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    Passionate about continuous mixing for over 20 years..

    Sobatech is the International leader in designing, manufacturing & commissioning innovative Continuous Mixing Systems for the food and non-food industry. Sobatech’s equipment & expertise helps to simplify your mixing process, reduce labor, cut costs and improve quality consistency.

    5 reasons to go for continuous mixing - Batch mixing has been the mixing technology of choice for many years. However, the increasing food and quality demand shed more light on the negative effects related to batch mixing. As a result, more and more food producers are looking for new ways to increase throughput and consistency and find that in continuous dough mixing. Check out below 5 reasons why to choose continuous over batch and find out which mixing technology suits your production process best. 1. Automation Continuous mixing is a fully automated mixing technology including the continuous weighing of each of the ingredients. The liquid and solid ingredients are brought into contact via the homogenizer (phase 1 mixing) and enter the continuous mixer (phase 2 mixing) as a blend of ingredients. In the continuous mixer, controlled mechanical energy is applied to the mix of ingredients. Depending on the amount of energy required to correctly develop your product, the dough is discharged after a few minutes. The process from continuously feeding the ingredients until homogeneously mixing the final dough is a fully automated process. There is no labor involved meaning the product quality is independent of the operator. 2. Constant consistency The biggest benefit of continuous is definitely consistency. With batch mixing, there are many opportunities for inconsistencies to kick in. For example, an operator may not accurately dose the ingredients or the dough may not be evenly hydrated. Also, when on a batch mixer one batch is finished, the other one is being produced. This means that after each batch cycle the dough has to wait before being further processed. While dough is a living entity, waiting means that the dough characteristics start to change. In time, dough gets a higher temperature due to the interactions of the seperate ingredients. Also, als a result of proofing, dough gets a lower density in time. These dough variations between each batch cycle are also called 'the head and the tail' of batch mixing. On a continuous mixing system, each piece of dough has the same age going through the process. Besides that, there is no need for the dough to wait before being further processed. This prevents undesirable variations from batch to batch allowing your mixer to produce consistent finished weight, size and texture. Check out this news item concluding that the constant consistency related to continuous mixing also improves your oven performance. 3. Process control On a continuous mixing system, all ingredients are loaded by machine. This increases accuracy and supports food safety. Above all, it stimulates quality traceability as the system measures and controls what has been dosed every split second. This data can be stored for quality purposes. The dosing stations are configured to the recipe forming the set value formulation. Different recipes can be produced on one and the same system. Wheares on a batch mixer you increase mixing time to create a higher product development; on a continuous mixer you increase the RPM of the mixing tools. This allows you to run a variety of different products on one at the same continuous mixing system. 4. Lower cost of ownership As a result of the high automation grade; the initial investment of a continuous mixing system is generally higher. Nevertheless, continuous mixing has a lower cost of ownership. The complete operation is automated meaning you save significant labor costs. Besides that, the constant consistent dough quality with continuous mixing allows for less product waste during production. Also, as the dough comes out as a continuous stream of product there is no need to buy additional machinery to resize the batches. 5. Smaller footprint A batch mixer is limited in its throughput capabilities. Even a batch mixer that can process 2.500 kg per hour can only handle a certain amount of batches per hour. Besides that, time is lost in between each batch. To increase production, you have to install another batch mixer in time. This makes that when your production is growing, there comes a point where it is uneconomical to produce batch. Continuous mixers generally replace a variety of batch mixers as they can produce up to 12.000 kg of dough per hour (on one and the same mixer). With that they can feed a variety of different make-up lines. As long as ingredients keep being dosed, the mixer will keep mixing and discharging a continuous stream of dough.
    NEW Testing & Demonstrating Centre - Sobatech is beyond excited to announce the opening of its complete new testing & demonstrating centre in The Netherlands this summer. Sobatech's existing pilot plant is going to be completely renewed. The following equipment will be added to the demo centre: most advanced liquid and powder dosing options latest (hygienic) design continuous mixing systems incl. a wide variety of different mixing arms incl. automatic CIP incl. (extreme) temperature control latest development for continuous TVP hydration continuous bulk fermenter The continuous test mixer is suitable to produce a wide range of products like breads, buns, snacks, meat substitutes, cookies, crisps, pet treats, pizza, pretzels, crackers, cosmetics and more. It has different inlets for the staged addition of ingredients. Also, it has the possiblity to effectively control (extreme) dough temperatures and development. The technology is characterized by short mixing times, small footprint, process control, lower energy costs and a constant consistent product quality. "At our testing centre in the Netherlands, we are able to test continuous on particular applications and define the benefits of continuous meaningful to each of our customers," said Geneviève Lekner, Sales Manager, Sobatech. "Product validation and demonstration is a critical part of our customers decision wether to go for batch or continuous". The renewed and state-of-the-art demo centre is open for testing as of September 2022. For questions about the possiblities or bookings, please contact us below. [contact-form-7 id="2619" title="More information? Contact us!"]
    Frequently Asked Questions - The past few months we collected your most frequently asked questions and summarized them in the news item below. What capacities can be obtained on a continuous mixer? Sobatech’s smallest continuous mixer produces about 100 kg of dough per hour. The largest system exceeds 10.000 kg of dough per hour. Of course everything in between can be obtained. How do you control product quality on a continuous mixer? Sobatech’s continuous mixers constantly measure the (mechanical) energy that is put into the dough. This so called specific mechanical energy (SME) can be expressed as Wh/kg and functions as an objective parameter to constantly control dough quality and development. Example: imagine a final dough temperature increases due to a higher ingredient temperature as a result of seasonal changes. A higher dough temperature means a lower product viscosity. A lower product viscosity results in less product resistance and therefore a lower SME value. As the continuous mixing system constantly measures this SME value; it functions as a constant control for product quality. Why should I consider Continuous mixing over Batch mixing? Generally continuous mixing is chosen when food producers want to increase food quality consistency while keeping operational costs down. Continuously mixed dough is always the same age when it reaches the next step in the production process. With batch mixing, the time between each batch results in dough variations that might be visible throughout the entire production process. Continuous mixing is also valued for its high automation grade; resulting in a product quality that is independent of the skills/performance of the operator. What kind of products can be made on a continuous mixer? Any product that can be made on a traditional batch mixer, can be made on a continuous mixer. Click here to see a variety of product applications or contact us to find out which continuous mixer suits your production process best. Can I produce different kinds of products on one and the same mixer? Yes, it is possible to produce a variety of different products on one and the same mixing system. the flexibility you have with time on a batch mixer, you have with RPM (shaft speed) on a continuous mixer. Read more about continuous flexibility in this news item. What does a continuous mixing system cost? There are still quite some misconceptions in regards to how pricing on a continuous mixer compares to the pricing on a batch mixer. The root cause of this lies in the fact that the cost of a continuous mixing system is often compared to the cost of a batch mixer. Apart from the actual mixer, a continuous mixing system also includes the automatic weighing of the solid and liquid ingredients. Often the price of such complete system is compared to the price of solely a batch mixer (without automatic dosing). Dosing directly at the mixer (in case of a continuous mixing process) results in greater automation and accuracy. Therefore, it is concluded that on the short term this might results in an higher initial investment but on the long term, due to improved consistency and a higher automation grade, in a lower cost of ownership. Continuous mixing payback opportunities come from a number of different sources including increased yield, increased throughput, increased quality consistency, reduced labor cost and reduced downstream handling equipment. Please contact us for your cost of ownership calculation. How can dough temperature be controlled? Generally, dough temperature is controlled by regulating the temperature of the process water. If that does not give the required result, Sobatech’s continuous mixers can be equipped with double jackets to effectively heat or cool the mixing chamber. Lastly, for extreme dough temperatures, Sobatech uses its HOT & COOL technology. How do I clean my continuous mixer? Sobatech offers a fully automatic cleaning in place (CIP) system on their continuous mixers. Check out this process here. How do I switch to a different recipe? The process of switching between two different recipes depends on whether the second recipe can simply push out the first recipe. In that case, we talk about ‘minor changeovers’ that can be done by the push of a button. In case a complete washdown is required; the system will first automatically clean in place whereafter the second recipe is activated. Please note, to what extent the recipes differ; maybe a separate dosing system is required. Read more about continuous flexibility in this news item. How do I know if I run the correct recipe? One of the advantages of continuous mixing is the fully automated dosing solutions that are part of it. This because todays gravimetric dosing solutions are the most accurate feeding technologies available. Sobatech dedicated years of time and efforts in designing gravimetric (e.g. loss-in-weight) feeding technologies that are accurate to within .25%. Besides that, the continuous dosing technology constantly monitors all ingredient streams and collects data to guarantee recipe accuracy. How does the dough come out of the continuous mixer? On a continuous mixer, dough comes out as a continuous stream of product. This means there is no need for downstream equipment to resize the batches. The dough coming out of a continuous mixer can be directly fed into the receiving hopper of the dough makeup line. What is the mixing time on a continuous mixing system? On a continuous mixing system, throughput is controlled by the rate ingredients are fed into the mixer. Mixing time is generally a term related to batch; since it is used to adjust the level of kneading intensity on a batch mixer. On a continuous mixer, the energy input is changed by altering the RPM of the mixing tools. Increasing the RPM of the mixing tool will result in a higher kneading intensity but does not, without a certain bandwidth, influence throughput. This means throughput and kneading intensity are independent variables on a continuous mixing system. This as opposed to batch mixing where a higher kneading intensity is achieved by increasing mixing time; which in turn decreases throughput.

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