Revolutionize Your Production Process With Industrial Ribbon Blenders
Ribbon blenders are efficient and easy to use for mixing dry ingredients. They are used in many industries, such as food processing, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics, for blending spices, instant recipes, drink mixes, and supplements.
A ribbon blender features a U-shaped trough with a helical ribbon agitator that rotates. The inner and outer ribbons tumble and carry the materials in counter-lateral and radial motion.
Ribbon blenders are versatile machines that can be used for various applications. They can mix multiple ingredients for different industries like food, cosmetics, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, minerals and more. Moreover, they can also be used to incorporate fillers and lubricants into the powder ingredients for tablet production in the pharmaceutical industry.
To determine which type of ribbon mixer will be best for your application, you must first consider your product’s bulk density. Batch sizes are always spelled out in volume capacities, not weights, which will help you choose the correct model. Generally, standard models can handle bulk densities up to 35 lb/cu ft. For higher-density products, you may need to upgrade to a heavy-duty blender.
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the wetted parts of your blender are compatible with your raw materials. The trough, cover, agitator, and discharge valve should all be made of durable, reliable components. Ideally, it would help to opt for a dust-tight knife gate valve that can be closed to minimize dust and an air-tight seal for vacuum/pressure applications.
If your mix recipe calls for coating a dry ingredient onto a bulk material, a ribbon mixer is ideal. It features a U-shaped trough with an agitator consisting of axially angled inner and outer helical ribbons that transfer material radially. This encourages quick, detailed mixing with minimal damage to the fragile ingredients.
This blending style can also be used for mixing materials that have different shapes and sizes. For example, trail mix may include nuts, seeds, granola, chocolate pieces, and pretzels that vary in size, shape, and density. Moreover, a ribbon blender can coat these different materials evenly and quickly with little to no damage.
To further reduce dusting, a ribbon mixer can be equipped with a dust-tight discharge valve and clamps to secure the gasket cover. Additionally, to prevent abrasive powders from damaging the blender, lantern rings can be installed to provide air purging of the packing gland during mixing. A variable frequency drive can be added to the mixer to help control the speed of the motor, reduce startup torque, and prevent a sudden acceleration that damages delicate ingredients.
Subtle differences in ribbon blender design and construction can significantly impact mixing efficiency and reliability. For example, a direct-drive system eliminates the belts and pulleys that can slip, resulting in product loss. This feature also translates to lower maintenance costs.
The heart of the blender consists of a U-shaped horizontal trough supported by a solid agitator shaft with spokes that support outer and inner helical ribbons called “ribbons.” As the agitator rotates, the pitch of the outer ribbons moves materials radially, while the rise of the inner ribbons moves them away from the discharge opening.
To maximize blending efficiency, the mixer should be loaded with enough batch material to cover all ribbons. In addition, to reduce dusting, a gasketed lid should be secured with clamps, and a dust-tight knife gate discharge valve should be installed. Installing lantern rings on the packing gland can further minimize dusting during blending. The agitator shaft should also be lubricated to reduce wear on the inner surfaces.
Effortlessly blending powders, granules, and dry materials, industrial ribbon blenders unite them in a dance of precision. Securely controlled clearances between agitator surfaces and the trough walls ensure that ingredients mix evenly without damaging the material.
To reduce dusting, choose a ribbon blender with a gasket cover, a dust-tight knife gate discharge valve, or (for wet formulations) a ball valve that’s also liquid-tight. A set of lantern rings can also be installed on the packing gland to provide further dust reduction.
Regularly inspect the blender mixer’s seals to prevent material leakage from the trough or contamination outside the track. A leaking seal can cause the shaft to shift and could lead to broken bearings and a shorter mixer lifespan. Keeping the blender sealed is vital for a safe operation, accurate batch results, and cleaner, more efficient clean-ups. Proper sizing of the ribbon blender based on bulk density is also essential for adequate blending and mixing efficiency.