Ribbon blenders (also known as a ribbon mixer) are the most widely used mixing instrument in the U.S. mixing industry. Their popularity is due to their initial purchase cost, easy maintenance and low product cost per pound of production, compared to other types of industrial ribbon mixers.
Ribbon mixers work using a counter-current flow pattern inside the blending chamber. This keeps the materials at a uniform height in the blender during mixing. Ribbon blenders can be used to blend everything from pharmaceuticals, food products, fertilizer, plastics, chemicals and many other products.
The performance of a ribbon mixer can vary widely between manufacturers. Here are three ways to keep your ribbon mixer performing at maximum efficiency.
Be Mindful of Mixing Time
Ribbon mixers are designed to complete mixing in a very short time, typically 15 minutes or less. However, there are factors that contribute to ribbon mixer efficiency, such as ingredient particle size and bulk density.
To keep mixing time short, be sure these characteristics are as similar as possible among the ingredients. This will help to reduce the possibility of over-mixing or un-mixing.
Consider the Before and After of Blending
Ribbon blenders come in two styles. The most efficient and popular is a center bottom discharge. The second type is an end discharge, for when a customer needs to discharge the product at the end of the machine rather than in the center.
It is important to optimize a ribbon mixer’s total cycle time, meaning the time required for mixing, loading and discharging and cleaning the blender. This can be done by using a mixer best suited to fit the ingredients. The ingredients will not only affect loading and discharging, but also cleaning requirements.
Be Informed of the Options
It is important to choose the ribbon mixer best suited for the application. It is most efficient to choose the features of a ribbon mixer before it is operating in a plant. Work closely with the manufacturer to customize the system to increase efficiency. A reputable manufacturer will know which ribbon mixer will work best for different ingredients and applications.