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The Unexpected Rewards of Testing a Mixer

By Ken Langhorn, Charles Ross & Son Co. |

Among all the engineers who will be involved in the purchase of a mixer or blender next year, roughly half will welcome a change in their production method. The other half will be determined to prevent it. Searching for the right equipment to make a new product or boost current production, about 50% of users will conduct open-eyed tests in the laboratory of a mixing equipment manufacturer.1 They will test a variety of mixers and ancillary equipment. While manipulating parameters such as shear, viscosity and flow rates, they will experiment with various types and combinations of agitators. They will explore the effects of applying vacuum or altering batch temperature at certain stages of the mix cycle. Another 25% of users will conduct tests, but their mission will be due diligence, not exploration. Their goal will be to control risk by collecting data and confirming an equipment selection prior to committing to a purchase or rental. In other words, they want to avoid making an expensive mistake. The remaining 25% will not test at all. Relying on long experience with familiar equipment and a well-understood application, they will replace worn-out equipment (or perhaps scale up) with the same equipment as before, intending only to replicate…
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