A Ribbon Blender or mixers, are gaining popularity, due to its versatile use in various industries. It has a very wide and varied range. It is a machine, with ribbon blender agitator consisting of the inner and outer helical ribbons, which is supported by spokes wielded to a steel shaft.
When, we talk about the powder and bulk solids, the name strikes, is the ‘Ribbon Blender’, extensively used for blending, granules, flakes, pellets, drink mixes, cosmetic powders, fertilizers, chemical additives, spices, ceramic powders etc.
Ribbon Blenders to choose from depends on the type of product you want to blend or mix , whether they are similar in shape and size, and the density they possess etc.. Ribbon blenders are available in from half cu ft. to over 1000 cu ft. 1-cu-ft batch usually takes just two to three minutes to complete a cycle, whereas time for an 18-cu-ft would be 8 to 10 minutes and so on. At 100 cu ft, a 20- to 25-minute blend time is quite typical.
The ribbon blender can also “coat” solid particles with a minor component that is either a very fine powder or a liquid. In fact, its use extends to general purpose slurry or paste mixing, preparing solid-liquid suspensions, as well as vacuum drying. Examples of wet applications include cake batter, guacamole, soups, sauces, pet food, pharmaceutical granulations, joint compounds, and plaster slurries.
Before, we go ahead , there are certain points to be kept in mind to achieve your target.
- The working of the ribbon blenders : Must understand the working of mixer or ribbon blender. Good design and expert fabrication. The U shaped trough allowing easy mixing of the free-flowing raw material with horizontal agitator consisting of precisely pitched inner and outer helical ribbons, which moves the materials in a balanced axial and radial flow pattern. High-quality ribbon blenders feature tightly controlled clearances between the trough surfaces and the agitator tip.Perfect design ensures proper and fast repeatable mixing, cleanliness, less maintenance cost, increase the life of mixer.
- Requirement of the type of Ribbon Blender , Standard or. Heavy: Firstly, judge your product and its type , the product’s actual bulk density. Consider the maximum and minimum batch quantities that a particular model can accommodate. The perfect mixing in a ribbon blender requires a certain amount of product – at least 30-40% of the rated volumetric capacity. In case of small volumes, the blender may fail to generate adequate contact between the agitator and the product. The size of the blender depends on the batch volume. Usually, most of the blenders can handle bulk densities of about 35 lb/cu ft.
- Belt Drive or Direct Drive : Earlier, Ribbon Blenders used a belt drive for power transmission between the motor and gear reducer, in which flexible belts and a set of pulleys, were used produced the desired speed and torque ranges. Nowadays, the Ribbon blenders are directly driven by a gear motor over belt or chain-driven designs, as they require less maintenance and perform better. The electronic inverters give an added advantage to the Gearmotors to work extremely well, providing variable speed, overload protection, and adjustable starting torques (soft start). Issues like belt slippage and stretching, excessive overhung load, and noise caused by chain drives are all eliminated in a direct drive ribbon blender. More advance ribbon blender, utilize a gearmotor that is essentially a one-piece motor reducer. Wherein, motor’s low-inertia rotor is specifically matched to the characteristics of the gear unit, resulting in a high dynamic capability essential for mixing operations.
- Loading of the Raw Materials : Work of Blender starts with loading process. Either the automatic feeding system should be installed or the ingredients (dry) should be placed on the center or split equally on both sides of the blender. This helps the operator to completely close the blender covers and all inlet ports before mixing starts. This reduces migration of dust or any loose objects from falling inside. In addition to safety limit switches must be add to it to disable the motor, if the blender cover is left open. In case of ingredients (liquids), they are added while the ribbon agitator is running. To control the feeding a metering pump may be used alongwith the atomizing nozzles on a spray bar. To avoid flooding testing is recommended to determine the rate of liquid addition as well as agitator speed, also multiple nozzles may be used, on both left and right sides to spray liquid to avoid lumps of material.
- Right type of Discharge Valve : Generally, product is discharged through an outlet located at the center of the trough bottom, in ribbon blender. Just for safety measure, discharge valve assembly must provide a proper seal to prevent material leakage and safety. Powder material the Dust-tight knife gate valves are suitable, but fr liquids the Liquid-tight ball valves are appropriate and For sensitive products ‘Spherical valve or flush plug valve’ are ideal with minimal “dead spots” in the trough where product can collect.
- Introduction of controls to avoid mishaps : The ribbon blender are comparatively a simple operated machine that does not require elaborate controls beyond start, stop and speed adjustment. , but keeping in certain future need , it is useful to buy the blender with a pre-wired control panel, Main power disconnect with lockout/tag, an energy-isolating device that can be locked out and has a prominent warning tag to protect employees from unexpected start-up or release of energy during service and maintenance.