How to tackle supply chain issues and meet demands for clean, energy efficient manufacturing practices.

Written by Shawnacy McManus, Regional Sales Manager – Chemical Market

Raw material shortages are continuing to plague manufacturing sectors. The continued congestion in US ports, truck driver shortages, continued Covid related slowdowns, and the current geopolitical stressors in Europe, indicate that this is going to be the norm for the near future.

Additionally, the current labor shortage and increasing environmental regulations have left many manufacturers struggling to stay profitable. The first step toward easing this stress is to rapidly diversify supplier channels. Many have already done this; their successes have proven that adaptability is a key element to future growth in our industry.  This has largely been a reactionary approach with steps taken to weather the storm until conditions improve.

The question remains when or if these conditions will improve. As drivers of growth, we want to thrive, not just survive in this new environment.  To do this, we must become proactive looking at our processes, from supply chain all the way through to distribution.

So how do we do this?  For the chemical industry the next logical step is to identify ways we can get the most out of a limited and ever-changing supply chain, inconsistent work force, and meet demands for clean, energy efficient manufacturing practices.  We must reduce or eliminate:

  • Losses during raw material handling and processing, such as:
    • Losses due to dusting, spillage and inconsistent operator practices.
    • Losses in cleaning and change-over from one formulation to another.
    • Unseen losses such as unreacted or undispersed components.
    • Losses due to failure in QC or rejection by customers. These losses are often compounded by the need to dispose of, or rework failed batches.
  • Older inefficient manufacturing practices and equipment.

We will need to create new processes and new equipment designed with those goals in mind. There are many ways to approach process improvement, but often the most efficient way is to improve the processing equipment for these reasons:

  • More ergonomic ways to incorporate dry raw materials.
  • Maximizes reactivity and surface area development, possibly reducing the amount of some key raw materials.
  • Provides repeatable, scalable, high-quality results with minimum energy and maintenance.

Admix works diligently to provide equipment that meets and exceeds these goals. We want to be your partner in facing these challenges. Our unique technologies allow us to meet these requirements in the lab and on the production floor. Our designs for in-tank processing, both low and high shear, bring improvements to a part of the manufacturing process that has perhaps been neglected for years.  For example:

The Rotosolver is a truly innovative design that fundamentally changes and improves in-tank processing.  It produces greater shear forces and substantially more pumping than traditional sawtooth blades with up to 25% less energy required, providing you with the highest level of dispersion and homogeneity.  The Rotosolver even reduces the time required to make some emulsions, and when needed has enough pumping capacity to blend in shear sensitive or letdown solutions with ease allowing a batch to be produced in the same tank from beginning to end.

The Fastfeed provides an ergonomic and cleaner solution for adding dry powders by inducting the powder straight into the liquid stream and shear zone. This greatly reduces dusting and puts your employees on the ground working at waist level. This combination of benefits reduces powder loss and injuries caused by the awkward lifting movements often required to fill materials from the top of the tank.  It is available with fully programable PLC controls.

Our Rotofoil product allows you to agitate and blend large batches with up to 200% more pumping capacity than traditional agitators while only using half the horsepower!  Agitators are often a huge and unrecognized source of energy usage because they are units that fade into the background of many production plants.  Let one of our experts review your systems to see just how much energy you could save per year.

This is a small sample of the Admix product line.  We also offer some of the most user friendly and easy to clean in-line mixing and emulsifying equipment available today.  If you would like to learn more, please contact us.  An Admix expert will respond to you and answer any questions you may have!