A continuous mixing system by Sobatech uses a two phase process for mixing the ingredients into a consistent and homogeneous mass. First, all ingredients are evenly and accurately distributed over the complete mass (phase 1 mixing: the homogenizer). Then, the development takes place (phase 2 mixing: the continuous mixer). This is done in a controlled and extremely precise way during kneading. The production volumes range from 50 kg/hour to over 10,000 kg/hour. This can be accomplished in an employee free operational environment resulting in significant (labor) cost savings.
PHASE 1 MIXING: THE HOMOGENIZER
Both phase 1 mixing (the homogenizer) and phase 2 mixing (the continuous mixer) are based on the first-in / first-out principle. After gravimetrically dosing the powder ingredients, they pass through the homogenizer phase. In this phase the powders are, by means of medium pressure, injected by the liquid ingredients. The liquids enter the homogenizer in a pre-defined order. This non-mechanical way of blending the ingredients ensures a even hydration of the flour and better integration of the minor ingredients.
PHASE 2 MIXING: THE CONTINUOUS MIXER
The contra-rotating mixing tools of the continuous mixer (phase 2 mixing), are responsible for the controlled flow of mass throughout the mixer. The combination of a relatively little amount of mass in the mixing chamber with a relatively high volume of tooling, result in a remarkable high energy efficiency. A large part of the energy developed by the mixer tooling is put into the product. The continuous mixer has the ability to apply exceptional high shear forces during kneading.
The Sobatech continuous mixing tools handle the raw materials gently and efficiently. Sensitive ingredients such as fruit, flakes, nuts or raisons can be introduced without degrading.
The Sobatech continuous mixing system is a closed system. This means that there is no pollution from outside of the machine. Also, food safety is optimized by ensuring dough is never exposed to the environment. Cleaning the continuous mixer area is also much easier because there is less creation of dust.
There are double safety switches mounted in the top covers of the continuous mixer to ensure that the tools stop turning immediately after opening. Also, a signal is given to the PLC so that part of the line stops normally. Lastly, a sound signal goes off to warn the operator.
Generally, temperature is controlled with the process water. Also, the continuous mixer can be equipped with a double jackets. This is an extremely efficient way of maintaining the right dough temperature as a continuous mixer provides a relatively large contact surface. Lastly, for extreme product temperatures, the HOT&COOL technology can be used.
LESS ENERGY LOSS
Sobatech’s continuous mixing system is able to carry out the mixing process in defined and controlled steps. The kneading characteristics of the second stage of mixing ensure a controlled energy input into the dough. This means there is less energy loss in a continuous dough mixer compared to a batch mixer. The so called “time to peak” point is reached faster.
CLEANING IN PLACE (CIP)
Sobatech continuous mixing systems can be equipped with an automatic cleaning in place system.