Blog-News

Rotary Table Feeders Turn Batch Processing to Continuous Batch Processing

Rotary table feeders act as a critical piece of equipment in Lancaster Mixers continuous batch processing lines. They provide a mechanical conduit to continuously meter and feed materials from each batch of material processed to the next process in line. The cone and cylinder over the table is used as a surge hopper to temporarily store the material batch while the table feeder continuously discharges the material. Their role may seem simple compared to the processing equipment they’re connected to, but is significant to maintaining continuous throughput and ensuring overall system performance.

Lancaster Products’ high shear mixers process materials in batches which allows for tight control over the physical properties of the end product and thus, higher on-size, homogeneous yields. Most batches are processed completely and ready for discharge in a matter of minutes. By positioning a Lancaster rotary table feeder under the mixer’s discharge chute and feeding product downstream to the next piece of equipment, the batch processing is converted to a continuous process.

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Improve Throughput Rates and Product Accuracy with Continuous Batch Processing

The Lancaster Products Continuous Batch Processing (system) design enjoys the benefits of both continuous and batch processing.

Designing an optimal process for bulk material mixing often requires trade-offs between high throughput rates and high product accuracy. These choices are often presented when choosing between a continuous or batch process as different applications require different types of flows through the production line. This article examines the benefits of both continuous and batch processes as well as a hybrid approach – continuous batch processing.

CONTINUOUS VS. BATCH PROCESSES

Continuous mixing processes are characterized by a consistent flow of material through the mixer where the discharge rate exactly matches the feed rate. The primary benefit of continuous mixing is steady state throughput to feed the next processing operation on the production line.

On the other hand, batch mixing processes typically are not in a steady state flow. Premeasured ingredients are added to the mixer, processed, and discharged in a single batch. The major benefit of batch mixing is the precise control of ingredient ratios, mix quality and product accuracy.

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Controls Upgrades for Improved Industrial Mixer Performance

As part of Lancaster Products’ mission to deliver industry’s most effective and efficient materials processing equipment, we constantly evaluate for areas to improve our equipment design. While we often hear from machine operators how well our equipment holds up after decades of use in the most demanding environments, our equipment can benefit greatly from advances in software and technology. As we work to continually modernize our high shear mixers, the advances in controls technology can improve Lancaster Mixers performance and capabilities.

Lancaster Mixers counter current high shear mixing action provides for rapid homogenization along with the ability to granulate and pelletize within tight tolerances. Advanced controls design allows for a more accurate and customizable mixing process resulting in improved yields, rapid mix times and improved product reproducibility.

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Maintenance Bulletin: Rotor Wear and Replacement in Industrial Mixers

The high-speed rotor is the primary mixing and pelletizing tool in industrial high shear mixers and in many ways, it is the most utilized part of the machine. But rotor wear is also a good leading indicator of your machine’s overall operating condition as it is a direct result of material processing. Chances are, if the rotor is worn, there is other preventative maintenance to be done.

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What Preventative Maintenance Will Prolong the Life of My Mixing Equipment?

Industrial mixers are built to run and withstand a great deal of abuse, however, regular preventive maintenance efforts can help keep your mixer running like new. The two most critical components that can affect the life of your mixer are lubrication and inspection of working tools. Below is an overview of the in-depth information provided in our full maintenance schedule available for download below.

 

Lubrication: Proper lubrication can encompass multiple areas on your mixer, not just the shaft seals of the mixing tool. Lubrication of all seals as well as drive gears, discharge valves and other locations where bearings are utilized is the best way to extend the life of your mixer. Automated lubrication systems on larger production mixers help maintain proper lubrication intervals, but regular visual inspection should be scheduled to assure the system is working properly.

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Mix-Granulating with a Lancaster K-Series High Shear Mixer

Many reasons compel industrial operations to enlarge solid particles for handling. Some objectives may be: enhancing flow properties, recycling, de-dusting, densifying, freezing ingredient distribution, improving mold filling properties, etc. Size–Enlargement in the powder technology context include: agglomerating, pelletizing, granulating and briquetting. This article deals with particle enlargement generally through a snowballing mechanism, with some shear action, but without the application of high pressure or extrusion.

Most powders having the ability to fuse, or slightly dissolve in the presence of a liquid, can be granulated quite easily. Others may be coaxed to form granules by the introduction of some suitable binders. The binders may act as a medium for the solid particles to adhere to each other by modifying interfacial activities. Some may form a matrix to capture the particles. Others may involve chemical reactions to achieve the objective.

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Synergies Between Lancaster Products, Bradley Pulverizer, and Kercher Industries Lead to Improved Efficiencies and Market Growth

In January of 2020, Lancaster Products/Kercher Enterprises owner, Curt Snyder, acquired the assets of Bradley Pulverizer and we are thrilled to add over 130 more years of complementary industry experience to our 70+ years. While each will continue to operate as 3 separate businesses, we are already leveraging the benefits of the new acquisition. When Snyder first explored this opportunity he immediately identified 5 primary synergies between the businesses that would benefit from cross-company collaboration and improve efficiencies to benefit our organizations as well as our combined pool of clients.

In just a short amount of time a strategic plan has been instituted to align the best of all 3 companies with a focus on the following:

    1. Product Line Synergies
    2. Overlap in Customers and Industries Served
    3. Expansion of Manufacturing and Fabrication Capabilities
    4. Leverage Existing Global Sales Channels
    5. Enhanced Business Efficiencies
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Benefits of High Shear Mixing in Ferrite Processing

Ferrite materials have a dark grey to black color, possess strong magnetic properties and are categorized into ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ sub-classes. They are actually classified as ceramics due to their composition being a combination of metallic oxides. Hard ferrites have strong coercivity, showing relatively permanent magnetic properties. Soft ferrites have low coercivity, hence their magnetization can switch direction without much energy requirement or heat generation. This characteristic can be very useful. For this reason soft ferrites find wide applications in electronic industries.

Ferrites are generally synthesized using an iron oxide based powder through a solid phase reaction incorporating other metals, such as magnesium, zinc, manganese, nickel, cobalt etc. to achieve various desired properties. One critical requirement in the synthesis is a high degree of mix homogeneity which impacts on microscopic composition, consequently product quality. Typical processing sequence in the manufacture of ferrite products are: mix powders–>freeze recipe (by granulation)–>dry–>calcine–>mill–>spray-dry–>form and sinter to achieve the desired magnetic properties (see figure below). Calcination at sub-sintering temperatures (800°C – 1100°C) is considered beneficial in pre-consolidating metals for subsequent sintering which occurs generally between 1200°C – 1400°C. Calcination also eliminates carbonates.

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Case Study – High Shear Mixing of Clay Compositions

High Shear mixers are used in a wide variety of applications in many different industries. Finding the right blend and being able to produce the same mix consistently is the key to success at Highwater Clays, a clay and glaze supplier to the arts & crafts industry. The company has two locations with the main production center located in Ashville, North Carolina. Highwater Clays produces a wide range of clay bodies using fireclays, ball clays, kaolin, and stoneware clays. All the clay bodies consist of complex compositions and must be mixed into one reliable consistency.

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Lancaster Products Announces Updates to Low Shear Mixers

We are excited to announce several recent improvements to the design of our low shear mixer product line. These mixers are often pushed beyond the limits of other mixers due to their widespread use in mixing dusty, abrasive, corrosive, highly viscous or explosive materials. The enhancements listed below were designed to improve the performance of our low shear mixers and to minimize maintenance and repair costs, which lowers the overall lifetime cost of ownership for our clients.

  1. Split drivetrain: pan and tooling on separate drives

The counter-rotating pan and tooling are now operating on separate drives allowing for individual control of tool and pan speeds. This simple split drive design provides increased flexibility to customize mixing recipes for different materials as compared to a single vertical shaft. Maintenance and trouble- shooting of issues relating to the pan or tooling also become easier.

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