Rotary Batch Mixer A Spanish Insecticide and Herbicide Producer Places Heavy Demands on Its Rotary Batch Mixer

Author / Editor: Steve Knauth / Manja Wühr

Indalva is Spain’s largest toll manufacturer of insecticides and herbicides. Based in the city of Orihuela, the company is Spain’s oldest producer of clay microgranules, which, along with quartz sand, are used as carriers for its insecticides and herbicides.

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The hopper (at left) feeds clay or quartz granules into the rotary mixer. Chemicals are sprayed as the batch rotates. (Picture: Indalva S.L.)
The hopper (at left) feeds clay or quartz granules into the rotary mixer. Chemicals are sprayed as the batch rotates. (Picture: Indalva S.L.)

The heart of Indalva’s operation is a rotary mixer of 51 m3 capacity that processes all the company’s granular insecticides for soil application (the major product line). Built by Munson Machinery of the USA, the Model 700-TSC-180 machine mixes liquid chemicals with the microgranules until the granules are evenly impregnated.

Since the rotary mixer is the only one used for insecticides, its reliable operation is critical to Indalva’s business. “If anything goes wrong with the mixing operation it is a big problem for us,” says CEO Cayetano Valero, “but fortunately the mixer has proven reliable.”

The mixer has been in service since 1988, operating up to 10–12 h/d during the sowing season, and has rarely been offline except for its scheduled annual maintenance, when it is shut down for two or three days.

Mixing Chemicals and Carriers

At a separate facility, Indalva puts raw clay through a hammer mill to obtain granules of 1–2 mm diameter. 1,000 kg bags of clay granules or quartz sand are then emptied into a hopper and transferred by a bucket elevator to another hopper above the mixer. Batch sizes range from 3–5 t. The mixer is a horizontal drum which rotates on trunnion rings and rollers, eliminating the need for an internal shaft with bearings exposed to the product. The mixer has a stationary inlet at one end and a stationary outlet, with a discharge gate, at the other. Baffles inside the drum tumble the batch in multiple directions, yielding thorough mixing while imparting minimal energy to the product.

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