It can help manufacturers get more out of the materials they use or develop more appealing properties within a product line.
Valuable revenue streams
This year, Rannie in Copenhagen, Denmark, celebrates its 125th anniversary, and together with Gaulin, is part of the SPX Flow portfolio.
Con O'Driscoll, global product manager, Dispersion Products, SPX Flow, claims homogenizers have made historical by-products into valuable revenue streams with whey the most obvious example, but other areas are being explored.
Examples include the processing of cellulose in areas such as left over wood from paper manufacturing processes, and the creation of functional foods or chemicals and adding additional health benefits to food lines.
“We are seeing a trend towards higher pressure applications and energy optimization,” said O'Driscoll.
“Pressure is one of the key variables in a homogenization application and we are working closely with customers looking for higher pressures and how their process can achieve this.
“Homogenizers may still operate on the same principle as 100 years ago, but industry changes and so do we as we continue to innovate and research.”
SPX Innovation Centres
SPX Flow, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has several innovation centers where it works with customers to define and refine processes to give them a competitive edge.
According to O'Driscoll, new uses for homogenizers are being developed all the time and the centers allow them to test processing parameters and quickly analyze results.
The aim is to get the desired product to market as quickly as possible while optimizing both efficiency and end-product quality.
“The fundamental mechanics of how a homogenizer works has not changed,” added O'Driscoll.
“The success of both the Rannie and Gaulin brands has come from the expertise in understanding how to apply the technology through changing market needs.
“The design and material used to manufacture the homogenizer valve at the heart of the machine are crucial to getting the efficiency and fluid characteristics desired from the process.”