Hans_Industrie-Mixer

Hansa Industrie-Mixer

The Art of Perfect Foaming

Eaton is a vital and reliable partner for our systems, which with its products and services makes an important contribution in enabling us to keep our promise of top quality.

Andreas Finger
CEO of Hansa Mixer

Background

The highly competitive global market increasingly requires products to offer “more with less”. For example, how can the same bonding strength be achieved with less adhesive, the same thickness of carpet backing be reached with less material? How can baked goods and confectionery be produced easily and unproblematically, or cloth be effectively finished with high quality coatings? Many companies in the food and nonfood sectors come to Hansa Industrie-Mixer GmbH & Co. KG (Hansa Mixer) with these kinds of requirements, since the use of modern foaming technology is often the key to being able to produce the specified features more economically with less material.

Based in Stuhr near Bremen, the company has set itself the task of manufacturing special machines that meet both the market requirements for recipe accuracy, quality, reproducibility and productivity, as well as making a contribution to environmental protection through reduced material and energy consumption. With over 6,000 installed systems and over 40 years of experience, the company is an engineering specialist with a machine offering that ranges from small laboratory devices with a capacity starting from 40 kg/h to large-scale production machines that can mix and foam material at a rate of over 8,000 kg/h.

Challenges

In order to ensure even and continuous production during the manufacture of foam products, the carrier mass has to be mixed with different components such as dyes, acids or fibers, and gas has to be added in a targeted way. The optimum result depends on the timing, the mixing speed and the design of the mixing head. The foam quality is the key factor in the end – and this depends on the even distribution of bubbles, the right consistency and viscosity. Depending on the application, a set weight of foam per area can be provided for further processing, matched to the width of the conveyor belts.

“For us baking is different to baking at home,” explains Andreas Finger. “For our customers, the mixers are the core of a production line. They must run round the clock 24x7 and must guarantee an even foam quality.” Fail-safety here plays a very important role.

Solution

The control system is the central component of the mixers. Hansa Mixer chose here the XV HMI-PLC touch panel from Eaton as its standard device. The powerful devices that combine visualization and control are ideal for implementing scalable and cost-efficient automation concepts in machine and system building. With display sizes from 3.5” to 15”, product lines in plastic, metal or stainless steel, as well as their suitability for use with a highly robust infra-red touch, the panels cover all the typical requirements of Hansa Mixer. They can also be programmed in accordance with the established Codesys standard.

For smaller plants, the foam specialists preprogrammed the most important function blocks that can then be parameterized according to the application or installed later when the plant is expanded. For creating intuitive operator interfaces, they use Eaton’s Galileo visualization software, an easy to learn and at the same time powerful project design environment. When the machine is commissioned, only a few basic settings then need to be input via the touch panel, such as the required foam and air quantity, the number of pumps, the speed of the mixing head and the air pressure and ambient temperature, depending on the location. All other features are regulated by the machine entirely automatically. If the conveyor belt slows down, the mixing process adjusts itself automatically

The use of the high-performance HMI/PLCs and also the variable frequency drives and XI/ON modular I/O system from Eaton have considerably reduced the switch cabinet building required for the machines – the installation time has also considerably reduced. The space saved in the control cabinet also makes the cooling device unnecessary.

Results

“Selecting the right components is critical for the success of our mixers,” Andreas Finger explains. Machine downtimes are always a catastrophe for customers and end customers since production stands still if there is no mixer. That is why there are mixers from Hansa that have already been in operation for 25 years. The CEO explains: “Our aim is to exceed the expectations of our customers in terms of quality and to retain the leading edge over our competitors in terms of technology. That is why we only obtain components from major and reputable manufacturers like Eaton.

We export 80% of our products, and our machines can be found all over the world. This means that our suppliers must be able to deliver worldwide. In this respect Eaton’s support can be reached globally at any time. At the same time we appreciate the good and reliable support from the local sales and technology teams.”