RSS icon

Mixing & Blending Q&A

  •   For dry powder blending, when is agitation required compared to simple tumble blending?

    Powders that flow freely generally never require agitation and blend well with gentle tumbling action. Agitation is normally needed to blend powders that contain fats or oils which immediately agglomerate or form balls at the onset of blending.  Intensification and/or premixing can eliminate these blending problems.

  •   I am looking for a system to add 1-2% silicon dioxide by weight (very low density decaking agent) to dehydrated food powders during milling operations. Do you have experience with an inline doser to add SiO2 during milling of dry food products? SiO2 becomes fugitive dust easily and has other issues like bridging in hoppers.

    I would consider adding a precision powder metering system such as K-Tron, etc… for this application.

  •   How do you go about doing an automated packaging of mixed powders with a very near exact weighted amount? Say about 3 lb. worth of powder, mostly sugar and some milk and non-dairy creamer. I don’t want to have a checker at the end of finished product line kicking off 20-30% of misweighed products.

    I certainly understand the desire to not have 20-30% of the product kicking off during the finishing process. My preference would be to install a metering/weigh system on your filling hoppers to assure that you have the proper weight. With that said depending on how critical you deem your filling operation and what systems/in process checks you put in place to catch a change in performance you might still consider adding a basic check weigh system. This would provide a level of redundancy to assure the upstream system is functioning as designed.

  •   Sampling of powders (especially dense powders) from bulk bags is often very challenging. What method(s) do you recommend to solve this issue? Is stream sampling (during bag filling) the way to go instead of using a sample thief for top, middle, and bottom samples from large bulk bags?

    Stream sampling would be preferred as long as you are confident that you can properly access blend CU throughout the batch. I would recommend to perform a simple study where you sample several batches both ways. This will provide you with excellent data and prove the stream method works well on your particular product blend.

  •   What equipment can I use to blend 200 – 500 lb. of reg granulated sugar with a flossinne colored sugar? I also need a blender or agitator to mix a standard tote of 2100 lb canola oil with a butter flavor.

    A small diffusion (tumble) blender is perfect for the flossine and sugar blending. Cotton Candy, eh?

    I would need more information about this mix to best provide a reliable solution. Are the ingredients both liquid and powder form? Do you plan on heating or cooling the mix? What is the ratio of the ingredients?

  •   We make a powdered drink mix containing, among other ingredients, fructose (50% of formulation), citric acid, and L-Arginine. The blend is shipped overseas for export. Upon receipt at the overseas site, the powder is found to have separated. Should we mix the entire complete blend again at the overseas site or should we send the formulation in separate “units” (fructose, citric acid, and L-Arginine to be sent separately), to be blended at the overseas site?

    If you are not concerned about the security of the formulation, it would be better to send the formulation in separate units and blend at the overseas site. Re-blending the product after shipping the blended formulation is acceptable as well. It would take very little time to re-blend. Will the blended product be mixed into the liquid state at overseas site or is the blend repacked into smaller single use size packages? My question is; are you ever reshipping the blended product to another pack out site? If so, the separation would probably occur again.

  •   Can you make a discharge station that will work with my bins even if they were purchased from another company?

    Yes, many times we make our fill/discharge stations to accommodate a wide variety of bins from other manufacturers. The critical points include the discharge size, type and height as well as the overall height of the bin. The bin sizes or base sizes do not necessarily need to be the same but in all cases containment is vital, to operator safety as well as the product integrity. Whether it is a high potency compound or a flour mixture, keeping a clean shop is important to everyone involved. Not to mention the fact that often times the material involved is costly or the particles are particularly dangerous. Containment is of primary importance and each challenge is unique. That’s why we firmly believe in a custom approach for every client. After all, air quality and safety for operators are at stake. When retrofitting, manual discharge versus automation is also a consideration.  But in any case, it can be done, and Custom Powder has probably done it.