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What you should know about industrial mixing

It is important to know the differences between each type of mixing to select the best suited mixing technology for your application


It is important to know the differences between each type of mixing to select the best suited mixing technology for your application; the mixers are different in shapes, sizes, modes of operation and arrangements, but they fit in two main categories, Continuous and Batch. Some types of mixers are only suitable for either batch or continuous operations, some other types can be adapted for operation in both batch and continuous modes. We review the different types of mixing and discuss about advantages and disadvantages of each in the detail.

Continuous mixing:

In continuous mixing, materials are continuously charged into the mixer with controlled feeds, being mixed for a short period of the time as the material travels from the input port to the discharge nozzle.

Continuous mixers provides high throughput and generally used for dry ingredients, however some slurries can also be mixed in continuous mixers. The output is measured in kg/hr.

Advantage of Continuous mixing:

The advantage of continuous mixing as below:

  • Continuous mixing provides high throughput and low energy use compared to batch mixing.
  • It is economical when large quantities of material are to be mixed.
  • Higher efficiency
  • Ideal for automated production lines.
  • Minimize production loss
  • Certain types of slurries and viscous materials can also be processed

Batch mixing:

In batch mixing, all materials are weighing and charged to the mixers from the hoppers, feeders or manually and mixed for the longer period of time to be homogenously distributed.

Mixing cycle times can range from a few seconds with high intensity units to many hours where additional processing like heating or cooling may be involved.

At the end of the mixing process, the resulting mix is then discharged out of the mixing vessel and then the mixer is ready for either cleaning or for the next batch. The output is measured in kg/batch

If you want high-throughput and high accuracy, you can use the continuous batch control system.

In continuous batch control system, the hoppers are filled while the materials are in the mixer, and then as soon as the mixer is discharged, the next batch is immediately fed into the mixer.

The total batch time is the time required for weighing, charging the material into the mixer, the mixing cycle time, discharging time and cleaning time (if required).

Batch mixers are perfect for a wide variability of applications, particularly where production amounts are low and strict control of mix composition is required, formulations change regularly, or batch traceability is needed.

The parameters that you should know to select the batch mixers are as below:

Mixer size, mixing cycle time, shape of mixer and operational conditions.

Some type of batch mixers are as below:

Plow mixer, single/double paddle mixer, Ribbon blender, Sigma blender, planetary blender, vertical screw bender, double cone blender

Advantage of batch mixing:

  • Precise adjust of mix quality
  • Trace products for each batch
  • Ideal for small to medium capacities compared to continuous mixing
  • Mix multiple formulations with the same machine
  • Control of mixing time.
  • Pre-mixing of minor ingredients is easily accomplished.
  • Easy cleaning, lower cleaning costs when product changes are frequent.