When specifying equipment for your production facility it is important to consider the current or future needs of the business.
- TIP – When thinking about the size of the production equipment needed, consider how many end user packs your sales department needs to meet the business targets. E.g. – If sales needs a to deliver 100 x 1 Litre / Kg packs per hour to meet their monthly targets then investing in a vessel/mixer/mill that only makes 500l / kg per hour is just not going to cut the mustard!
- TIP – When considering the size of the vessel, always consider the batching time – including the time it takes to load the raw materials and the time it takes to decant and clean the vessel or mixer for the next batch.
Here are some good starting questions to ask yourself when considering manufacturing equipment or mixing equipment:
1. Specifying a powder mixer:
- What is the powder(s) you are mixing?
- What is the environment? Are you in pharmaceutical? Cosmetic? Does your environment require flameproof equipment? Or are you more an industrial application?
- What are the properties of the powder? are they sticky? oily? dry? fine? do they lump? are they free flowing?
- What is the bulk density of the powders?
2. Specifying a Liquid Mixer:
- What is the product you want to mix?
- What will be the final product viscosity?
- Does your process require heating and/or cooling and if so what is the temperature range?
- Does your raw material dissolve easily or do you require homogenisation/emulsification of the mix?
- Do you need to work under vacuum? As an example, when working with products like creams the final product should be smooth and without air bubbles trapped inside. Air bubbles trapped inside creams escape over time in the packed product and the visual effect to a customer who bought your product is going to look like a jar of ‘flopped cake’ when they open it! A recipe for a branding disaster.
3. Specifying your Milling Machine:
- What is the product you want to mill?
- Does the product have any oily properties?
- Does the product contain moisture? and if so at what %?
- What is the starting size of the particle/product you want to mill?
- What is the finishing size of the particle you want to mill?
- How many kg per hour do you need to mill?
This is a great place to start when considering your new manufacturing and mixing equipment and will help you communicate your needs for further discussion and final technical specification.