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Ribbon Blenders: A Best Practices Guide

Abstract

This white paper presents some basic best practices for efficient processing in a Ribbon Blender. The ideas discussed here are recommendations based on practical and technical experience gained by Ross over several decades as a leading supplier of Ribbon Blenders to the process industries worldwide.

The objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the operating principles, important features and even the intrinsic limitations of Ribbon Blenders. While many proven applications are enumerated in the following chapters, these are not intended to be taken as process guarantees. Sufficient knowledge of the product being mixed (bulk density, shear sensitivity, flow characteristics, etc.) and detailed discussions with a trusted manufacturer ideally accompanied by blender testing and simulation trials, when possible must necessarily form the basis for confirming the best mixing strategy for your particular requirements.

Introduction

The classic Ribbon Blender serves multi-purpose uses in the manufacture of food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical, plastic, agricultural and other products. Given its versatility and economy, the Ribbon Blender is often the choice for most straightforward blending requirements.

In a well-made Ribbon Blender, precisely designed and fabricated ribbons turn within a close-tolerance horizontal trough to produce a balanced lateral and radial movement of the batch materials. Blending cycles are relatively fast and mix quality is not hard to duplicate from batch to batch. In principle, it requires very little maintenance even when subjected to frequent product changeovers. Scaling up from a pilot Ribbon Blender operation to large volume production is also generally uncomplicated. Despite these proven advantages, as with other types of mixers and process equipment, optimal mixing performance in the Ribbon Blender still starts with proper sizing, specification and customization. This white paper outlines some strategies for achieving just that, operating to maximum efficiency and ensuring a long service life out of your Ribbon Blender.