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Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/04/2015 8:39 AM

How to improve productivity that is improve no. of batches of a Plough Share Mixer.??

The motor used to run this mixer is 75Hp . My aim is now onthe motor part. Can I atleast improve the efficiency of motor? The whole system attached to it consumes lots of power ..How should I approach this? Suggestions and Ideas on improving productivity!! And mainly on how to approach this ??

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#1

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/04/2015 12:48 PM

First you need to determine is it really necessary to use a 75Hp motor to do the mixing? What you didn't say is what it was mixing or how heavy the load is that it was mixing. But at that size, there is no doubt that it is not a counter top mixer.

Obviously it is an industrial mixer of some size. Are you making asphalt for building roads with it? How often is it used and how long does it run? Can you afford to mix slower or will there be undesirable chemical cross linking?

Maybe it was an industrial mixer that you are only making chocolate milk with as its new task. It sounds like you know very little about what it is doing or you might have mentioned that.

Efficiency is defined as Power Out/Power In. Or in your case (mysterious amount of work out)/(75 HP * unknown time). Fill in some blanks and maybe we'll give it a shot.

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#2

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/04/2015 1:08 PM

You have to start by evaluating the efficiency you have now. Look at your motor nameplate, and if it is not shown there, contact the manufacturer to get that information. Then determine just how LOADED the motor is, because a motor's efficiency rating changes with load and the ratings that most mfrs provide are going to be based on full load, or wherever their best eff point is. You need to evaluate any potential change in motors against where you are going to be USING it. Use a WATT meter, not just an amp meter by the way.

When you know that, if your motor is less than 70% loaded, consider using a slightly smaller motor if possible. most AC induction motors will operate at their peak efficiency at between 75 and 100% loading. So for example;

Your 75HP motor is capable of providing approximately 56kW of MECHANICAL power. If the mfrs eff rating is 80%, then you can expect that the CONSUMED power will be about 70kW. if you observe that the motor is consuming only 50kW, then that means the motor is likely only required to be putting out 40kW of mechanical power and you are losing 10kW in the motor efficiency losses. You might consider changing to a 60HP high efficiency motor, with maybe 95% efficiency. That motor would be CAPABLE of 44kW of mechanical power, so more than enough to do the job, but at 95% efficiency (because the motor is more fully loaded), will only consume 42kW, you have saved 8kW.

It works the other way as well by the way, and this can happen quite a bit when OEMs select motors in North America (an assumption I'm making because you used HP). NEMA design motors can have what is called a "Service factor" which is an amount of overloading that the motor can withstand. So if, for example, your mixer needed 83HP at the shaft, the OEM can use a 100HP motor and be fine, or he can use a 75HP motor with a 1.15 Service Factor, which means it can tolerate 86.5HP of loading. But Service factor was originally intended to be for TEMPORARY overload conditions, not continuous. Under lobbying pressure years ago, the time frame references within the definition of Service factor were removed, but the fact remains, and is stated, that values for rated efficiency, temperature rise, power factor and torque are NOT expected to remain the same, which affects the life span of the motor. The OEM doesn't care however, as long as it out lasts the warranty on their machine. it is only the USER who suffers that consequence.

So why bring that up? Because in your quest for efficiency improvement, it may actually BENEFIT you to INCREASE the motor size! If for example your motor is rated for 80% eff. at full load, when operated at 115% load the eff. may have dropped to 70%. If you then measure something like 90kW being consumed by that motor, that means it is over loaded, operating at around 85HP for 64kW of mechanical load. Technically that is still within the Service Factor of the motor, but not the best way to use your energy. Getting a 100HP (75kW) 95% efficient motor will result in it being loaded at 85%, so likely still within it's peak efficiency range. That motor then will be consuming only 67kW for a 64kW mechanical instead of 90kW, and you saved 23kW by using a larger, but more efficient motor!

So again, it all starts with a thorough evaluation of what you HAVE NOW. Do not make assumptions, measure and investigate.

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#21
In reply to #2

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/08/2015 4:15 AM

I have got all the ratings of the entire load system. And currently the amperage ,power and PF are all noted every 15 mins automatically but not for the individual motors,But for the whole setup from Blower till the end noodler blower.So how will I find the loading and all? How can I improve the energy consumption? What savings can I make? How should I proceed? A proper guidance pls!! And the mixer can handle 1.2tonnes of load for 1 mixing and max capacity of mixer is 1.5tonnes.

Here are the ratings :

NameKW(Pm)HPEfficiencyIdeal Cons (Pe=Pm/Eff)speed(rpm)Rated CurrentpfVoltage
blower11158812.5145521415
main axis557593.558.82352941147596415
chopper (3)16.522.585.719.25320887905100.89415
MultiScrew111588.512.42937853144521415
Chill Drum11158812.595521415
Conveyor0.75170.11.06990014314251.960.76415
Noodler (Check)22308825415
N Blower1.52761.97368421114153.430.8415
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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/08/2015 12:42 PM

I don't think this information is very useful to you. It is plenty of numbers but not the ones you need.

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#3

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/04/2015 5:11 PM

As mentioned below you must first identify how much power your process requires.

As part of the power requirement determination I would determine if the speed of rotation matches the process application requirement.

If the mixer rotation can be slowed down without negatively affecting the process quality then adding a lower ratio gearbox between the motor and the mixer will allow a significantly smaller HP motor to be used or reduce the existing mechanical load.

Be cautious as some motor designs lose efficiency at lower loading.

It may be advantageous to be able to change the mixer speed at different time intervals during the batch process which would justify the installation of a VFD on the motor.

I suggest performing a power supply quality study to determine voltage stability and presence of noise such as power factor robbing harmonics that can be eliminated.

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#4

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/04/2015 11:45 PM

The mixer is used in soap manufacturing process.And it runs 24 hours a day! I am going to start this project from monday.Just want to no how to approach as I am doing my engineering.

Thank u all!!

And Pls guide me..I ll post my further qns here.. :)

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#5

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 12:00 AM

Answering your 2 separate questions:

  1. Load, blend and empty the mixer faster than you are doing now. Or add an extra shift. Also, ensure that the mix size is correct- too large a mix overloads the unit, increasing power requirements and reducing mixing action. It could possibly even reduce the overall daily output compared to properly sized batches.
  2. Post #2 is an excellent answer to your question technically; however, what you need to determine is what power input is required to process your particular formula(s) effectively. This needs to be done before considering any changes to the mixing design. PSM's are a high speed, high intensity mixing design, unlike paddle or ribbon blenders- they are normally designed to achieve high dispersion and minimal agglomeration, even using choppers to achieve size reduction. They require a much higher specific input than comparatively sized low intensity designs, and tend to increase the batch temperatures faster as well. Changing the input speed will affect the mixing action, even to the extent that you could wind up with what is effectively a paddle mixer with an absolutely lousy paddle design. Is the drive properly maintained? This can affect power requirements. Your post gives the impression that you don't know a lot about these mixers- have you looked to see if a paddle, ribbon or cone type blender would work instead?

I'm afraid you need to give a lot more specific detail to get any information that will be really useful to you.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 2:58 AM

Yes Sir!! Monday am going to start it..Just I wanted to gain a rough idea on how to approach.I will give exact details once I start and I dont have proper knowledge on it.And this is mind blowing to hear ur ideas !!Thank U :)

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 3:19 AM

The system is like , It has a PSM mixer with 3 choppers each of 7.5Hp/1800rpm motor driving it and the PSM has 4 ploughers with 75Hp motor driving it.The mixing takes place for 25 minutes and then it is checked if the mixture is proper.Then,a door is opened for 1minute whose screw is drove by a Hydro-motor and then it is dropped to a multiscrew and chilldrum.The flakes are then conveyed to a noodler,where noodles are formed in first floor.Then the noodles are conveyed to 5th floor for storage.

This is the overview. :)

Your suggestions pls :)

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 5:27 AM

Increasing the motor efficiency will improve the process economics but it will do little to add to the number of batches produced. You are making soap so you are adding both powders and liquids and blending to get a smooth consistency. Start by finding out from the works chemist what "ratio of variation " (ROV) is acceptable. This is a measure of how well dispersed the ingredients are within the finished mix. You stop the mixer to check this at the end of each batch, and while it is being checked the mixer is standing idle. If the current batch is out of tolerance it has to be mixed further and may be tested again before it can be discharged. Optimizing the mix time, and this may include increasing it, so that each batch will pass means that you can drop the batch immediately and start a new batch. The increased availability of the mixer is likely to more than compensate for the extra mixing time. You may be testing for something like ph. and that will only vary if the proportions or quality of the raw materials vary. Concentrate on making sure that the input is so consistent that there is no need to do more than quality test say one in every ten batches, in the lab, not the mixer. Are all the ingredients being loaded in the correct order? Adding a minimum quantity of liquid so that powders do not ball is common, but many companies add all the liquid and loose the opportunity to nest some of the liquid and powder addition times. If ingredients are added consecutively, check if they can be added concurrently, increasing the number of stabbings in the top of the mixer if required. Ingredients are likely to be weighed into the mixer. Can these be combined in a pre-hopper so that a batch can be assembled while the previous batch is still being mixed. This will also smooth out operator workload. Load cells under a static pre-hopper will be more accurate than under a running mixer. Now the motor. Does the viscosity of the mix change radically during the mix time. If it does, the motor is either geared to run correctly in worst case, or is running under speed at times. Both over and under speeds will add to the mixing time. A variable speed drive (VSD) using shaft speed for feedback will keep mixing time to a minimum. Don't overlook the possibility that running at different speeds during for certain parts of the mixing may also benefit both quality and mix time. A VSD will also improve the motor efficiency.

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#13
In reply to #7

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 9:55 AM

Couple of questions- this doesn't sound like a very large mixer, maybe a 2 cubic metre? If you are actually running 24 hours and this machine is already optimized but still bottlenecking the process you may need to upsize the unit (which will also require a larger motor...).

It also sounds like you are making a typical fatty acid soap formulation, if you are flaking and noodling. If so, you may find that time savings are to be found elsewhere e.g. prewarming the feed products to reduce reaction lead time may allow shorter mix times. Is the unit jacketed and heated, are you incorporating powders or is there any specific reason for using a PSM instead of a kneader or extruder type mixer? 25 minutes is quite a long mix time for this type and size of mixer unless you are using it as a reactor.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 12:06 PM

Ya..Its a process where DFA,Caustic and few other chemicals and water is added.No powder is added as such and yes reaction process thats why it takes 25 mins I guess..

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 12:49 PM

OK!

PSMs are essentially a fluidized bed mixer- great for solid/solid, solid/liquid mixing etc, also commonly used for crystallization (either heated or cooled) due to the mixing intensity and high turnover rates giving good wall contact for heat transfer and particle exposure to allow evaporation. I've never heard of one being used for straight liquid or paste type mixing, but you learn something new all the time!

If I were doing this exercise, I'd start by taking samples from the mixer at 5 minute intervals and running lab tests on them to see if it really needs 25 minutes. I assume you don't want to change to a different type of mixer??

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#9

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 7:04 AM

If the mixing can be performed to specifications with different speeds then looking into a variable speed magnetic drive may achieve the savings you are looking for. It also permits no load starting and motor can run at optimum speed without maximum current draw. You can also program the controller to vary speed and load as required over duration of the mixing.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 7:09 AM

No .. They maintain the constant speed of pSM mixer for all loads.. So VSD cant be used i guess

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 7:15 AM

I have no affiliation with this company Magna Drive but have installed them and seen the results, they do slow the rotation of the driven device if required.

Energy Savings

MagnaDrive's technology saves energy by reducing system inefficiencies. For instance, MagnaDrive Couplings have demonstrated vibration reductions in excess of 80%. This reduced vibration results in less "wasted" energy.

In centrifugal equipment such as pumps, fans and blowers, energy savings with the MagnaDrive Adjustable Speed Drive (ASD) result from slowing the rotational speed of the equipment rather than using flow restriction devices such as control valves, dampers or bypass systems.

An example of the inefficiency associated with flow restriction devices is the use of a car's brake to slow a vehicle down to 60 mph while the accelerator is pressed to 90 mph. Obviously, much more energy is used in this example than if you set the accelerator directly to 60 mph. In addition, the vibration from constantly applying the brake leads to significant wear and tear on the vehicle.

Research funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy demonstrated that MagnaDrive's products reduce energy usage by up to 70%. Following are examples of the energy savings achieved in various MagnaDrive ASD installations.

Nippon Paper

  • Pulp and paper industry application in Port Angeles, WA.
  • Two 100 HP, 1200 RPM motors and pumps.
  • MagnaDrive ASDs provide process control and estimated annual energy savings of 700,000 kWh/year.
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#14
In reply to #10

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 9:57 AM

Don't make the assumption that just because you run at a single speed you will not benefit from a VSD. I don't know your setup but lets assume that your 1500 rpm 75Hp motor is geared down to a 45rpm mixer shaft speed and you currently mix a batch in 25 minutes. Upping the motor frequency from 50Hz to 54Hz increases the shaft speed to nominally 48.5 rpm. This would allow you to put the same amount of revolutions/work into your mix in 23 minutes thus saving 2 minutes per mix. If there are fifteen 8 hour shifts/week that means you can produce 313 batches, an extra 25 batches per week, roughly an 8% increase in production. You are still running your motor at a fixed speed but you can tweak that speed precisely in a way that is not possible with a gearbox. It also gives you the option to experiment with different speeds to find the optimum for your process which is something you don't have at present.

The example above does not take into account mixer idle time for loading, unloading and testing (see #8).

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#12

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 9:05 AM

Are you attempting to increase the efficiency of just the mixer, or the efficiency of the mixing process? If you truly want to reduce power consumption and floor space consider converting your present batch process over to continuous where the line operates in a steady-state condition. No stopping for loading, checking or discharging.

The typical continuous mixer only has around 30-seconds of capacity, with a corresponding reduction in motor HP. There are multiple mixer manufactures with unique equipment designs depending on the moisture content of the detergent material.

Relevant article: Control: Batch to Continuous

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#16

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 12:23 PM

A lot of good ideas here. Making changes to the mixing operation or batch processing is a good way to increase the overall efficiency.

Ask whom ever asked you to work on this what the intended outcome of your effort is to be. In other words, are you supposed to reduce the operating cost by reducing power consumption or by achieving more product flow in a day? One choice imposes limits on the other one.

Getting the most product made with the same number of people is what most people try first. Sometimes this leads to bigger equipment. Sometimes it is just technique. You have seen ideas for both. The choice seems to be controlled mostly by the demand for your product. The largest component cost of most manufactured goods is labor, bar none.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 1:02 PM

Exactly my work is increase 16batches/shift since currently they produce 12batches/shift.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 1:20 PM

Ahh, so you want to improve the efficiency of the process! That is not the same as the efficiency of the motor. However, as many have suggested, it may be possible to mix faster thereby reducing your batch time. Now you start to get into fluid dynamics and chemistry. And, there are so many possibilities that it may seem to be a little bit intimidating at first. Many sciences are involved.

To make these improvements, you need to understand the capacities of what you have. The motor is a good start. You need to understand its rated efficiency and current loading profile. It may seem constant, but if chemical reactions are occurring as you suggested then the resistance to mixing will change. You need to know the profile for the 25 minutes it takes to make a batch. Then determine how close you come to the maximum load on the motor you are right now. To increase the productivity of the batch process, you need to know what options you have, if any, for changing the technique. The data will help you know if you have any unused capacity.

Then, you will be able to consider options. Every option will present new challenges. But capacity rules!

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/05/2015 3:35 PM

You should not see increasing productivity by 33.3% as a major problem. You should see it as 10 or 12 interrelated minor problems, most of which have well tried solutions. If you are mixing for 25 minutes and it takes on average 40 minutes/batch (12 batches in 8hrs), then it takes 15 minutes to do everything else, load, test, discharge, rework, product changes, clean down, Z. First you need to analyze what is already in place. How long to load, how long to mix, how long to test, how long to discharge, the Z factor. Then find out why batches fail tests. How often they fail, if there is more than one reason, how many batches fail for each reason. How long a failed batch takes to correct. If there is more than one product, how long it takes to change between products, how often are product changes made. Use the process operators, tell them that you are looking for ways to make their jobs easier, safer, more secure. They probably know more about which things work and ways of making savings than anybody else in the plant.

Some problems only need to be identified and the fix costs nothing. Take Z, or Zzzz..s. This is the lost waiting time between various parts of the process e.g. between when a batch finishes mixing and the operator getting round to testing it, or discharging it. Most processes drop 1-2 minutes on Z, that is 10-20% of your target. A bell that sounds 1 minute before the mix is due to finish allows the operators to be in place at the right time. If the bell can only be muted when the operator is in place it also alerts any supervisor of delays. Take control of the mixing time away from the operators and put it on a timer. Product often get over mixed with no benefit because the operator was "busy elsewhere"

Tackle loading as a typical independent problem. The fastest solution is to pre assemble in a separate hopper and load into the mixer as a single drop through a very large valve. Liquids measured on load cells can only be added one at a time. Liquids measured by flow meters can all be added together. An operator who has to cut off flow when the required quantity is reach will make errors. A valve that closes automatically when a trip point is reached will deliver precise quantities and can be set to account for in flight materials. Which component takes the longest to add. Will a larger diameter pipe or a pump reduce overall load time.

You should be able to eliminate completely any testing time in the vessel by making sure that all batches will pass the test. If there is any ingredient that has a variable that requires changes in the recipe to make a correction, that ingredient should be pre tested and come to the production area with a certificate from quality control stating what needs to be done. Eliminating in mixer tests and at the same time any rework is likely to offer the greatest time savings, possibly 40-50% of target.

Some other random thoughts. If this is a horizontal shaft mixer, emptying through bomb doors with the plough blades running slowly is usually three times faster than using gravity alone. Change products as infrequently as possible, this may mean reworking the production schedules. Not all productivity savings are made at the sharp end. Always go from the highest quality product to progressively lower quality products as the clean down between products may not need to be as meticulous. You may only need a deep clean once a week. If each batch was 8% bigger you would only need to find another 3 batches per shift.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/08/2015 11:48 AM

"Use the process operators, tell them that you are looking for ways to make their jobs easier, safer, more secure. They probably know more about which things work and ways of making savings than anybody else in the plant."

Good advice. Those people are thinking about this all the time. They've had more experience with that process than anybody. Use their knowledge. Sift through what they give you and you will often find nuggets of gold.

Another thing to do, which you should already have done, is develop a process flow showing all the inputs (chemicals, energy, etc) and all the outputs (product, waste, etc). This should show what the operators are doing when moving material to the work station, clearing away waste, replacing supplies, etc. Then, when you talk to the operators, have each one draw up a process flow. It doesn't have to be a perfect flow diagram, but it should give you an idea of what each one of them thinks is the proper way to move through the job. I have often had groups who insist that everyone does the job the same way, but when we compare process flows, find that this isn't so. Caution: Do not allow this exercise to turn into a blame game. You want to do this to educate, to find out what is the best way. You might find you can squeeze in an extra batch by cleaning up the peripheral activities of the operators.

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#24

Re: Increasing Productivity of a PSM Mixer

06/10/2015 2:23 PM

I was going to paste a photo of a kitchen aid mixer with a short-block Chevy engine coupled to it by drive shaft, but I think that might be a little bit ridiculous. It would be really inconvenient to put the engine/mixer up after mixing a batch of Margueritas.

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