Batching & Mixing
The heart of every recipe is the specification of a weight or proportion of every ingredient. However, in today’s industrial environment, recipes often become very complex when process variables such as multi-stage ingredient additions, temperature dependent vs time dependent mixing, and variable mixer speeds are added in. Recipe systems can be further complicated when one mixer is used to blend multiple products using very different recipes.
To meet these challenges, NorthWind provides a diverse and robust recipe management system called BatchLOGIX. Process variables are defined for every piece of process equipment and can be modified for specific recipes. Ingredients can be added simultaneously or in stages within any sequence. Materials and finished products can be mapped to specific containers to prevent cross contamination. Advanced traceability features are available to provide accurate lot tracking with minimal operator interaction to reduce errors. All batching data is stored in an SQL database which can be queried to create data-rich, customizable reports. In addition, the NorthWind BatchMATE Hand-Add product dovetails nicely with BatchLOGIX, providing the same level of detail to hand-added ingredients as BatchLOGIX provides with bulk automated ingredients.
NorthWind also leverages our many years of experience in specific mixing applications to provide advanced algorithms and other features to our clients. For plastic compounding, our Batch Delay Optimization algorithm strikes the perfect balance between avoiding double batching errors and minimizing idle time for the mixers. In the dough mixing arena, a NorthWind system can read product temperatures entering the dough mixer and make proactive adjustments in the temperature of added water or even call for a specific amount of ice to achieve the right final dough temperature even within tight tolerance limits. In pet food, we have become proficient at the art of weaving batch processing into the middle of a continuous process with the ability to make on-the-fly adjustments to process variables to prevent system upset conditions.