Boone Mixers have supplied two Horizontal Helical Blade Mixers (HHBM) to BASF in Widnes for their new production line, manufacturing rodenticides with a marzipan-like texture to meet the growing demand world-wide for alternatives to warfarin as rodents develop resistance and traditional rodenticides become less effective.
BASF have developed a rodenticide that combats the increasing problem of evolving drug resistance, while being very palatable to encourage the animals to consume the bait.
As customers world-wide take up the new product, BASF needed a new production line and following extensive tests the new Boone HHBM mixers were selected as a key part of that development.
The base of the product is a simple mix of fat, sugar and flour, mixed in the Boone HHBM mixer with the ‘active’ components. The mixed product is a crumb mix that is then formed into small blocks and packed for use.
Although the end products may be very different, in some ways the challenge of mixing the product is very similar to any other crumb, even crumble dessert topping. It has to be thoroughly and homogenously mixed, including micro-ingredients, while not over-working the mixture, which would compact it and make it difficult to form. Boone HHBM accomplishes this using a low mixer speed and omega shaped mixer shell with a unique, high efficiency interrupted spiral mixer blade configuration. This has a low surface area mixer blade that reduces energy input to the mix and is easy to clean. The omega shaped mixer shell is ‘short and tall’, so end-to-end mixing is optimised, and the mix fully discharges through a knife gate for packaging.
Boone also designed and supplied the liquid oil spray feed system to match BASF’s specification which together with a heating and cooling jacket to control mix temperature and extend the range of products that can be made in the HHBM.
Because of the ingredients used, the mixer, inlets and outlet are designed for ATEX internal/external Zone 20/22. The Boone Standard ATEX Mixers and ancillary equipment
are designed to meet that standard.
According to Benjamin Charnock, Facilities manager at BASF, ‘Production is ramping up, and we need to respond to the demand. The Boone mixer is helping us to do that, and we are planning to build and add another line in the very near future.’
(HHBM are also known as Ribbon Mixers)