Batch Mixing System Design Considerations for Dry Solids Mix
Batch mixing system designs aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal, so you have to be meticulous with your decision. What you’re mixing, how much of it you have to mix, and a bevy of other factors must be carefully taken into consideration when installing a batch mixing system in any facility. To help you set up the right system in your facility, we’ve put together this guide to batch mixing system design considerations for dry solids mix.
Available Space in Your Facility
One of the most important factors you have to think about when it comes to batch mixing system designs is the size of the system itself. First, you have to make sure it can fit within the confines of your facility. Aside from whether the system fits in your facility, you have to think about access, too. If the system fits in your building, but there’s not enough room to complete basic mixing tasks, then you’ve got a problem. Plus, you have to consider access to certain components for maintenance and inspections as well.
Make sure there’s enough room around the facility for your employees to complete tasks comfortably, safely, and efficiently. Another factor you should consider is the potential need for expansion, but we’ll dive into that a bit more later.
The Properties of Your Ingredients
Different ingredients will be better suited for different design choices. More specifically, the properties of the ingredients that you must think about in accordance with system design are friability, shear, viscosity, particle size, and material bulk density. It’s crucial to take these factors into account to prevent negative side effects from occurring to the system or the ingredients themselves.
For instance, if you don’t design your system in a way that aligns with the friability of your ingredients, you can wind up breaking them apart during the mixing process. Likewise, if you don’t think about the shear sensitivity of your ingredients, they can gunk up the system. By designing your system in a way that aligns with the material properties listed above, you’re taking a big step toward making the whole process as productive and low-maintenance as possible.
The term “swept volume” essentially describes the volume that any mixer covers while mixing ingredients. To simplify even further, not only do you have to think about the space your mixer takes up, but you must think about the space it takes up while it’s in motion too.
When you’re installing a batching mixing system, it’s crucial to keep the swept volume of the mixer in mind. The reason for this is that you have to be precise with the capacity each batch takes up. The capacity of each batch is one of the factors that determine how long any given batch needs to mix.
If you want your mixing system to meet a specific, consistent timeframe, you might have to adjust your batch sizes. If you know the capacity that your batch mixing system can contain to complete tasks, it will help you determine whether or not it will be right for your process.
Finding a batch mixing system that meets your capacity requirements will help you maintain a productive workflow. Another key consideration that can help your workplace be as productive as possible is adding more mixers to your batch mixing system. Depending on your workflow, the number of mixers a given facility should have will differ.
However, by planning for this ahead of time and installing a sufficient number of mixers from the get-go, you can prevent the mixing system from hindering your workflow instead of improving it. Plus, when you’re taking the available space in your facility into account, you’ll need to know the exact number of mixers you require. On the other hand, you can simply install the system somewhere that provides you the available space to expand the system if need be. Even if you’re very precise with your decisions regarding the batch mixing system, it’s beneficial to have that kind of flexibility in terms of expansion and additional alterations.
Like many other industrial machines, batch mixing systems require regularly scheduled maintenance and inspections. However, the rate at which they will require maintenance depends on factors such as your specific system and the ingredients you’re mixing.
For example, a particularly abrasive material will wear down a system’s mixing ribbons sooner than some less-abrasive materials. Planning ahead for instances like this will help you prevent components from wearing down without notice and causing full-on malfunctions that will result in machine downtime.
Suffice it to say that unexpected downtime is not something you want your facility to endure. Always ask the machine vendor about the machine’s maintenance requirements, as well as the vendor’s own procedures regarding maintenance and inspections.
Not only does this section of the batch mixing system come with multiple monikers, including “discharge outlet” and “discharge gate,” but it also comes in multiple design options as well. For instance, drop-bottom gates move ingredients quicker because, as the moniker suggests, the gate opens below the ingredients and allows the entire batch to exit at once. That high speed, however, comes with high maintenance requirements.
Butterfly valves, which are another common type of discharge gate, will move ingredients at a quicker rate and are very easy to maintain. One of the determinants of a butterfly valve is that it can create dead zones in your batch mixing system, which will diminish the efficiency of the entire mixing process.
Whichever discharge option you go with, whether it’s the two listed above or any of the other available choices on the market, it’s important to inquire about their maintenance requirements and other factors. This way, you’ll know what you’re getting into before making your final purchase.
Hopefully, you’re now more familiar with some of the most important batch mixing system design considerations for dry solids mix. With this information in mind, you can make sure your facility is properly outfitted with the right equipment to effectively complete daily tasks at a productive rate. If you’re in need of equipment for bulk solids handling—including batching systems, bulk bag systems, and beyond—reach out to DoverMEI for help. Not only do we install these systems, but we’ll come back for inspections and repairs as well.