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Automation for Mixing & Feeding How to Achieve Precise Feeding, Homogeneous Mixing and Safe Filling Processes

Author / Editor: Walter Sonntag / Dominik Stephan

Automation is one of the major reasons for increased productivity. It helps companies avoid the need for, or limit the repercussions of, heavy physical work in production processes in various industries including foodstuffs, pharmaceutical, plastics and chemicals sectors. Here’s a look at current automation innovations that can streamline existing processes.

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Delivery of raw materials for mixer feeding
Delivery of raw materials for mixer feeding
(Picture: Azo)

Azo has for over half a century recognized the need for efficiency in various sectors and has innovated new processes such as precise feeding, homogeneous mixing and safe filling, particularly for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry.

This is owing to the current trend with companies using special mixes with higher added value and frequently low tonnage. Improved machines and their aggregates that offer a maximum in versatility, fast change-over and good ease of cleaning are required to deal with a variety of raw materials. Some of the processes, including design challenges, are elucidated here.

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Smart Mixer Feeding

The term ‘automatic mixer feeding’ is used to describe the provision of bulk solids, raw materials, additives, ingredients, colourants, etc., in powder and liquid form, employing ultra-modern process control and visualisation technology. The general rule is to provide the right raw materials automatically for the right mixer, at the right time, with correct amounts and tolerances.

The mixing process and feeding of raw materials are interdependent. Typically, the mixing process determines the type of feeding whereas the automatic feeding of raw materials always constitutes for the quality of the product.

Delivery of different raw materials

Irrespective of the form of the raw materials, i.e., either as powder, granulate or flakes, or as liquids, fats and oils, they have to be accepted and transferred to the appropriate containers. For instance, bulk quantities in a powdered form are delivered in bulk tankers and filled into outdoor silos pneumatically. Appropriate level measuring systems monitor this process and vent filters ensure that the silos are fed without interruption. Versatile vibration bottoms are used for discharging the materials. Aeration bottoms can also be used to discharge certain types of bulk materials.

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