Blender units are getting faster and more efficient than ever, plus some manufacturers are taking advantage of new technologies. Here are 10 to consider.

The Ranco Multi-Blender DW promises fast, accurate, continuous-flow blending, says the company. Its declining weigh technology monitors the output of each product during blending and continually adjusts for any variability caused by density or flowability changes. Controls are computer-compatible and the entire system is easily expandable for future growth, according to the company. Ranco’s digital panel, along with the “DW” scale system, is designed to continuously monitor and adjust the output of each product prescribed for the blend.

Adams Fertilizer Equipment has introduced its new 2012 Direct Drive Rotary Blender, available in 8-, 10- and 13-ton models. Standard features include a 10-gauge 304 stainless steel drum, 60-hp direct drive totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor and a 304 stainless steel internal auger. Another feature of Adams’ direct drive is its lighting blend and unload speed, says the company. At a 13-ton fully loaded capacity, product takes only 1.5 minutes to move from the weigh hopper to the blender drum — and it takes only 3.5 minutes to completely empty 26,000 pounds into a truck.

The Minuteman 2 has been designed with several important features, including a low inload height, (5-feet, 9-inches) for ease of filling, a partial load blending option and the ability to start under-load. The unit is also equipped with a direct drive, so there’s no need for belts, sheaves or bushings. Plus, its lower horsepower requirements offer significant electrical savings, says the company.

Waconia’s Tower Blender System provides speed, efficiency, reliability and automation that no other blender style offers, says the company. The units are available with one or two vertical blenders in 10-, 12-, 14-, 16- or 18-ton capacities. Its design minimizes human contact with chemicals and is easy to operate, with a state-of-the-art control panel and electronics for superior accuracy and inventory control, says the company. The system features heavy-duty, premium efficiency totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motors that generate discharge rates up to 300 tons per hour. The system achieves throughput capacity from 60 to 180 TPH up to 200 ton bin capacity 6-14 bin configurations.

The Doyle 13 Ton Direct Drive Rotary Blender is the industry’s fastest, says the company. The unit makes quick work of the new larger capacity tenders and trailer tenders being used today. Using fewer parts than traditional chain drive blenders, the direct drive system has a heavy-duty planetary gearbox, coupled to a totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor. This unit is made of 10 gauge, #304 stainless steel and features a heavy-duty mild steel blender frame. The blender drum and flighting is 100% welded on both sides, and the blender frame is all metal shot blasted and powder coated.

CrustBuster is the first company to design, manufacture and sell large diameter Vertical Screw Blenders — making it the longest “on the job” tapered Vertical Screw Blenders, claims the company. The Speed King blender has a large-diameter, tapered mixing screw that quickly draws material into the blender and creates a very rapid, complete blending of all materials without any degradation in the quality of the material. The unit has only one externally mounted bearing to service, making it one of the most maintenance-friendly blenders on the market, says the company. The Speed King’s blender tank, inload-hopper, motor mount, belt guard, support legs and gate are manufactured from 304 stainless steel.

Waconia’s Tapered Auger Vertical Floor Blender — available in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, and 16-ton capacities — can generate throughputs of up to 6 tons per minute. Its tapered auger provides exceptionally fast in-feed and superior blend quality, says the company. The unit’s heavy-duty, double reduction gearbox has a quick-release tapered bushing for easy removal. And its mix tank and hopper are mounted on four NTEP-approved load cells bolted to the frame for easy replacement, eliminating the traditional mechanical pipe lever system. Unit comes with a PVC discharge belt, in varying sizes, with three-roller PVC troughing idlers and stainless steel shafts.

If continuous loss in weight blending, precision, reliability and flexibility are key, Sackett’s LIW blending system features the most accurate dosing system and most robust mechanical design available, says the company. The system uses a fully-integrated PLC control system with all “plug-in” communication making set up, operation and diagnostics simple. Sackett’s LIW system utilizes load cells for all hoppers, major and micro. Speeds of up to 300 tons per hour are available.

The Layco Declining Weight Blend System is the fastest and most accurate continuous blend system in the fertilizer industry, says the company. Floor hoppers with small horsepower metering units make the Declining Weight Blender one of the simplest and most cost effective blend systems for overall investment and future maintenance. Built-in automation software gives the customer a fully-integrated system — all from one manufacturer. No third-party automation software is required. New for 2013 is the wireless control function that uses an iPad to operate the complete blending system.

The H.I.M. (High Intensity Mixer) offers the highest blend quality, least fertilizer degradation, best impregnation/micronutrient mixing and fastest production times, says the company. The mixer is placed in a blend tower where a weigh hopper top loads it; after 30 seconds of blending, twin bomb-bay doors open to discharge the entire batch in seconds.

Hopkins is Senior Online Editor for the CropLife Media Group at Meister Media Worldwide. See all author stories here.

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