Find the Right Powder Mixer for Your Business | Bid-On-Equipment

In order to create certain products, a combination of blending or mixing must be administered. Whether they’re dairy products, foods or chemicals, they all typically consist of a mixture of ingredients. However, as you likely know, the aforementioned don’t become end products just by manually mixing different dry and liquid ingredients. Not only would that be inefficient, but it would also be problematic. That's where mixing and blending equipment come into play, as these machines permit processors to create large quantities of product in an efficient and accurate manner.

Powder Mixing: The Basics

Think of your home countertop blender. While you use this to process liquids - and usually not dry powders - the process is similar. To make certain drinks in the blender for instance, you're likely adding milk, fruits and more to it, then punching the button to create a homogenous end product. Powder mixers work similarly to that of your home blender, just on a much larger and more advanced scale. Just as how the blade within the home blender works as the agitator to help create the final product, there are a number of different agitators that are typically used in powder mixing equipment that are designed to perform a similar role.

Mixing can be done with all solid materials, with both solids and liquids and with gas and liquids. Below are some examples of common mixing and blending applications, as the process is one of the most demanding in several industries:

  • Chemical processing: Whether it's fertilizers, specialty chemicals or both liquid and powder detergents, mixing may be the most important aspect of the chemical processing field.
  • Pharmaceutical: Combining various different products to create medicine and drugs is often performed by blending for pharmaceutical purposes.
  • Food: Cake mixes, rice, spices and flavoring are common examples of mixing and blending involved in food processing.

While there are many different types of mixers, there are a few broader styles that they are associated with. For instance, many mixers are classified as "continuous," as they are able to operate efficiently, and their final processed product is not limited to just batches of product. For processing plants that are aiming to improve their output or grow their operations, a continuous mixer is an absolute must have.

Shear blending and inline induction are other techniques and processes that can help with the blending of materials.

Common Powder Mixers (and Their Ideal Uses)

The end product is often only as good as the process, and it's important to note the differences in the various types of powder mixers and what applications and industries they are ideally used in. Here's a closer look at these different mixers and when they are ideally used in processing:

  • Ribbon blenders: Ribbon blenders are ideal when mixing powder and granular ingredients is necessary. For this reason, these types of machines are common in the food industry, especially when it comes to processing food in bulk quantities. Ribbon blenders get their names from the pattern that describes their blades, as they resemble that of a ribbon.
  • Paddle blenders: Just like ribbon blenders, paddle blenders are often characterized by the paddle-like blades that help process material. The paddles work by moving product from the bottom of the machine's trough and into the product stream. Because of the way that paddle blenders work, they're ideal for mixing product that is dissimilar in size and in shape. It's also worth noting that "hybrid" blenders exist that combine the paddle and ribbon blending styles.
  • Twin shell (V-Blenders): Twin shell blenders, also commonly referred to as "V-blenders" for their V-like shape, are used to mix solids with solids and solids with liquids. The machines consist of two blending shells (one on each side of the V) that are then connected and come together at the tip of the V. Because of the V shape, twin shell blenders are able to perform very efficient blending. This is especially true when you consider the fact that the V chamber rotates as it works, which makes blending all the more thorough.
  • Double cone: When it comes to blending flowing solids, double cone blenders are used almost exclusively for such purposes. Like the twin shell blender that we mentioned above, the solids that are being processed in the double cone blender are constantly mixed as the machine rotates for up to about 10 minutes a cycle. Double cone blenders are available in a variety of different sizes to allow processors to best select the unit for the application they are working to process.
  • Zig zag blenders: Zig zag blenders are a style of continuous blender that's able to process liquids, solids and slurries. Designed for high volume production, zig zag blenders are ideal for gentle and more intimate processing. Zig zag blenders get their name, as the machine takes on a winding pattern to process the product inside of it.
  • Nauta mixers: Nauta-style mixers are ideal for processing both solids and paste materials. These mixers are considered to be "connective" and work by gently mixing the material using only a small amount of heat. Because of the mixing style, there's little to no end product distortion. Another big advantage of the nauta mixer is that it is very economical. It uses very little power compared to the vast amount of material it is able to process at a time.

Other Blending Styles

There are a few other broad blending styles to make mention of, such as horizontal shaft mixers, tumble blenders and vertical screw mixers. Here's a brief overview of each:

  • Horizontal shaft mixers: These mixing systems typically operate with either paddles or ribbons. They work, as the name implies, in a horizontal manner and are typically deployed for heavy-duty blending, such as spices, concrete and other wet and dry materials.
  • Tumble blenders: Twin shell blenders are an example of a tumble blender, in that these types of mixers operate at fairly slow speeds and use diffusion for mixing solids.
  • Vertical screw mixers: These types of mixers use heat and friction to help achieve the end result. Unlike horizontal mixers, these machines work vertically and these are also typically very large pieces of machinery.

 

What type of mixer is right for your processing facility? For more information on the various different types of powder blending equipment and accessories, and to enter your bid for a piece of quality used equipment, contact Bid on Equipment today.

How to Sterilize Equipment Used in Food/Drink Production

When it comes to food and drink production, it's essential that processing and packaging lines are completing runs that deliver a quality, safe end product. After all, products that are contaminated and unsafe to consume or drink could hurt a brand's reputation, not to mention open a particular brand or company to legal issues.
But one common misconception when it comes to food and drink production is that it's only the end product that needs to be inspected and checked for quality control. Arguably just as important to keeping the end product contaminant free is keeping the equipment that processes the product contaminant free. Yes, the conveyor lines, packaging lines, metal detectors and more aren't immune from accruing contaminants such as harmful bacteria and more that could find their way into the end product, thereby compromising it.

So just what's the best way to keep this processing equipment clean (and safe)? While we'll get into the various ways to accomplish this later on in this post, it's first important to point out that any good cleaning, sterilization and sanitation plan in a food or beverage processing facility should include some common characteristics. These include:

  • Both daily and routine cleaning, sterilization and sanitation should be practiced.
  • The aforementioned practices should be monitored or supervised to ensure that it is done correctly and adequately. Additionally, the importance of these procedures should be stressed by management. In other words, this shouldn't be an afterthought; it should be a priority in any facility.
  • Staff safety should also be considered when any cleaning, sterilization and sanitation plan is implemented. For instance, it's important for staff members to be properly trained and educated on whatever cleaning procedures they are carrying out in a facility.
  • Failure to implement such a procedure could lead to severe ramifications.


How to Sterilize Equipment Used in Food/Drink Production
There are many different equipment components in the food and drink production line. There are conveyors, which move packaging to various filling or distribution stations. In some cases, there are even form-fill-seal machines, which essentially finalize the production and packaging process so that products can move on to shipment. Many processing lines also include the use of metal detectors, so that food and beverages can be checked to ensure they aren't carrying any harmful metal in them.
Sanitation is defined as “the process of reducing the microorganisms on a clean surface to a safe level.” This so-called “safe level” is generally thought to be a near 100 percent reduction in contaminants. With this all being said, just how is this processing equipment sterilized so that it's not potentially contributing to any likelihood of contaminated food or beverages? Here's a look at some of the most popular techniques for the cleaning and sanitization used in food and drink processing:


Radiation: This tactic involves the use of ultraviolet radiation to get rid of microorganisms, and is becoming a more and more common sterilization method used in food processing facilities. Generally, by just administering the UV light to processing equipment for 2 minutes is enough to kill all microorganisms that come into contact with them. While fast working, there are a few notable disadvantages to going the UV radiation route. One, such equipment is usually pretty expensive. And two, the UV light is usually only able to treat a small area of the processing equipment at a time.


Thermal Sanitization: As you can likely tell from the title of particular tactic, this sterilization method uses heat. That’s because under the right circumstances, heat is arguably the best way to destroy microorganisms on surfaces. However, when it comes to heat, there are three main methods of using it to sanitize food and beverage processing equipment:

  1. Steam: This method uses heat in a gaseous state, as when it is applied to the surface of the processing equipment – and under the right time circumstances – steam can be a critical ally. Generally, steam needs to be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit and be exposed to processing equipment for a minimum of 15 minutes to properly sterilize and sanitize it. At about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, steam needs to be exposed to the equipment for only about 5 minutes. One downside to using steam, however, is that steam’s condensation byproduct has been known to add complications to the cleaning.
  2. Hot Water: Heat in a liquid state, as in hot water, is also a viable sanitization and sterilization method when it comes to processing equipment. Generally speaking, however, hot water must be heated to at least 171 degrees Fahrenheit to be effective in eliminating microorganisms, though higher temperatures will enable sterilization in a lesser amount of time. Depending on the process, temperatures that must be reached and times that hot water must be applied vary. The likes of circulating systems and dishwashers are commonly used for sanitizing and sterilizing equipment using hot water. Compared to the other means of thermal sanitization, using hot water is relatively inexpensive, easy and highly effective. However, being a slower process that needs a warm-up and cool-down period, it can be a bit more time consuming.
  3. Hot Air: The third and final way to apply thermal sanitization is to apply hot air to the packaging equipment. The experts agree that hot air must be applied for about 20 minutes and at a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.


Chemical Sanitization: Last but not least, the other of the “big 3” sterilization and sanitization processes is the use of chemicals. Chemicals are a highly effective means of eliminating microorganisms from processing equipment – but only under the right conditions. For instance, in order for chemicals to work properly, the balance of chlorine, iodine and ammonium must be correct. What’s more is that there needs to also be the right concentration, temperature and contact time. As an example, when using a chemical to sanitize and sterilize, the right amount of the particular cleaning agent must be used, it needs to be used in the right temperature conditions and it needs to be applied for the appropriate amount of time to adequately work. If these standards are not met, efforts are likely to fail, thereby compromising the end food or beverage product through possible contamination.


Cleaning, sanitization and sterilization of food and beverage processing equipment isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It’s an important job that requires dedication and a high level of attention.


For more information on how to clean, sanitize and sterilize processing equipment used in food and beverage production, and for a look at said equipment that we have in stock, contact Bid on Equipment today.

The Many Different Types of Labels (and Why They're Used)

Labels, which are pieces of paper or film attached to a product's packaging, are meant to serve five essential functions:
1. Product description: Yes, first and foremost, labels are designed to share information about a particular product. If it's a label on a food item, it might share ingredients, calories and other nutritional information. Labels on medical products might share directions and information on how to use it. Other labels may provide cautionary information.
2. Product ID: Have a particular product or product variety you're looking for? That's another important component of labels they help consumers more easily find the brand and type of product that they're seeking.
3. Grading: Grading refers to the quality of a particular product. Labels can help identify products of various grading by outfitting products with different colored labels pertaining to the different levels of quality, for instance.
4. Promotional tool: Yes, labels aren't just for sharing information - they can also help a brand market itself and help it to better stand out on the store shelf, thereby making it more attractive to consumers. The right type of label can be an important sales tool.
5. Legal information: Last but not least, labels are also often used as places where products must share any legal information with consumers.
Now that we a little about the purpose of labels, it's time to get into more of the specific types of labels that are used on product packaging. It shouldn't surprise you that there are a variety of different labels that consumer package groups, or CPGs, can use to better help their products shine on the store shelf as well as contain any necessary product information.


The Many Different Types of Labels
All labels must be processed by a printer. And being that labels are small, this type of package printing is known as "narrow web" printing, as the paper or film that the labels are printed on is usually small in nature. There are many different printing technologies that are used to print labels. Flexographic and gravure printing are ideal for long label runs where high-quality imaging is desired. Another popular label printing technology is offset. Additionally, for short-run label processing or custom labels, digital printing may be deployed as it doesn't require the infrastructure that the more conventional printing technologies need and is more apt for changes.


Labels come in a variety of different face stocks and usually include some sort of adhesive backing so that they can adequately adhere to the specific package that they're being placed on. Here's a closer look at some of the most common types of labels and why they're used:


Film stock labels: Labels derived from film - such as PE, PP, BOPP and more - are emerging as a popular type of label due to the many benefits that they offer over their paper counterparts. For instance, many packaging professionals state that film gives way to brighter, better overall graphics, which obviously help products to better stand out on the store shelf. And then there are other notable features of labels derived from film stock, such as better durability, thermal stability, chemical resistance and enhanced tear resistance, among others. Another big factor regarding film labeling is that such labels can be outfitted with specialty coatings and plastic film can be created in special and custom varieties. Plus, film stock is generally cheaper than paper stock, which has led CPGs to increasingly choose film over paper as a means to cut costs or pass any cost savings on to their customers.


Paper stock labels: Though film stock is growing at an impressive rate these days, paper certainly still has its place in the label market. What's more is that the differences between film and paper are significant. Perhaps the biggest difference is that paper is much more easily recycled when compared with plastic film, of which there's presently really no good solution for removing plastic labels from the waste stream. Additionally, printing on paper still looks great and also offers traits such as low heat sensitivity, better die cutting ability and good strength. In fact, while many people think that films are all that can be used on food packaging like wet drinks and other products that may become wet, wet paper has been developed so it too can stand up to damp environments.


Shrink sleeves: Shrink sleeves are best associated with labeling the likes of bottles and cans. In fact, research from Smithers Pira states that the shrink sleeve market has evolved over the years to capture about 12.5 percent of the current label market today, which is significant. Brands like shrink sleeves because they look stunning visually, can hold a good deal of information and are extremely versatile. Because shrink sleeves generally encompass if not all of, but most of, the product that they are labeling, brands have a large space to work with and can put everything from specialty graphics to product information on them. Shrink sleeve labels have become particularly big for craft beer companies and high-end drink makers. Another notable feature about shrink sleeves is that they are an ideal label solution for unusually shaped products.


Printed electronics: It's an industry-wide consensus that "smart packaging" is the future of labeling. And smart packaging is best done using printed electronics, which can be things like QR codes or technologies such as near-field communication (NFC), which is essentially a microchip in the label. Smart packaging enables consumers to scan the label with their smartphones and then have access to a variety of other features about a particular product, such as directions, brand messaging or some sort of value-added feature. While the consensus is that printed electronics are still in the "elementary" phase - today, they're most often associated with anti-counterfeiting and are normally incorporated in the labels of luxury brands - packaging professionals say that there's really unlimited potential for this technology. Look for it to become more and more prominent as costs come down and processes become more advanced.


While there are many types of labels that are currently in use when it comes to packaging, it's worth noting that the equipment and supplies to fabricate them can be costly. That's why it can make sense for a company to acquire used products that work like new, rather than invest in a brand new product. That's where Bid on Equipment comes to play, as we acquire used products and sell them for discounted prices. For more information on labels and labeling, and to browse Bid on Equipment's inventory of equipment and supplies, contact us today.

July 2016 Trends Report

What has been bringing buyers to Bid on Equipment through the month of July and what are they looking for when they are here?
 
Below are the top ten search terms that have shown the largest increases from Internet search traffic this month.

 

Interest in each of these terms has grown 100% – 1500%!

Salt Water Taffy Machine For Sale Used Water Tanks
Used Shop Equipment Used HVAC Equipment
Tortilla Machine For Sale Used Meat Processing Equipment For Sale
Fried Chicken Equipment For Sale Milling Machine For Sale
Used Air Compressors For Sale Used Bagging Equipment
 
The top ten overall categories for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Woodworking Equipment HVAC
Bakery Equipment Conveyors
Machine Shop and Tools Lathes
Dairy Equipment Tanks
Restaurant Equipment Welding and Soldering
 
The top ten overall Manufacturer Pages for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Bridgeport Combi
Trane Vemag
Bakers Pride Hayssen
Multivac Alto Shaam
Waukesha Bosch

The Value of Case Erectors and How They Improve Efficiency

Packaging is a complicated business, with many moving parts along the way needed to get the product out of the factory and into the store. At the very beginning of the process, there’s the actual creation of the product, a process known as “converting.” During this step, raw materials are converted into the actual package, whether that package is a bag, pouch, bottle, jar or some other sort of corrugated container. After the converting step, the package goes through numerous other stages. It may be printed and laminated. It will likely be formed, filled with product and then sealed. And then after this, the packaging company will send the product either to its customer or to the store.

Yes, there are a lot of steps in the packaging process. And each and every step must be running to its full potential in order to keep operations on track and ensure on-time delivery. With that being said, anywhere that a packaging company can reduce lead time and improve efficiency must be considered. And while many packaging companies focus on improving operating efficiency and reducing downtime early on in the packaging process, certainly the very end of the line can’t be ignored. And that’s what brings us to case erectors, which help packaging companies quickly create shipping containers to send their products in. This post will take a closer look at the important – and arguably under appreciated role – that case erectors play and how they can improve efficiency within a packaging company.

Case Erectors: The Basics

Just as their name implies, case erectors are machines that stand-up corrugated boxes, or cartons. Most case erectors also seal the bottom of the carton after it is created as well, making it easier for employees to load product through the top, which remains unsealed until product is loaded.

Case erectors, which sound seemingly simple, are actually rather advanced pieces of equipment. For instance, they are able to accommodate different sized and different shaped boxes, allowing packaging companies to essentially create any type of shipping container that’s necessary for their product. Most case erectors can create up to 15-20 bottom-sealed boxes per minute.

How Case Erectors Improve Efficiency

Let’s say, for instance, that you don’t have a case erector. If that’s the case, then you’re likely still making boxes by hand. However, you really don’t know how tedious of a process this is until you adopt the equipment that can do it for you. Assembling boxes takes time, as they need to be formed correctly. And after that, arguably the most tedious part of the box making process is still required – taping up the bottom. Not to be forgotten as well is the fact that when you’re making boxes by hand, the size and shape of the box is limited to the inventory you – or your supplier – has in stock.

That’s the big value of a case erector – increasing efficiency. Being that many case erectors can erect and seal anywhere from 15-20 cartons per minute, this piece of equipment can be a huge asset in large and in growing packaging companies that are looking to reduce downtime and streamline efficiency near the end of the packaging line. Most packaging experts agree that if your company requires more than 300 boxes per day, then a case erector should surely be a part of your growth strategy.

Aside from reducing downtime and speeding the creation of cartons, some other key and notable benefits of case erectors include:

  • Quick setup: While some may be intimidated by introducing another piece of heavy equipment to the packaging facility, case erectors are nothing to fret about. They’re typically far less complicated to operate and setup than many other types of packaging equipment like form-fill-seal machines, pouch lines and others.
  • Fast changeovers: Along the packaging process, lulls in efficiency are usually the result of changeovers. Specifically, long changeover times. That said, many packaging equipment manufacturers have worked hard to reduce changeover time in their machinery, so that there’s less downtime and more efficiency in a facility’s operations. Case erectors are just one example of equipment with fast changeovers, which further helps improve efficiency.
  • Reliability: Not all equipment is reliable, but good case erectors have a reputation of being not just reliable, but long-lasting. Common troubleshooting with case erectors – and many other types of packaging equipment – have to do with machine jamming. But, as we said, a quality case erector will work reliably and efficiently. After all, if you purchase a piece of equipment that is supposed to further streamline operations and it winds up jamming excessively, you’re negating any efficiency benefits that you were getting in the first place.
  • Better carton assembly: Most case erectors work with specialty tapes and other quality reinforcement materials that actually contribute to the making of a better overall carton compared to if you were to assemble the carton by hand. This makes case erector-made cartons an ideal piece of equipment for creating boxes for just about any type of product.
  • Product protection: To piggyback off of the above point, a better overall constructed carton will also ensure that the product that goes inside of it is also better protected. This is a big plus, as when it comes to your end product, as it’s really only as good as it is when it arrives at its destination. So, for instance, if you’re creating a good product, but it becomes damaged during the shipping phase, you’re going to have an unsatisfied end user, which can greatly harm your overall reputation. Bottom line – a better overall carton means a better overall product when it arrives on the truck.
  • Small footprint: Plant managers won’t have to worry about case erectors taking up a ton of space in their facilities. That’s because most of today’s case erectors have a small footprint, meaning they can be tucked into confined spaces or integrated more seamlessly into a particular area.
  • Low-cost investment: Compared to other types of necessary packaging equipment, case erectors are fairly low cost – a fact that makes their return on investment even more notable. However, being that this is a piece of heavy machinery, there’s still an expense associated with it – an expense that many companies may not have in the budget. That’s where purchasing a case erector previously owned, from a site like Bid on Equipment, comes in handy. This way, you can get a like-new machine at a used price.

For more information on case erectors, and to browse Bid on Equipment’s selection of case erectors and other packaging equipment, contact it today or visit www.Bid-on-Equipment.com

Liquid Bottle Fillers: Gravity Pressure vs. Positive Displacement

It’s hard to properly gauge the true value of a liquid bottle filler, or liquid filling machine, until something happens to it and you’re without one. If that’s the case in your packaging operations, you really have two choices – halt operations until a replacement is acquired or until repairs are made and it is back up and running or go about filling the bottles by hand. And if you were to choose the latter option – filling the containers by hand – then we’re betting you’ll really come to appreciate the role your filling machine plays within the facility.

Yes, filling machines are a critical component in the packaging process. They help pack a lot of different products, from milks and juices to oils and lotions. And they operate quickly and effectively, keeping business on track so that the end product gets to where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Oh, and liquid fillers are also able to accomplish this filling without spilling the product everywhere.

Now, just for a moment, picture life without a filling machine. It’s a life where you need to manually fill the bottles or containers along a conveyor line. Not only are you likely to spill product all over the place (no matter how careful you try to be) but you’re also likely to have bottles and containers with different levels of product. Perhaps you can live with the spillage and tolerate some minor differences in product levels – the biggest area where liquid bottle fillers shine has to do with efficiency. Liquid fillers work automatically and quickly, much more quickly than it would be if an individual took matters into their own hands.

While the benefits of liquid fillers are well documented, it’s worth noting that there are several different types of filling machines. Two of the most popular are those that work via gravity pressure or positive displacement. This post will take a look at each of these filling technologies.

Gravity Liquid Bottle Fillers

Gravity fillers are generally a low-cost filling option. However, they best work with thin liquids that don’t change in viscosity when subjected to different temperatures. As the name implies, gravity fillers work by distributing product from above the container. One benefit of gravity fillers, when compared with other types of filling technology, is that they can operate without the use of any specialized nozzles. In fact, most gravity fillers can be outfitted with a variety of filling nozzles pertaining to either the package that needs to be filled or the product that it needs to fill with. Some gravity fillers are also able to accommodate multiple heads to maximize filling of multiple containers at once.

Gravity fillers are applicable to many different types of liquid products, ranging from the food and beverage markets to cosmetic, pharmaceutical and specialty chemical. Gravity fillers are also able to effectively work with hazardous liquids, such as those that are flammable and corrosive.

Positive Displacement Liquid Bottle Fillers

Positive displacement fillers, which may also be known as “servo pump fillers” or “pump filling machines,” operate using a pump to distribute product to the container. Unlike the gravity filler, positive displacement fillers are better suited to work with more types of liquids, which make them an ideal choice for filling containers with the likes of pastes, creams, gels and more. Although positive displacement fillers are more expensive than many other types of filling equipment, they’re an ideal purchase for the contract packaging company who works with a bevy of different customers in various different markets. That’s because the versatility of the machine makes it applicable for just about any liquid with the ability to fill any product.

There are, however, some key disadvantages to the positive displacement filling machine, one of which we already mentioned here – its higher price point. Yes, these types of fillers aren’t cheap, and neither are the drive systems that help the pumps work. What’s more is that it takes quite a bit of technical know-how to properly maintain these types of fillers. So unless you or someone on staff is cut out for properly caring for and maintaining this type of filler, you’ll need to set aside some funds for a professional to come in and service it from time to time.

Other Fillers      

It’s also worth mentioning that there are a few other types of fillers. For instance, overflowing filling machines are ideal for products that produce foam and for products that are thin to medium in viscosity. Applicable liquids that are packaged in clear containers are almost always filled on overflow machines, as such machines excel at filling to exact level, which is crucial when you’re dealing with transparent packaging and the customer can tell the difference.

Another type of filler is a piston filling machine. Specifically, these machines work with high viscosity liquids and are able to process said products in higher volumes than other types of filling technology, which can be advantageous with the likes to tomato sauce and jelly.

Which Filler is Right for You?

So which filler is right for you? Certainly it depends on what types of containers you’re working with and what types of products you need to fill them with. For packages like water bottles, for instance, a gravity filler may work out just fine. But if you’re filling containers with soaps and pastes, a positive displacement filler may be necessary. For other, more high viscosity products, a piston filling machine may need to be a part of your facility’s purchasing plans. In some cases, just one type of liquid filling machine may not cut it and you may need to acquire multiple types in order to support your client base.

Whatever type of filling machine you decide on, one thing is for sure – this equipment can be expensive to acquire. And this can be problematic, especially if you’re dealing with a positive displacement filler that may require a bit more maintenance or may fail prematurely if proper care isn’t taken of it. When it comes time to acquire a new filling machine or add another one to your operations, you can elect to go the brand new route or you can purchase a used machine. Outlets like Bid on Equipment specialize in acquiring used machinery and selling them so that its customers can get like-new equipment at a used price. Often times, this can be the financial relief that companies need to continue their business without interruption.

For more information on liquid filling equipment, and to browse Bid on Equipment’s filling equipment inventory, contact Bid on Equipment today.

June 2016 Trends Report

What has been bringing buyers to Bid on Equipment through the month of June and what are they looking for when they are here?
 
Below are the top ten search terms that have shown the largest increases from Internet search traffic this month.

 

Interest in each of these terms has grown 100% – 1500%!

Used Woodworking Tools Used AC Units For Sale
Used Restaurant Equipment For Sale Boilers For Sale
Used Dairy Equipment Used Printing Equipment
Used Water Heaters Parrot Ice Machine
Used Bakery Equipment Used Refrigeration Equipment
 
The top ten overall categories for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Woodworking Equipment HVAC
Bakery Equipment Conveyors
Machine Shop and Tools Lathes
Dairy Equipment Tanks
Restaurant Equipment Welding and Soldering
 
The top ten overall Manufacturer Pages for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Sweco Combi
Trane Cherry Burrell
Bakers Pride Flexicon
Multivac Alto Shaam
Waukesha Bosch

What happened to those Supplies?

Several weeks ago, we launched a pilot project to start offering Packaging Supplies via Bid on Equipment, but we ran into a few unexpected issues and decided it was best to take a step back and reevaluate. After ensuring that all existing orders were completed, we took down those pages to give us a chance to work through the issues we identified and ultimately provide you the best service that we can. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Powder Blending (and the Difference Between Tumble Blending and Ribbon Blending)

Powder blending is crucial for many reasons. In the food industry, powders need to be blended to form the right ingredients or to provide the correct flavor. In the agriculture field, blending is required to mix the appropriate nutrients for fertilizers. Blending is also extremely important in the pharmaceutical industry, as it helps to create medications to treat various conditions. Additionally, powders are blended for the purpose of coating certain products or materials, for the purpose of improving product quality or to alter current properties of materials, among others.

Powder blending is nothing new or revolutionary. In fact, it’s among the oldest unit operations in solids handling. What is new, however, is the technology and equipment that continues to evolve for powder blending purposes as designers and engineers better understand what types of powders need to be blended and address challenges or equipment shortcomings accordingly.

The Various Types of Blending

As you may imagine, there are several different types of blending, which all boils down to what types of powders need blending and what the end application is. There are three basic types of blenders. These are classified as small-scale random motion (also commonly referred to as “diffusion”), large-scale random motion (also commonly referred to as “convection”) and shear.

As the name implies, diffusion blending works with smaller particles and occurs when said powders are distributed over a fresh interface. Diffusion blending is important when high homogeneity is desired. It’s also a rather slow blending style. Conversely, convection blending works with large particles and uses an impeller or similar instrument to move particles from one point to another. Convection blending is ideal for cohesive materials, and this type of blending also enables liquids to be added during the process. Finally, there’s the shear style of blending, which incorporates additional materials, such as granules, to help the blended mix reach a certain level of consistency.

Now that we’ve briefly gone over the different types of blending, it’s worth pointing out some of the more popular solid-solid blending equipment. The three most popular are ribbon blenders, tumble blenders and vertical blenders. In this piece, however, we’ll focus more on what is involved in tumble blending and ribbon blending.

Tumble vs. Ribbon Blending

Tumble blending and ribbon blending are two of the most popular types of blending for solid-solid mixing purposes. Ribbon blenders, specifically, are a good example of high-speed convective blending in that they’re able to move large particles from one point to the other and in a very fast manner. Ribbon blenders typically consist of a U-shaped trough and an agitating device that consists of several ribbons, which thereby work to move material in various directions. These ribbons are fast operating, with the potential of reaching 300 feet per minute, or fpm. These ribbons move powder in both radial and lateral directions. Ribbon blenders are available in both vertical and horizontal configurations.

Tumble blending, on the other hand, is best for materials that require low impact. Specifically, tumble blenders are rotating mixers that are often available in several configurations, two of the most notable being double cone and V-shaped. Often times, these configurations are also interchangeable.

Tumble blenders operate somewhat slowly, usually at speeds of anywhere from 5 to 25 rpm, or revolutions per minute. They work via the diffusion style, which, as we covered earlier in this piece, blends smaller particles.

But how do you know which one is right for you if speed of powder blending isn’t a huge issue and the blend you’re dealing with would suffice in either application? Here’s a look at some further considerations to help you make the choice between tumble blending and ribbon blending.

  • Tumble blenders are generally larger than ribbon blenders, especially vertical ribbon blenders, which take up the least amount of room on a plant floor. So if space is at a premium in your shop, know that a vertical ribbon blender will likely be the best option. Generally speaking, tumble blenders are the types of mixers that take up the greatest amount of space.
  • Do you need the blender to discharge completely? If that’s the case, then the tumble blender is your best bet, as such mixers discharge near 100 percent.
  • When it comes to producing the highest-quality, lump-free blend, ribbon blenders are the ideal mixer. That’s because the high speeds at which the ribbon blender works at ensures that the product it is processing mixes efficiently. While you can purchase and install lump breakers or the likes of choppers on any type of blender, ribbon blenders are still a cut above the rest when it comes to producing lump-free.
  • Heat or no heat? Ribbon blenders generate more heat than other types of blenders, so this should be a consideration when selecting a blender. However, it’s really only a problem for heat-sensitive applications, as the increase in heat is not significant.
  • Capacity: Ribbon blenders usually only work effectively with powder batches that take up at least half of its capacity, which can be an issue if smaller quantities of product need to be processed. Tumble blenders, on the other hand, usually work just as well when they’re at 10 percent capacity as they do when they’re at 100 percent capacity.
  • Cost: Cost is always a big consideration behind the purchase of new equipment. When it comes to the cost of blenders, they can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, certainly no small drop in the bucket for companies. Ribbon blenders, however, are considered the most affordable blender compared to other mixing equipment. Now’s also a good time to mention that if you need a blender, you don’t necessarily have to buy brand new. You can buy a previously owned blender, which you can find on a site such as Bid on Equipment and receive a like-new piece of equipment at a used price – no matter whether it’s a ribbon blender or tumble blender.

Though we’ve mentioned many differences between tumble blenders and ribbon blenders, it’s worth mentioning one significant commonality – and that’s blending accuracy. Specifically, both are very good at doing their jobs and creating a well-blended end product when they’re used under the appropriate circumstances. So while it’s important to note the differences between tumble and ribbon blenders, rest assured that each do their job very well when used with the right powders.

For more information on tumble blenders, ribbon blenders and all other types of blending systems – and to browse available equipment currently in stock – visit Bid on Equipment today.

How to Choose a Pump

Pumps are somewhat of an unsung hero in many industrial applications. Their purpose is to move fluids to and fro via mechanical action. These fluids may be liquids, gasses or even slurries, which are considered combinations between the two. This piece will briefly review the functions of pumps, the general classes of pumps and also provide input on how to select the right pump for your application, whatever it is that it may be.

Pumps 101

We already told you how important pumps are in any industrial application, even though it may be a part that you totally take for granted. And industrial pumps are actually usually divvied up into three main categories – direct lift, displacement and gravity. Pumps may be further classified based on their methods of placement. For instance, some popular types of pump types are positive displacement, or PD, impulse, velocity, steam and valve.

Pumps work thanks to some type of mechanism, whether that mechanism is reciprocating or rotary. Some pumps run on electricity, while others may be powered by engines or by the wind. Some pumps are even operated manually. Depending on your application, you may require either a large pump or a small pump. Some pumps are huge, perhaps the size of a room, while others – mainly those used in the medical field – may be microscopic.

Needless to say, but there are lots of different types of pumps available, but knowing which one is the right fit for your application could be the difference between success or failure. So just how do you know what’s the right pump for your application? It starts with knowing a bit about the pumps you’re considering so that you can make the best choice.

What Pump is Right for Me?

So which pump is right for you? The answer may be a bit more complicated than you think. That’s because there are bevy of factors to consider, such as best efficiency point, or BEP. There are also application details and the operational experience of a pump. And then, there’s also the manufacturer to consider, as a high-quality pump will obviously go further than one that is poorly made and fails prematurely. Beyond all this, however, there’s also the all-important aspect of just knowing what pump will serve your application the most appropriately. Here’s a look at some of the most popular types of pumps and why (or why not) they may be a good fit for your application:

  • Centrifugal pumps: This is a popular type of pump that is often administered when dealing with low viscosity liquids and high flow rates. A centrifugal pump is characterized by impellers that rotate with the shaft, creating energy to move – and pressurize – the thin liquids as it moves along. Centrifugal pumps are commonly used in water, sewage and oil applications.
  • Gear pumps: This is another very popular style of pump, characterized by liquid being pumped as it’s passed between two gears. Gear pumps are available in either internal or external varieties. They’re very strong and can be built to fit within tight tolerances. They’re often utilized in the likes of hydraulic equipment, in automotive applications, machine tools and in semi-trucks.
  • Hydraulic pumps: There are a variety of hydraulic pumps, such as hydraulic piston pumps, hydraulic gear pumps, hydraulic screw pumps and hydraulic vane pumps. These pumps work, simply put, by pressurizing hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic pumps are mostly outfitted on hydraulic machines and other applications. These pumps are designed to be tough and long-lasting, so they perform well in demanding environments.
  • Screw pumps: Screw pumps work similar to gear pumps in that they rely on the use of two or more screws to move fluid through a system. Screw pumps are commonly utilized in oil and gas applications.
  • Submersible pumps: Many pumps are actually designed to work under water. These pumps are known as “submersible pumps,” and they work primarily in water applications, installed beneath the surface of the water. Sump pumps are a common example of submersible pumps, though sump pumps may also be pedestal pumps.
  • Vacuum pumps: These pumps are designed to pull a medium out of an area for the purpose of creating a partial vacuum. The mediums that vacuum pumps work with may be either liquid, gas or air.
  • Plastic pumps: While many of the pumps that we’ve listed here are designed for removing basic liquids and gasses, plastic pumps are specifically designed to transport much more hazardous liquids. Because plastic stands up better when exposed to volatile liquids in many cases, the material is especially useful when dealing with these hazardous mediums.

We’ve listed 7 common pumps here, but that’s only a drop in the bucket when it comes to the total number of pumps that there are available. And while the aforementioned are some of the most common types used in industrial applications, there are a bevy of factors that you need to be considering before deciding whether or not a pump is right for your application. Factors such as the type of liquid or gas that is being dealt with, whether the pump will need to be submersed, what the viscosity of the liquid is, how difficult the pump is to reach on a particular application and what type of an environment the pump will be working in.

The Cost of Pumps

As we mentioned earlier in this piece, pumps vary in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some are large enough to take up an entire room, while others are small enough where they cannot be observed by the naked eye. Based on this, it likely doesn’t surprise you to learn that the prices of these pumps also greatly vary. While some might only cost a few hundred dollars, others may cost several thousand dollars. But being that pumps are critical components to industrial equipment, the lack of an efficiently operating pump can cause downtime and lost profits. So, simply put, a pump is a component that a successful business cannot do without.

But what happens if a pump failed prematurely and you don’t have the money budgeted to acquire a replacement just yet? After all, a pump is something you need – it’s a necessity, not a luxury. If that’s the case, one option is to purchase a previously used pump from a credible source such as Bid on Equipment. By purchasing a used pump from Bid on Equipment, it’s like getting a new pump at a used price.

For more information on pumps, and to browse the selection available at Bid on Equipment, contact the company today.

How to Choose a Heat Exchanger

Just as the name implies, a heat exchanger is a piece of equipment that transfers heat, usually between one or more fluids. Heat exchangers are ideal devices that are commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning units, power stations, sewage treatment, gas processing and even when it comes to regulating engine cooling in internal combustion engines.

Heat exchangers are classified by how they operate, however they’re typically categorized into three main types – shell and tube heat exchangers, compact heat exchangers and air cooled heat exchangers. The shell and tube heat exchanger type is the most popular, as it’s estimated that over 50 percent of all heat exchangers currently in operation today are of this variety. However, in some applications, it makes more sense to go with one of the other types. Before we get into more concrete advice on how to choose a heat exchanger, it’s first important to note the major differences between the three main types.

Main Types of Heat Exchangers

  • Shell and tube: As we noted, these are the most popular type installed – and they’re also the best understood. They’re versatile in the service that they can provide across a span of applications and work at a wide range of pressures and temperatures. Shell and tube exchangers are also made to last, and are normally able to withstand rugged environments.
  • Compact: Compact heat exchangers are a more affordable option, available in a wide variety of configurations. They enable high heat transfer coefficients (up to 3 times greater than what is permitted by a shell and tube exchanger) and also permit high temperature crosses to be achieved. What’s more is that, fitting to the name, these heat exchangers have a small footprint and are easier to be installed in confined spaces.
  • Air cooled: Air cooled heat exchangers are ideal options for applications that involve cooling water or applications where cooling water is expensive. A big benefit of these types of heat exchangers is that they have low operating costs and normally require less maintenance compared to other models. However, they’re considered the most expensive of all heat exchangers.

Choosing a Heat Exchanger

Now that we’ve covered the main types of heat exchangers, you can probably already get an idea of which one is correct for your application. But it’s also worth noting that just because the shell and tube exchanger is the most popular doesn’t mean that it’s a sure-fire fit for your application. That’s right, the heat exchanger that you choose should largely be dictated by the application. Failure to choose it in this manner can lead to poor plant performance, operation issues and even full-blown equipment failure. But aside from deciding what type of heat exchanger is ideal for your application, there are other factors to consider. Here’s a closer look:

  • Total lifecycle cost: The total lifecycle cost of a product, let alone a heat exchanger, includes the initial purchase price, the installation cost, the operating cost and maintenance costs until the product is not used anymore. So, for instance, if a company decides to purchase a compact heat exchanger because they’re generally cheaper and can be installed easier, the may have to weigh the fact that it may cost more to maintain due to the thin nature of wall thicknesses of compact models. Conversely, while shell and tube heat exchangers are generally more expensive, their rugged build helps them stand up better over time. Air cooled exchangers have a high initial purchase price, but are relatively inexpensive to operate and maintain. These are all factors that must be considered when weighing total lifecycle cost.
  • Application: What role does your heat exchanger need to help perform? Boiling? Condensing? Something else? This is a huge consideration, as the application will, in most cases, dictate the type that you need to best accomplish the task at hand.
  • Operating pressures/temperatures: What type of temperatures and pressures is the heat exchanger intended to work with? That’s a big question to ask, as it will dictate your selection.
  • Durability: Depending on the application, the heat exchanger may have to do its job in some very demanding conditions. If that’s the case, it’s important to consider an exchanger’s durability and reliability. For instance, as we noted above, shell and tube exchangers are usually very rugged in build and able to stand up well in demanding environments, compared to compact exchangers, which are normally made to be less durable.
  • Footprint: What type of space are you working with? Is it a large space? Or do you need something that will fit in a confined space? That will also largely dictate your heat exchanger selection. Compact models are small and able to fit in a more confined area, while air cooled models require a large space. Shell and tube heat exchangers are on the larger side, but generally more versatile in terms of installation space required.
  • Accessibility: How easily will the heat exchanger be able to be reached for the likes of cleaning and maintenance? Despite the reputation of some heat exchangers being more durable than others, routine maintenance is almost always key to longevity.
  • Operating specs: This goes along with application, but it’s important to know exactly what you need your heat exchanger to do, and what temperatures and pressures it needs to be able to withstand in order to do it. Operating specifications are a big reason why the shell and tube heat exchangers are the most popular – they’re able to work across the widest variety of temperatures and pressures.
  • Other considerations: Other considerations on how to choose a heat exchanger include things like the fouling characteristics of the fluid, any utilities that are available (i.e. cooling towers, steam, etc.), potential for future expansions and the impact that the heat exchanger has on the overall environment.

Another big consideration is cost, as heat exchangers aren’t cheap, especially those of the air cooled variety. Though essential to the operations of many facilities worldwide, heat exchangers may put plant managers in a bind if one of their units prematurely fails or needs extensive repair. If replacement isn’t in the budget, what can you do? That’s where a credible site like Bid on Equipment can help, as the service provider collects pre-owned industrial equipment and puts it back on the market for sale. Think of it like getting a functional, like-new product at a used price. It’s these lower price points that can do wonders for a company.

For more information on heat exchangers, and to browse Bid on Equipment’s selection of this equipment, contact us today.