By Don Wolfe, Likwifier & Bematek Product Line Manager, EnSight Solutions
Customers sometimes come to EnSight Solutions with unorthodox high-speed blending requests and plenty of doubts about whether we have the equipment they need to get the job done. Sometimes they wonder if what they need is even possible.
That challenge is my favorite part of being Product Line Manager for our high-shear blending systems. In many scenarios, we’ve developed solutions through a mix of expertise, testing, and using equipment that can be tuned and adjusted to meet their goals.
Our blenders—in conjunction with controls and automation—can handle a wide range of tasks related to dispersing powders and semi-solids into liquids, blending at a rapid pace and shearing to reduce particulate size. We take the approach that there’s always a solution out there, even if it seems elusive at first.
For example, we had a customer interested in a whole fruit slurry dispersion. After we completed some engineering analysis, experimentation, and testing, we wowed the customer with a system that achieved all of their objectives.
The bottom line is that we are willing to go the distance when it comes to better blending. Our equipment options team are designed to be responsive to special needs. For example, our selection of impellers opens up a world of shear and flow capabilities.
Versatility is key when it comes to pumping, blending, and shearing. The size and type of tanks and impellers will vary depending on what you’re looking to accomplish, and variables like viscosity, speed and temperature can be customized for your product.
From mayonnaise to salad dressing to brownie mix to cheese blends to ice cream, our products work extremely well for batching and can also be integrated into continuous flow processes.
Most of our customers use batching in their manufacturing facilities, and Likwifier is ideal for uniform blending in two to five minutes without any dead spots. While there are lots of variables to account for with continuous flow, these systems are capable of moving liquids and slurries through blenders or recirculating them.
Time is money and you need equipment that’s able to keep pace with your demanding processing and delivery schedules. These blenders can process anywhere from 25 gallons a minute to 200 gallons a minute. The larger the blender, the higher the flow rate, and solids incorporated into the continuous flow range from 10% to 75%. All solids are different and disperse at different rates but we relish a good challenge.
Preventive maintenance helps reduce downtime. It’s a very important part of any operation. Access to in-stock parts, like impellers and other wearable parts, should be a core issue for any processor.
Maintenance-friendly additions that provide better access to critical replacement parts, like bolt-on housings for impellers, are becoming more common. We encourage customers to pre-order spare parts that can be completely assembled and ready to go when the need arises.
Beyond food processing, there are many industries that require high-shear blending. Chemical and pharmaceutical companies employed these systems for products like resins, pesticides, and medicines. The potential is promising for other applications, which is why we’re not afraid to dive into any process that blends solids or semi-solids into liquids.
If you’re looking for equipment that can stand the test of your robust blending processes and stringent sanitary requirements, then contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we might be able to help.