Mixing it with AxFlow
Mixing liquids is a complex process and as a result, a vast and impressive array of technologies and products has evolved over the years
For AxFlow, with Lightnin Mixers brand of portable/fixed mount mixers and Plenty Side Entry mixers, the major objective has always been to offer products that match specific process requirements, reduce capital and operating costs and improve process yields.
Lightnin portable/fixed mount mixers provided by AxFlow offer an economic solution for many mixing applications where efficiency, performance, flexibility, ease of operation and simple maintenance are the key factors that influence selection. The three major areas that affect mixer performance are the design of the drive shaft mechanism, the impeller and the mounting arrangement. With portable/fixed mount mixers, users are looking for a low maintenance unit that can accept a range of impellers and a method of securely mounting the unit to the vessel.
With the ATEX accredited ECL mixer, sealing all the shaft bearings for life and using gears that are synthetic grease lubricated for continuous lifetime service have achieved maintenance free operation of the drive mechanism. The large output shaft bearings have been included in order to accommodate longer shaft lengths. The other elements that contribute to an extended working life include a unique motor coupling that protects the gearing from shock torque loads and increases the life of the motor bearings.
The essential element in efficient mixing is the impeller and for each application there is a specific impeller design. The ECL mixer uses the Lightnin A310 impeller, which has been designed specifically for low viscosity and flow-controlled applications. This axial flow design outperforms all other types of impellers in the turbulent mixing regime by generating up to 70% more flow for the same speed power. For more specialist applications, the ECL can be used with several other types of impeller, which can be specified according to the application.
For specialist duties that demand a robust and rugged design where the gearbox, shaft and impeller systems provide a long trouble-free working life. AxFlow offers the Lightnin Series 10. The strength of the Series 10 mixer lies very much in the design of the gearbox, this being a single reduction unit containing helical gears that are case-hardened and nitrided for long life. Equipped with the largest tapered roller bearings in a mixer of this class, the Lightnin Series 10 has the ability to run for more than 100,000 hours. The efficient in-line helical gearing and parallel shaft minimise horsepower loss through the drive train, thereby ensuring that more than 95% of the power available is transferred into the mixing vessel.
Splash lubrication of all internal parts provides excellent operation without the need for pumps and piping, whilst an oil-dam ensure that oil cannot leak down the output shaft even if the output shaft lip seals fails.
Plenty Side Entry mixers
Plenty Side Entry mixers contribute to reducing the costs of mixing and blending in large tanks and are used extensively in the oil production and BioFuels sectors. Unlike top entry mixers where the impeller is restricted to absorbing around 85% of the power, the side entry mixer absorbs almost 100% of the power as it is not fighting against the flow regimes which can give big surges in power. With side entry impellers, there are no surges in power other than on start up.
The side entry mixer provides a physical element within the tank that forces the contents up and back down within the tank, and this performs the duties of blending, homogenising and temperature uniformity. Swivel angle mixers offer the additional benefit of cleaning the entire tank floor. This capability can be automatic to reduce the fallible human element and prevent sludge from settling all the time the mixer is operating.
Plenty Heavy Duty side entry swivel angle mixers are available from AxFlow with both manual and mechanical actuators. Setting the angle of the shaft is essential to the effective performance of the mixer and the angle does have to be adjusted at regular intervals to ensure an even contour pattern across all areas of the tank. The automatic swivel actuator can be supplied either fitted to new equipment or retrofitted to existing installations. Operating continuously when the mixer is in use, the actuator swivels the mixer unit from 30o left to 30o right and back again. The advantage of this capability is that it frees up plant operatives for other duties and ensures more efficient tank cleaning.
The AxFlow Group, headquartered in Sweden, is the largest distributor of positive displacement pumps in Europe. With operating companies in more than 20 countries and a Distribution Centre in the Netherlands, it is able to ship pumps and other equipment from stock to customers within 48 hours anywhere in Europe. In order to be a true provider of fluid handling solutions the Company also includes mixing technology as well as instrumentation and analysis equipment within its product portfolio.