Planning metering and mixing systems correctly

What is important? How do you avoid the most common design errors?

"We need a dosing system, could you offer us something...". We receive these and similarly worded enquiries from new and existing customers every day. Of course, we welcome every new enquiry, but in order to be able to prepare a suitable quotation for a metering and mixing system, we need to analyse the task in detail. This is necessary so that the system technology can be optimally matched to the task. This is the only way to ensure that the greatest possible benefit is achieved. But what exactly is to be achieved? Why is the investment in a system planned? For capacity reasons? Can the required quality no longer be achieved manually?

In order to configure a system properly, all the necessary information must be compiled in full: Task, process parameters, environment, commercial aspects, etc. In particular, the system must of course be matched to the material to be processed. Easier said than done, because two worlds collide here. The customer knows his process and the requirements. As a plant and machine manufacturer, we are familiar with our metering and mixing technology and can design it for the respective material and process. But how do you get the two to work optimally together? Nothing is worse than talking past each other when determining requirements. Therefore, all important parameters must be clarified during the preparation phase. The more detailed and comprehensive the influencing factors are known, the more successfully the system can work later on.

The general structure of a metering and mixing system

The system technology essentially consists of the material supply, the dosing system, the application unit (also known as the mixing head) and the system control. The actual dosing system is selected depending on the adhesive, sealant, etc. to be processed. Gear systems, volumetric or piston dosing systems and progressive cavity pumps are available in various sizes.

If the material to be processed consists of two or more components, it is essential to prepare them using a mixing system. The choice of mixing system essentially depends on the material viscosity, the mixing ratio to be achieved and the required dosing quantity/time unit. Other parameters such as mixing quality or processing time must also be taken into account. In modern dosing and mixing systems, all relevant process data is also monitored using gear wheel measuring cells, screw spindle encoders, Coriolis measuring systems, etc. With this equipment, the system technology is able to detect process deviations and readjust automatically. The wear of components can also be partially corrected and the system can automatically report any necessary maintenance.

To ensure that a dosing and mixing system can be optimally designed, we follow the man-machine-material principle in practice. All relevant influencing factors in the respective areas are determined, scrutinized and taken into account during planning. People, with all their strengths and weaknesses, are one of the biggest challenges here. This is because incomplete specialist knowledge, different perspectives and motivations, particularly among plant operators, can have unforeseeable consequences in production in later years. 

In order to avoid design errors when designing the dosing and mixing system, we provide an overview of possible risks and influencing factors during subsequent production and give suggestions on how these can be prevented at the design stage. 

When planning a system, it is therefore important to analyze a large number of influencing factors in advance. It is worth the effort, as this is the only way to prevent costly errors and ensure that the new technology to be installed delivers the greatest possible benefit.

Possible consequences of design errors

  • Risk of production errors or quality fluctuations in the components to be manufactured 
  • Increased system wear 
  • Additional maintenance and servicing costs 
  • Lack of added value: the systems do not offer sufficient added value or do not amortize themselves

Optimising employee participation in metering and mixing systems: tips for avoiding errors

1. Possible influence factors by employees Preventive measures
Risk of material mix-up at the system - System captures material using a barcode scanner
Material contamination during container change - System has a filtration system in the material flow
Incomplete expertise - Hiring a bonding specialist in the company
- Regular training of operators Written instructions in the local language
Health hazards when loading materials into the system - Exhaust systems with air control
- Training courses and instructions on material handling
Manipulation of system technology - Parameter password protection
“Creativity” of operators - Convey expertise, e.g., bonding practitioner course
- Regular inspection of workplaces and work steps
Handling of substrates to be bonded - Clean dirt, rust, paint residues, and other foreign substances
- Do not touch prepared surfaces to avoid transferring skin oils
Ergonomic design of workplaces, health,
performance, endurance, concentration, and motivation of employees
Handling errors when using application guns
- Optimal material supply and removal
- Adequate ventilation
- Good lighting conditions
- Provide auxiliary materials (gloves, safety glasses)
- Ergonomic design of application guns
2. Possible influence factors in material processing Preventive measures
Material selection - Close coordination with the material manufacturer: Check material for the specific application
- Determine safety classes for bonding
- Processing time of the material, e.g., under fluctuating ambient temperatures
Installation site - Dirt and dust: Bonding surfaces must be clean, grease-free, and dust-free
Ambient temperatures - Optimal temperature range is usually between 15 and 25 degrees
- Ensure consistent process and material temperatures
- Maintain consistent component temperatures (very cold or very warm components can alter the material's reaction speed)
Fillers - Install material circulation system (possibly controlled)
- Choose the correct supply and dosing pumps
- Process material with a batch mixer
- Regularly check material density
Moisture - Follow proper handling of materials when loading into the system

Read also

Your partnership with DOPAG

  • One contact for the entire system solution
  • All applications from one provider
  • Implementation of specific requirements and automation
  • Competent support from DOPAG experts
  • A dedicated technical centre for testing and customer training
  • Close collaboration with material manufacturers
  • Decades of experience in metering and mixing technology
  • Global distribution and service in over 40 countries

Reference projects

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