Visit Lindor at Powtech 2023 in Nuremburg, Germany. Get your free ticket here.
Surprising results of mixing tests
‘Do insect eggs survive when you mix them with food flour in an industrial mixer?’ and ‘How quickly can the Capsule Vacuum Dryer dry our product?’ To answer questions such as these, we now have a well-equipped test centre in operation. Manufacturers make frequent use of the test centre to find out how their product performs in our machines. For Lindor, the test centre provides insight and experience. It’s instrumental in understanding the customer’s needs, how their products behave in our machines, and what happens when our technology is used for processing their products.
The purpose of the test centre is to give customers the opportunity to test Lindor’s technology using their own products. Buying and installing a mixer or dryer is no small matter. “For the customer, it’s reassuring to see that our mixer actually does what they expect it to do”, says Lindor process engineer, Herwin Santos.
Every year, between thirty and forty tests are carried out by customers from all over the world. These customers could be from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, the Emirates and Turkey. Or even from Korea, Japan and Thailand. This makes every test a challenge. The industry requirements for mixing accuracy, particle size, particle shape and purity are continuously advancing. This applies also to the cycle time, temperatures, temperature differences and energy consumption. A few years ago, the mixing test only needed to prove that our mixer could mix two or more products homogeneously within a few minutes. Nowadays, there are dozens of other aspects that are important. Also, the capabilities of our mixers and dryers are becoming increasingly comprehensive. From the original way of mixing without breakage, to current methods such as coating, soaking, impregnation, direct and indirect heating and cooling, contact drying, air drying, vacuum drying, vacuum coating, steaming and irradiation.
Analyses and reports
Our senses are not always the most reliable tool for measuring a test result, such as a product’s homogeneity or humidity. Our test centre is fitted with modern equipment that enables us to carry out various measurements; for example product humidity, temperature, relative humidity, mass and air velocity. Almost every customer has their own preferences, procedures and standards, which means that they often bring additional measuring instruments with them or use Lindor’s. Each test is an intensive collaboration between the customer and Lindor, where each customer receives a test report, together with the collected data, observations, photos, conclusions and recommendations.
On more than one occasion, our test centre has given our customers some surprising results. “Last week, we did a drying test, and the customer expected our mixer to take between two to three hours to dry the product. We had already estimated that the time would be a lot shorter, and it’s at times like these that our test centre really comes into its own. The product was dry after 45 minutes and at a much lower drying temperature than expected. The customer was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. These are, of course, excellent results. The energy bill for this customer will be a lot lower than previously estimated,” says Santos.
Learning and innovating
Testing is the basis of our innovation process for the further development of our technology. Even more important is the fact that our machines function well and produce amazing, excellent products for our customers. In addition to testing, our test centre also focuses on configuration and performance: from design to customer-specific use. “I can’t emphasize enough how much we learn from mixing trials. Thanks to our broad experience, we probably know how most products will react in the mixer. This makes it interesting and especially instructive to see that a certain product shows slightly different reactions than we would expect. In fact, specific reactions may indicate that necessary adjustments need to be made for the final production mixer’, Santos notes. “This can be discovered by carrying out the mixing tests, which benefit both the customer and us.”
Extensive range of test machines
Lindor has an extensive rangeof machines available for carrying out tests. Testing can be done from a product volume of 10 litres up to a maximum of 1000 litres. Take, for example,double-skinned machines. There are also test machines available with fluid injection systems and vacuum. If required, Lindor can call on test machines from our sister company, Winkworth’s range. They supply a wide range of mixing machines for mixing different products, from powders to pastes. Machines such as UT mixers (ribbon mixers), DC mixers (double cone mixers), RT mixers (rapid turbulence mixers) and Z blade mixers (kneaders). This makes it possible to carry out tests using different machines in order to analyse which machine gives the best results for a given application.
Interested in doing your own tests?
Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. You are most welcome to come to our test centre in Dordrecht, or at Winkworth in Basingstoke, just 45 minutes drive from Heathrow or Southampton Airport. Call +31 (0)78 6550655 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.