Top Considerations When Purchasing a Mixer
Proper mixing and dispersing is an important part of the production of coatings, as well as the production of the raw materials for these products. Choosing the correct technology is key when companies are upgrading or replacing equipment or changing a manufacturing process. Furthermore, making the wrong decision can be costly. In 1989, industry experts estimated that the cost of poor mixing in the U.S. chemical industry was anywhere from $1 billion to $10 billion. In 1993, it was estimated that one large multinational chemical company lost upward of $100 million per year because of poor mixing.
With significant money on the line, what can coatings manufacturers do to minimize these risks? What are some considerations companies should make when they are contemplating the purchase of new mixing equipment? A good resource for such questions is the companies that produce mixing equipment. Professionals in these companies understand the capabilities of the machines they produce and have experience with the design of many different manufacturing processes.
Charles Ross & Son Co. is a good source for manufacturers who are making decisions about mixing equipment. ROSS has been providing equipment to the coatings industry for more than 150 years, adding up to many years of knowledge and expertise available to engineers and formulators who are designing or updating manufacturing process.
PCI asked the professionals at Charles Ross & Co. for some tips on what to consider when getting ready to purchase a new mixer for your facility. Here are their insights.
PCI: What are some of the signs that a new mixer could help improve your current manufacturing operation?
Ross: Things to look for include quality control issues/inconsistencies in the product quality; frequent mechanical breakdown; inability to maintain competitive pricing because of operating costs.
PCI: How does one go about selecting the right mixer for a manufacturing process?
Ross: It is helpful to build upon the existing process; identifying aspects that could be improved, and testing the best mixer candidates to accomplish that task.
PCI: When choosing mixing technology, what kind of information about the manufacturing operation is required to make the right purchasing decision?
Ross: A clear understanding of the existing process and goals are required. This should include flexibility for future growth and formulation tweaks since high-quality mixing equipment will have a significant life span.
PCI: How should buyers plan for maintenance and repair issues?
Ross: Companies should keep the recommended spare parts on the shelf for future maintenance and repair situations.
PCI: What kind of installation and testing issues should manufacturers be aware of when selecting a new mixer, and how much testing can be done before installation?
Ross: Lab or pilot scale testing is wise. Ideally, jumps in scale shouldn’t exceed 1:10. Data gathered in the testing is very important in specifying the appropriate features and configuration.
PCI: What are some of the beneficial effects the latest improvements in mixing technology have on manufacturing operations?
Ross: Latest improvements include increased efficiency, better quality products, better control of mixing operations and batch records.
As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when purchasing new equipment for your coatings production operation. Experts at Charles Ross & Co. are available to help. E-mail email@example.com or call 800/243.ROSS for more information.