SaintyCo bin mixers are popular for efficient and homogeneous mixing of powders and granules. Whether in heavy duty, laboratory or R&D material processing, SaintyCo manufactures both standard and custom designed mixers.
The Ultimate Guide on IBC Mixer Machines(We Analyzed 13 Different Mixing Machines)
In my analysis, I sampled 13 different mixer machines from these 7 global manufacturers: SaintyCo, Silverson, INDCO, Vanguard Pharmaceutical Machinery, Admix, IKA and StaMixCo. The aim of this case study was to establish the various aspects that these machines offer based on the working principle, features, application and quality compliance, among other factors.
My study was not limited to pharmaceutical mixing machines, but also other mixers in food processing, chemical industry, metallurgical industry, agriculture, etc.
A Multi-directional Motion Mixer by SaintyCo
In this article, I am going to share with you the outcome of my study. This will be based on my detailed analysis and over 20 years’ experience as a pharma mixer manufacturer.
So, let me explore these aspects one at a time:
#1: Types of Mixer Machines Available in the Market
Whenever you’re shopping for laboratory or industrial mixers, there are so many options available. This may range from functionality to design.
Let’s look at these two pharmaceutical mixer machines:
2.Vanguard Pharmaceutical mixer machine:
I believe the difference between these mixer machines are quite evident – from their geometrical shapes, design to performance.
This is the reason why you need to understand and know the various types of machines available.
Generally, you can classify mixer machines as:
- High speed mixer
- Souage cone mixing machine
- Mass mixer
- V-type mixer
- Multi-directional motion mixer
- Single arm mixer
- Ribbon blenders
Basically, the classification of mixer machines may depend on so many factors. However, for the scope of this study, I did focus on these 7 types of mixer machines.
Let’s explore more details about this equipment:
High Speed Mixer Machine
High speed mixer machines are common in large scale material processing. You can use them to mix granules and granules, powder and power or granules and powder.
A section of high speed mixer machine
I noted that quite a number of high speed mixer machines have a mixing vessel equipped with either a chopper impeller or mixing agitator. With this, you can mix large quantities of products within a short period of time.
Also, you can attach and detach the impeller to configure the machine to your unique specifications. Remember, you must understand how this machine works before attempting to disassemble it.
To ensure efficiency and reliability of the equipment, you need to select a machine with proper blade size. This is the only way to get a homogenous mixture.
Souge-Cone Mixing Machine
As you can see in the video below, the mixing bin is suspended between two pillars. It is a popular machine you can use for granule and powder, powder and powder or granules and granules mixing.
It is a popular batch mixing machine you can use in chemical, foodstuff, raw medicine processing and pharmaceutical industries. The machine is a fully automated where users can assign the required parameters such as mixing speed and time.
As you can see in the video above, the mixing axis and container makes an angle forcing tangential movement. In short, this is a machine you can count on when it comes to perfect mixing efficiency.
Mass Mixer Machine
This is yet, another essential machine you can use to mix both wet and dry powder. It is suitable for tablet granulation.
A pharmaceutical machine emptying content to avoid cross contamination
During my assessment, I realized that manufacturers tend to modify these machines to suit specific needs of the customers. For instance, these are those that come with blades for efficient material mixing.
At SaintyCo, we offer both standard and custom design mixer machines for pharmaceutical, laboratory or industrial material processing applications.
V-type Mixer Machine
This is one of the most versatile pharmaceutical and industrial mixing machines. At times, some mixer machine manufacturers such as the Vanguard Pharmaceutical refer to it as V-shell blenders.
A V-type mixer machine
With this powder and granules mixing machine, you can achieve ultimate and uniform mixing. Quite a number of these machines are configured to operate at medium speed, making them suitable for mixing powder material.
Comparing this machine to those discussed above, you can see clearly that the V-shape is unique and easy to distinguish from other types of mixers. They are easy to load, unload and clean.
Multi-directional Motion Mixer
Can you see any unique features in this machine?
SaintyCo multi-directional motion mixer
Clearly, this machine has unique features such as:
- Mixing barrel is connected using Y-type universal joints
- The barrel turns in a three dimensional space
- Design prevents any specific gravity segregation
With this machine, you can achieve a charge coefficient of 85% with mixing efficiency above 99.5%.
Single Arm Mixer Machine
As you can see in the video below, only a single arm holds the mixing barrel in place.
You can use this machine as a R&D or laboratory mixer. Its design ensures faster and efficient mixing mechanism.
Like other industrial and pharmaceutical mixers I had discussed earlier, this machine is fully automated. Therefore, you can enter all the parameters and it will automatically start the mixing process.
The good thing about this machine is that, it is tilted to an angle of 30°. This ensures effective material mixing process.
Ribbon Mixer Machine
A ribbon mixer, also called the horizontal ribbon mixer is one of the most fascinating equipment in this category. It can mix both dry and wet powders within a short time.
It is for this reason that ribbon mixers are popular in the nutraceutical, food processing, drug, pharmaceutical and laboratories, among other industries.
You will learn the working principle of ribbon mixers later in this article.
This is SaintyCo ribbon blender machine
As you can see from the image above, this mixer equipment is quite different from the other 6 machines.
It is a machine that is easy to identify, more so with its unique U-shaped horizontal trough. This is one of the reasons why it is referred to as the horizontal ribbon mixer.
As a ribbon mixer manufacturer, we strive to ensure the machine conforms to high quality standards with modern features. All these are supported by years of research, alongside incorporating other technologies.
With a ribbon mixer machine, you can process many materials such as powders, flakes, pellets, granules, among other solid products.
Ideally, this is a highly efficient machine that can process a 1 cubic ft. batch within two to three minutes. In most cases, a 100 cubic ft. take no more than 25 minutes on average.
Clearly, from these 7 different types of mixing machines, you should note that they:
- Have different geometrical shapes.
- May have mixing barrel supported either with one or two arms.
- Mixing barrel may be tilted at a specified angle
You will learn more about mixing machine features later in this article. For now, let me explore yet another important aspect of these machines:
#2: Essential Parts of Mixer Machine You Must Know
The number of parts of a mixer machine depends on the flexibility of the machine. The following are some of the most important parts that make up an industrial or pharmaceutical mixing machine:
- Mixing container/mixing barrel (in most cases it is cone design for easy discharge and cleaning)
- Driving mechanism (motor)
- Driving shaft servo mechanism
- Y-type universal joint, especially for multi-directional motions mixer (allowing for multidirectional motion).
- Controlling system
- Braking system
- Touch screen control panel
- Silicon sealing latex
- Variable speed control for I-bar and V-shell mixers
- Holding arm
- Agitator for ribbon mixers
- Material charging and discharging openings
Basically, the number of parts of a material mixer machine will depend on the complexity of the equipment. This is quite evident in the technical drawing of the system:
A technical drawing of SaintyCo Souage Mixing Machine
Now that you know the various parts of mixer machine, let’s have a quick overview of the key features of this equipment.
#3: Important Features of Industrial and Pharmaceutical Mixer Machines
Depending on the nature of mixing process or the type of powder mixing machine; these pharmaceutical machines may have a wide range of advanced features.
Truth be told, as an experienced mixer equipment manufacturer, I think we have done our best by ensuring every machine has the right features. In all the 13 different mixer machines I analyzed, there is a significant improvement compared to the previous years.
Below are some of the main features of mixer machines you need to know:
· Ability to Tilt to a Certain Angle
Is this feature important for every mixer machine?
Well, from my experience in the mixer machine manufacturing industry, all our designs take into account certain performance requirements. Therefore, depending on the design of the equipment, we may include a tilting angle of maybe 20° or 30°.
The bin is in a slanting position
Take for instance, the SaintyCo’s HBD Single Arm Mixer that is designed with an angle of 30°.
Normally, this is an angle of the mixing axis to that of the mixing barrel/container.
· High Mixing Coefficient and Efficiency
In this industry, we value quality and efficiency. Generally, nearly all machines that I analyzed can attain a high efficiency within a short time.
A rotating powder mixer machine
For example, you should expect a charging coefficient of 50% to 80%. This range gives room for adjusting system parameters such as mixing time and mixing speed.
Moreover, the unique geometrical design guarantees a 99% mixing coefficient. The truth is; you’ll hardly get a mixing machine with such specifications, unless you contact a reputable powder mixer machine manufacturer.
Obviously, all these will ensure homogenous mixing.
· Mixing Machine Capacity
Well, we have both standard and custom designed mixing machines with varying capacities. Therefore, I am sure you’ll definitely get a machine that suits the unique requirements of any material processing.
Take a look at the SaintyCo HBD Single Arm Mixer series:
This is technical specification for SaintyCo Souage-cone Mixing Machine
Still, you can place an order with unique production capacity.
· A Fully Automated System
For the last 10 years, there has been significant improvement in efficiency and accuracy of the granules or powder mixing. A key aspect that has attributed to this is the machine automation.
A control panel for a powder mixer machine
Take for example; our mixer machines feature a robust and reliable automated system. That is, you’ll assign all the required parameters (mixing speed and time); switch on the machine to start driving the electric motor.
This is a crucial aspect of multi-direction motion mixer. That is, you can start the process at low speed and allow the machine to run smoothly until it begins to decelerate.
The mixer machine will start to work after which, it will stop after reaching the specified parameters. This is a major milestone in the powder mixer machine manufacturing.
· Horizontal Ribbon Mixer Agitator
This is a key powder mixer machine feature that is unique to ribbon mixers. Their design may vary depending on the ribbon mixer manufacturer.
Below is an example of ribbon agitator:
This is a section of a ribbon mixer agitator. Image source: Powder Bulk Solids
We have a range of ribbon agitator designs that may vary depending on the quantity of powder or granules you intend to mix. For example, our horizontal ribbon mixers are known for:
- A set of outer and inner helical agitators
- Agitating blades that may have double or triple layers
- Ribbon rotation is approximately 300 fpm
- Inside and outside screws
This feature ensures efficiency and reliability of our ribbon blenders.
· A Unique Structure that Guarantees High Performance and Reliability
A good mixer is one with a compact structure that is easy to operate and guarantee steady performance. It doesn’t matter whether you need a double cone mixer or pharmaceutical mixing machine.
This is a V-type mixer machine with a compact structure. Image source: Medical Expo
As a reputable pharma mixer manufacturer, a robust design that assures the performance machine is a major concern to us.
For example, there are powder mixers with shaft servo mechanism. This alone ensures consistent powder or granule mixing with low noise as the machine operates.
The stable structural/frame can support the weight of a full capacity mixing barrel.
Furthermore, a modular stricture and designs make maintenance and part changeover simple and easy. This reduces possible downtime.
· Advanced Safety Features to Protect both Mixer Machine and Technicians
No one can purchase a machine that does no guarantee safety. This is a critical aspect I have seen in all the different brands of mixer machines I analyzed during my study.
Of course, we are not left behind when it comes to this.
A smooth surface of SaintyCo mixer machine
For example, SaintyCo mixer machines do not have dead angles, concave-convex face or protruding screws on the surface. All angles are cambered.
To achieve this, we have adopted unique fabrication and manufacturing techniques to control the degree of roughness on the every section of our powder mixers.
That is, in our powder mixer machines, the outside section has a roughness of Ra ≤0.4mm while the inside section is Ra ≤0.2mm.
Furthermore, to prevent wrong operation of the machine, our granule and powder mixer machines are equipped with butterfly valve.
· All Mixer Machines are cGMP and CE Compliant
Be it R&D mixer machine, pharmaceutical mixer machine or industrial mixer machine; it must conform to certain quality standards and regulations.
The entire structure is made of stainless steel
Since powder mixer machines have electrical components (motor and moving shafts); they must be CE compliant. Moreover, our mixer machines cGMP compliant too.
This is the main reason why you’ll find mixer machine manufacturers using food grade stainless steel and the FDA approved seals such as silicon latex.
The charging and discharging sections are tightly secured to prevent cross contamination and environmental pollution during the process. That is, they have advanced dust handling capability.
· Number of Directional Movement
A multi-directional motion mixer is an advanced machine with Y-type universal joints. This ensures efficient and reliable mixing since the machine can seamlessly turn in three dimensional space, thereby mixing the material efficiently.
As for our case, SaintyCo multi-directional motion mixer to create a centrifugal force. This enhances the mixing process to ensure a complete mixing within the shortest time possible.
· A Unique Mixing Barrel that Guarantees Efficiency and Reliability of the Powder Mixer
Here, I will focus on two unique designs: The V-type mixer and eccentric cone design. Normally, whenever we opt for a specific shape, it is based on years of research to ensure optimal performance.
It is for this reason that we blend the American, the European and our own patented technology. With this, the final powder mixer machine will have superior performance.
Let me tell you how this works:
· Eccentric cone design mixer machines
This is what I mean by an eccentric cone design mixer machine:
An eccentric cone design of SaintyCo mixer machine
The cone shape at the end of this barrel ensures all the processed content discharge freely. Thus, you will not experience the problem of having to clean residue in the barrel.
This makes it to maintain high standards of hygiene at all times. It doesn’t matter whether you have a 3D mixer or a square cone mixer.
It is a common design in the industrial or pharmaceutical mixers.
· V-type Mixer
Here is an example of a V-mixer:
A technical drawing of a Y-type mixer machine
So, why is this shape important in the industrial or pharmaceutical mixers or laboratory mixers?
As you can see, the V-shells are smooth to allow the processed material to move seamlessly without sticking to the surface of the mixer. The discharge port is located at the lower section of the V-type mixer to allow for easy discharge of entire content.
Like the eccentric cone design mixers, this equipment doesn’t have any blind angles and there is no accumulation of materials.
In short, these are the crucial features you need to consider whenever you are buying a powder mixer machine.
Now, that I have covered all the essential parts and features of powder mixer machines; let’s now focus on the working principle of mixer machines.
#4: The Working Principle of Powder Mixer Machine
The types of pharmaceutical or industrial mixer machines are divided into three main categories based on their geometrical shapes:
- V-type mixer machine
- Eccentric cone design mixer machines
- Ribbon mixer machines
Of course, there are other designs too; however, their working principle is almost the same.
For the scope of this section, I will focus on the working principle of these two machines. It’s not that complicated – I’ll make it simple for you to understand.
· The Working Principle of V-type Mixer Machine
The working principle of a V-type mixer machine is simple. Here is how it works:
- It is made of two V-shells as you can see in the image above. They may be of the same size or slightly different.
- The equipment depends on mechanical transmission of material within the shells.
- Fill the V-shells with the specified amount of material.
- Key in parameters via the control panel
- Switch on the machine and allow it to rotate at a specified speed and time
- As the V-shells move through an angle of 360°, its content will move back and forth, hence a homogenous product.
Remember, even when you change the V-shells like in the case of the lab models, the working principle will still remain the same.
· The Working Principle of Eccentric Cone Design Mixer
How an eccentric cone design mixer is similar to that of the V-type mixer machines. That is, the working principle of this mixer machine involves:
- Charge the material into the container and close
- Assign appropriate parameters – mixing time and speed
- Switch on the machine to drive the motor
- Your machine will mix and ultimately stop after the specified mixing time.
- You can transfer the content of the mixer bin to another container for further processing or packaging.
As you can see, this is a simple process that you can accomplish easily. However, the design of this equipment plays a critical role in the mixing efficiency.
· The Working Principe of Ribbon Mixer
Like in other machines I have discussed so far, the working principle of horizontal ribbon mixer aims to ensure homogeneous mixing within a short period of time.
So, how is this possible?
- Its design aim to mix free-flowing raw material (powder or granules) within the U-shaped trough
- By switching on the electric motor, it begins to turn the horizontal agitators.
- The agitator has balanced inner and outer helical ribbons that force the material to flow in both radial and axial directions at the same time. That is, the outer ribbon will move the material in one direction as the outer ribbon moves material in the opposite direction.
- Alternatively, there are other designs of horizontal ribbon mixers where; the outside screws collect and move material from the sides of the horizontal trough to the center. On the other hand, the inner screws move material from the center of the trough to the sides.
- Still, the principle of operation remains the same.
In both cases, this is a continuous process that ensures homogeneous mixing within a short time cycle. In most cases, the helical agitators (components of the ribbon agitator) rotate at 300 rpm.
Clearly, you can see that, the ribbon mixer, eccentric cone design mixer and V-type mixes use different mechanisms to ensure a thorough material blend within minutes. Normally, I do advise all clients to understand their material processing needs and standards before purchasing any of these mixing machines.
#5: Key Applications of Powder Mixer Machines
Mixer machines play an integral role in material processing. Choosing a specific type of machine will depend on the specific task at hand.
Thus, depending on the design, you may use machines designed for R&D, food processing, nutriceutical, pharmaceutical, chemical processing, laboratories, etc.
Depending on the design of the industrial or pharmaceutical mixer machine, you can process the following combination of materials:
- Granules and granules
- Granules and powder
- Powder and powder
In most cases, your granule or powder mixer machine can process dry material. However, there are those special designs that can process both wet and dry materials.
A mixer machine plays a fundamental role in material processing. Therefore, you should strive to choose the right powder mixer machine that can guarantee efficiency while reducing the cost of operating the machine.
This is why I insist on the need to focus on the key features of the machine. As I have stated in my study; all the 13 industrial or pharmaceutical mixer blenders can do the same task – mixing powder or granules.
However, the efficiency and consistency of the final product may differ depending on their structural design. For more information or inquiries, you can contact us today.
- Choosing the Right Mixer – By Kemutec Powder Technologies
- Mixing Technologies in Pharmaceutical and Medical Industries – By Ross
- Mixing (Process Engineering) – From Wikipedia
- How to Select a Ribbon Blender – By Powder Bulk Solids