Q: How can you do what currently takes me 4 hours in under a minute?
A: The Continuous Processor mixes small quantities of material continuously together. Instead of a large batch of material that needs to be mixed all at once, the Continuous Processor takes a small portion of all ingredients of that batch and mixes them within a short period of time. Example: If you made a very small batch of your product, how long would it take to fully incorporate all ingredients together compared with your normal batch? It would take much less time and work, correct? This small amount done continuously, coupled with higher shear and heat transfer can be applied in an abundance of applications; while still achieving your needed production rate. We’ve run rates from 10’s of pounds per hour to 1000’s of pounds per hour.
Q: What about down time for clean up? It takes us one 8-hour shift to clean our batch mixer.
A: With the self-wiping design of the mixer elements, simply by turning off all the feeders and pumps and allowing the mixer to run for a minute or two it will clear out 95% of material without flushing. Then you can either use a cleaning flush or purge material to help remove the remaining material. This self-wiping action is also found in our Continuous Hybrid Reactor and Self-Contained Processor!
Q: Explain to me how your mixer can help me with my JIT (just-in-time) mandate?
A: The process can be stopped, started, ramped-up/down, as it is not constrained by the size of a batch vessel. Because the flow through the machine is continuous, by adjusting the feeder rates and processor speed you can precisely control how much product you need to produce in a given time period. This is applicable for our Continuous Processor, Continuous Hybrid Reactor, and Self-Contained Processor.
Q: Your equipment looks like an extruder. What is the difference?
A: The obvious difference is the Readco Continuous Processor has a much smaller foot print. With a shorter length to diameter (L/D) ratio and shafts supported at both ends the Continuous Processor can operate without material inside the mixing chamber without metal-to-metal contact. Another difference is that extruders design is focused on building of pressure, the Continuous Processor is designed with mixing in mind, with a larger void volume and more efficient mixing profile.
Q: You talk about batch-to-batch variations. How can your equipment eliminate this problem?
A: By constant and precise control of the processor, feeders, pumps, and other ancillary equipment the product will be made the same all the time, every time. This allows you to achieve the required accuracy and quality of your product without needing to account for inaccurate ingredient additions.
Q: We’ve been doing it this way for 100 years. Why should we look at another way?
A: Advancements in automation and controls technology have opened doors for more efficient and precise manufacturing. Continuous mixing ensures that your ingredients are consistently and homogenously combined. This can also be applied to facilitating reactions, or drying of your product, while reducing waste, harmful cleaning agents, and out of spec product.
Q: Okay, so you make chocolate! How can you make our unique formula?
A: We have made many different types of chocolate, from fillings to coatings. Contact us for more info and a possible lab test where we could prove that we can make yours too!
This same question can be applied to many other applications as well; peanut butter, cheese products, cream fillings, alternative proteins, spice blends, candy, etc. If you name a food product category and we have probably tested it at least once!
Q: Okay, so how can you prove to me and my organization that continuous processing will work for us?
A: A Readco lab test will definitively prove that we can successfully make your product in our equipment. Using your actual ingredients, we will set up a mini production system so you can see how the entire continuous process functions. Upon a successful test we can scale up to your required production rates to determine what size machinery you require.
Q: I want proof of what you are claiming, can I visit an actual customer?
A: Unfortunately, due to nondisclosure agreements this is not possible. We honor those agreements just the same as we would honor one for you. We are the best kept secret and the heart of our customer’s process. Many of them tell us that we give them a competitive edge in their industry. Our capability to recreate and operate a complete mini system in our lab is the best way we can demonstrate this to you.
Q: What makes your equipment better than your competitors?
A: In one word flexibility. Being able to change the operation of our processors to react to the very specific requirement of you process, sets us apart from other mixing methods and machinery. A second word would be robust, we have customers that have been running our equipment 24/7 since 1968!
Q: What equipment can be tested at your facility?
A: All four of our product lines are available for testing. We also have a wide variety of feeders, pumps, and heating/cooling units to meet the requirements to fully simulate your production setup. After testing we can supply a rental for testing at your site.