Lab managers are always looking for more efficient ways to run the lab. Most will complain of low funds and plenty of shortages on space and time. If one piece of equipment can combine the work of several it is very valuable. The search is endless for the best equipment that can provide quality products using the most refined and resourceful process.
For years it has just been accepted that the high-speed mixer is the best machine for mixing modern products. However, there are several critical problems that arise when using the high speed mixer. It entraps air which can cause major problems with foam. Then it requires more time to mix plus many time more additives must be used to rid the substance of excess foam. This can cost valuable time and resources. There are also problems with other properties such as stability, agglomerate size, color development and droplet sizing. Switching to a reverse vortex mixer can alleviate these problems.
The surface violence is greatly reduced because of the inverted vortex, thus eliminating much of the air entrainment. Most manufacturers have found that the rotor stator homogenizer performs much more efficient than the high speed mixer. This conserves lab time and manpower hours as well as producing a quality end product.
The newly designed mixers can save time and increase productivity. Two factors of the newer design are key to this advancement. Agitators are easy to change out. There is not a need for any types of specialized tools which can complicate the process. The ease of interchangeability reduces exposure to bearings, shaft and seals. The quick interchange helps cut production time greatly.
Another development that is time saving is a push-button speed drive. Changing speeds is not only faster, but safer. The readouts are digital which increases the machine’s accuracy helping lab technicians fine tune the process.
When a lab considers up scaling there are several items that must be under careful scrutiny. The agitator tip speed as well as the shaft speed must be considered, as well as the location of the agitator. The actual size of the vessel must be well thought-out, as well as its range of volumes and ability to accomplish partial as well as full batches. Also the turnover rate of a batch must be given some thought and thorough planning. Managers also want to look carefully at things such as available horsepower, heat sensitivity and viscosity before switching from the high-speed mixer to the newer mixers. Many have found that they can be used along with the high speed mixer to increase production rather than simply replace them.