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Choosing the best tools to achieve a productive coatings industry

May 9, 2013

Time, money and space are among the considerations that must be made to develop a productive lab setting. A company needs to reach the highest level of production while using the least amount of effort and time. Any time one can replace existing equipment with one piece that will improve productivity and efficiency it is a wise switch. Replacing several machines with one that can do the same amount of work can not only save valuable space but also reduce operating costs.

Many coatings manufacturers are switching from the conventional high speed dispersers and using waterborne systems. The traditional HSD can tend to trap air and cause foaming. It can be reduced by adding defoaming agents, but this adds to the cost of making the product. It also takes more time in production. By switching to a bottom-vortex mixer this can be eliminated. This rotor/stator mixer uses a vertex that is inverted and thus uses much less violence in mixing. This reduces the amount of air that can be trapped in the batch.

Many engineers in the coatings industry consider both the rotor/stator mixers as well as the high-speed dispersers. Many are hesitant to make a switch simply because what they have is working. However, as competitors begin to switch to newer equipment that is more efficient and cost effective the change will have to be contemplated.

There are two very important considerations to be made. Interchangeable agitators can take too much time. If specialized tools are required it can be a complicated process. But if the agitator can be changed quickly without the need to touch the bearing assembly or the shaft it will be more time efficient. The second consideration is a mixer that allows for bolting on different agitators. These can save space in the lab and they can help eliminate other pieces of equipment. The operator should be able to make all necessary adjustments quickly and easily.

Eventually, the new products will make their way to the production line. It may take some time to make the switch but it will help to cut costs and overhead by shortening the time it takes to mix products effectively. The newer design of the rotor/stator mixers will be the most efficient equipment for mixing. It will eliminate the need of additional chemicals and reduce time spent changing out pieces as well as improving production time. It is a wise choice for the coatings industry to consider.

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