Our last post focused on our experience in concept testing and how it applies to our high shear mixer sample testing process.  This post will dig in a little deeper and provide insight into the breadth of data we provide to our customers when they commission Lancaster Products to provide sample testing for them.

Over the past 30 years, we have collaborated with our customers to perform proof of concept testing in our K1 laboratory mixers for thousands of materials samples.  The desired outcome of the testing is customer dependent but typical requirements are along the lines of pelletizing/granulating to specific size ranges and desired yields, mixing to achieve homogenization, or reduced reaction times of existing processes.  Outcomes  provided are 1) proof of concept in achieving the desired product, and/or 2) optimization of the current mix processes.  Our engineers perform the tests in our controlled laboratory, log all key information in our database, and share all data with our customers for future reference. Below is a list that summarizes some of the information we collect during every test run we perform:

  1. Materials. Includes: types of raw material and binders, volume, chemistry
  2. Mix time and steps. Includes: step times, pan speed, rotor speed
  3. Type of mixing tool(s) used
  4. Order in which ingredients are added
  5. Intended results/actual results
  7. Samples

This data is provided to our customers in a lab report format and is valuable as a reference for future testing.  It also has value in cases where our customers already have a process in place to pelletize or granulate their materials, but want to improve on their efficiencies and yields.  Process optimization testing follows the steps outlined below:

  1. Specifications/expected results are defined
  2. Formulate an initial recipe for testing
  3. Lab scale testing
  4. Review test results
  5. Manipulate variables (materials, run time, rotor speed, etc) based on previous test to improve results
  6. Repeat lab scale testing as needed to achieve results that meet or exceed customer specifications
  7. Customer approval. Note: we can perform additional testing using any excess sample materials in an attempt to further optimize the process.
  8. Synthesize data and provide lab reports

Our engineers may suggest alternative ingredients, such as binders, to customers who may not have strict defined formulations.  In addition to proving the concept at the small-scale laboratory level, our engineers also develop recipes that are scalable  for production which may slightly differ from the recipe developed in the lab, again, with data provided along the way.

Contact our engineers today to discuss the process for sending us your materials so we can test them in our lab and develop an optimized materials processing formulation for your company.

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Lancaster Products
920 Mechanic Street
Lebanon, PA 17046

Local: 717.273.2111
Toll Free: 800.447.7351

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Infographic: Optimize Your Fertilizer Pelletizing Process

Many fertilizer processing facilities were originally setup with 5 or more large pieces of processing equipment systematically connected with conveyors for a minimum of 9 pieces of equipment to convert raw materials into fertilizer. The amount of work, energy, and maintenance that goes into maintaining a complex system like this is very costly.

Lancaster Products can optimize existing fertilizer pelletizing plants or establish new fertilizer processing facilities. Our counter-current, high shear mixers have several product and operating advantages over the complex, traditional systems.

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Lancaster Products Multi Tool Mixing Advantage

Since the introduction of the original K-series mixer in 1986, Lancaster Products High Shear Mixers have been designed to produce the best mixing and pelletizing results for our customers. Lancaster Mixers superior performance is due to our multi-tool configuration, counter current mixing action and variable tooling speed capability.

Multi Tool Configuration
Lancaster Mixers can be configured with three independent variable speed mixing tools: the mixing rotor, the plow and the rotating pan. These three tools work in concert to provide the best mixing results. The primary mixing tool is the high-speed rotor. The plow and rotating pan both work to move material into the main rotor’s path. The three mixing tools are so efficient at mixing, there are no dead spots inside of the mixing cavity and every piece of material passes through the mixing rotor every few seconds. Additionally, a sidewall scraper is positioned against the pan sides to prevent caking and buildup of material on the pan itself.

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