in the long run – it also ensures that your team is working with safe, reliable equipment.
If the evaluation of your machinery determines that new equipment is necessary, the next step is to decide whether the replacement mixing process should be of the same batch size(s) or if an upgrade in volume is needed. If you intend to use the new apparatus to perform the same exact applications, then replacing the tank or mixer with one of the same or similar specifications is adequate. However, if you foresee your materials, batch sizes or applications changing, it would be relevant to decide upon specifications to meet the upgraded demand. It is also important to determine the new maximum and minimum working volumes and define the material properties for the formulation(s) to be used. Having a clear understanding of the degree of mixing action required is also necessary for selecting the correct new mixer.
For example, if you currently use a 100-gallon stainless steel bottom tank to mix chemicals and intend to increase batch size and thus material quantities, a 200-gallon stainless steel bottom tank may be the right size to select. When upgrading to a larger tank it is critical to note the change in dimensions (straight side tank height and diameter) in addition to the volume as this will be considered when sizing the mixer in terms of required power, torque and impeller size and type. Impellers are generally selected in proportion to the tank diameter and taller tank designs may require more than a single impeller.
Though upgrading to larger batch sizes can lead to higher production rates, it’s important to understand your material properties and the dimensional relationships between the mixer and tank as those factors truly determine the mixer that’s best for your business.
As you identify or reaffirm your mixing system needs, it can feel overwhelming to consider the many equipment and accessory options available. A simple overview of the eight main types of industrial mixers might reduce the long list of products. It’s also relevant to consider equipment that adheres to your industry’s requirements. Your batch size and materials will also indicate early on whether a variable speed mixer is the right option for you.
With INDCO’s wide range of industrial mixers, from lab mixers to top mounted tank mixers, we can help you find the equipment that meets your applications. Can’t find what you need? Contact our INDCO experts to discuss your manufacturing goals.