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More efficient mixing

Vincent Fleck details a solution for mixing big vessels better and more cost effectively


n the last issue of this publication, we reported for the first time about a new up/down moving mixing system – instead of the usual rotating agitators. Since then, it has become clear that this new solution has the potential to become a very

good friend of many a process engineer. When mixing is the process of thoroughly combining different materials to produce a homogenous mix, it is really a critical process step and is in part responsible for the quality of the final product. Success here has a lot to do with mixing performance, i.e. consistency in the solid contents and distribution, low shear by gentle product handling, mixing at low energy rates. With the Flecks Mixer solution, half of the work is already being done free of charge by gravitational force.

its output, and its electrical power consumption (kWh) being the main part of the lifecycle cost. The Flecks Mixer’s efficiency is clearly defined in an example of a 50m3

tank with suspended matters by

the thrust of 40,000N and the energy demand for the related compressed air requirement of two movements per minute (for the pneumatic cylinder) of 9kWh. This results in a specific thrust efficiency number of 4,500N/kW. There are a number of industrial

applications that are the perfect for the Flecks Mixer. The first is in brewery applications, such as mashing in of dry malt grist, wettening the particles, off- bottom particle suspension and quick/ constant homogenisation of temperature with low shear force. Next is the booming fermentation

industry. Here, the product is used for low shear mixing in segregating fermentation broths. The paper industry is also embracing

the solution. Coating kitchens in paper factories are a natural habitat for the Flecks Mixer, where it achieves homogenous mixing of the components – a key requirement for any coating colour processing system. Any processing industry profit by

In this new solution, gravitational force alone does half of the mixing work

adopting this solution. As simple as it sounds, avoiding the segregation of hotter and colder processing water in preparation tanks saves money. Optimising the solids flow in slurry reactors or storage tanks is another advantage. Faster heat transfer in reactors leads to decreased blending times. Finally, the Flecks Mixer enables faster determination of the right temperature, pH, etc. In its own testing plants (50 litres and 500 litres) the

Unlike conventional agitators, the Flecks Mixer moves up and down

On the other side of the mixing equation, poor

mixing with non-homogenous product lacking consistency in chemical composition, colour, flavour and reactivity creates big costs. The efficiency of today’s agitators/mixers is

compared by two main characteristics: thrust (N) being 16

Fleck Mixer can engineer the right solution for each application and demonstrate the advantages of the system. The high efficiency is combined with a fairly low investment cost, a robust design and it can be applied in any existing tank that is suitable for top entry. Flecks Mixer provides a reliable homogenisation at low shear force for high-quality media. n

For more information ✔ at

Vincent Fleck is a biotechnologist and head of Flecks Mixer.

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