Ribbon blenders, paddle mixers, and other kinds of mixers are essential to an ingredient system. With proper maintenance, these mixers can last for decades. Without proper care, they can wear out prematurely. Setting aside time regularly to do ingredient system mixer maintenance can save you thousands in the long term. Keep these mixer maintenance tips in mind to extend the life of your ribbon blender, paddle mixer, or other mixers. Get the best quality restaurant kitchen equipment from trusted and reputed restaurant supply Dallas TX store.
8 Mixer Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Equipment
- Check Components for Lubrication
Regularly assessing lubricant levels and ensuring that the moving parts from the mixer are correctly lubricated can extend the life of the mixer for years. This is only one of the most essential general mixer and ribbon blender maintenance tips to remember, and one that is simple to look after. Some parts inside the mixer, like the drive components, make up a substantial part of the mixer’s price, so replacing these will be nearly as expensive as buying a brand new mixer. Pay particular attention to the lubrication around the drive, reducer, and rotating shaft bearings especially. Set aside time once a month to check these levels.
- Maintain the Seal
Mixer and agitator seals keep ingredients in the mixer and also protect the motion of the rotating shaft. When a seal is damaged, the material will escape or the alignment of the shaft may shift. There are several different types of mixer seals, and the very best mixer maintenance strategies for every will depend on what your machine has.
Air-Purged Seal: Check the air pressure and air quality to be sure this air-tight seal is holding.
Stuffing Boxes: Check the packing material for wear or damage and tighten or replace the stuffing boxes where necessary.
Lip-seals: Check for leaks and damage regularly. If these mechanical seals wear out more frequently than normal, the seal material might be incompatible with the material being blended, particularly if you are working with corrosive or abrasive materials.
Single Seals: Measure and adjust the spring compression to fulfill with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Alter the seal faces when the wear is obvious or the seal is not holding.
- Monitor the Drive System Tension
The drive system is among the ribbon mixers and other mixer’s most precious components. Maintaining the reducer, belt, or chain-and-sprocket mechanism correctly lubricated (see the first point, above) is among the very best ingredient system components maintenance tips to bear in mind. It is most important to regularly check the tensioning on the belt or chain. The belt or chain slide if it’s too loose and could cause damage to your sprocket or burn off the belt. If the belt or string is too tight, then they will start to wear out bearings prematurely. Maintain the tension within the company’s recommendations and test it monthly to be certain it is correct.
- Assess the Discharge Gate Operation
Over time, dust, dirt, powder, or foreign objects can get lodged in the discharge gate, causing it to not completely close. Check limit switches to make sure that the gate is completely closed or shut when the limit switch is used. Observe the discharge gate during operation to be sure it opens and closes correctly. If the gate doesn’t completely open, it can cause the material to remain in the mixer. If the gate does not fully close, the material will leak out.
- Protect the Mixer Tub
The body of this mixer is also an important part of proper ingredient system mixer upkeep. Whether you’ve got a ribbon mixer, paddle mixer, or another type of mixer, the body of this machine can be damaged if the agitator is too close to the walls. Foreign objects, such as pieces of metal or tiny stones, can also harm the mixer as it operates.
Over the years, the rotating shaft can change, causing the mixer blades to move too close or too far away from the tub. This won’t only harm the mixer, but it might introduce metal fragments into the mixture, and disrupt the overall mixing operation. Remember that the mixer is designed to best meet the requirements of your ingredients–if the components are not in proper alignment, it will not mix properly. If you hear scratching sounds or the mixer is vibrating excessively, the shaft may be out of the blades are too close to the tub.
- Clean Intervents
Intervents allow displaced air to escape as ingredients enter the mixer. These intervents can quickly become clogged with dust. Clean them regularly allowing air to escape along with your ingredients to join the mixer readily. If the air cannot escape through intervents, dry materials can make clouds of dust as it escapes through other exits. Dust presents risks of fire and explosion.
- Inspect Electrical
Check electrical cords for breaks. As people and machines move around the center, cords often get in the way. A busted electric cable is a safety hazard, exposing workers to the risk of fire and shock. Combine a damaged electrical cord with the previous issue–obstructed intervents creating clouds of dust–and two minor problems can become an extremely serious issue, such as a powder explosion or fire.
Utilizing a damaged electrical cord can also damage the machine’s internal parts. To ensure your ribbon blender or alternative mixer works at the proper level, check the present consumed while it’s operating. When it’s consuming a lot or too small, there may be harm somewhere in the electric system or motor.
- Check the Coefficient of Variation
One of the best ways to be certain that your mixer is working properly is to check the coefficient of variation (CV). After a year, have several samples of your mixture and send them to a lab to examine the CV. This may appear to be an overly-meticulous step, but it can help to prevent more than or under-mixing, and it can reveal if your mixer isn’t operating correctly.
If your process changes, such as automating a hand-add step, you might also have the ability to speed up your mixing time to match the new speed. Checking the CV will reveal if the new mixing period is sufficient, or if other adjustments need to be made.
These mixer maintenance steps may seem time-consuming all together, but putting aside a bit of time for these jobs will make maintenance a whole lot more manageable. Additionally, think about the time, money, and energy it takes to replace or repair a mixer that is not properly maintained. When comparing both, setting aside maintenance time will likely be quicker, cheaper, and easier.