Trip report from May 23, 2003
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I (Tom) visited Philadelphia Mixers on
Friday May 23, 2003. Larry Frakes, Account Manager, Senior Application
Engineer, was my gracious host. I must say that this visit really surprised me. I was
impressed. The place appeared to be at least twice the size of
LIGHTNIN. The factory was the cleanest and brightest mixing shop I have ever seen. You could sit down on the floor and lay out a picnic!
The inventory they
have is just remarkable. It takes up about half the factory floor space
(or at least it appeared so). If
someone needs a part fast, chances are pretty good that they may have it on a
Several finished mixer assemblies were scattered throughout the factory at various
levels of completion. The shop was definitely busy.
Of course coming from the Research Department of the "Leader of Mixing
Technology", I was very keen on seeing the lab. It was remarkable. The Philly
lab is probably at least 3 times the size of LIGHTNIN's. One of
the tanks was large enough to hydraulically test any sized order prior to
shipping. This capability is so important to European purchasers of mixing
The main lab had laser test equipment from Dantec. A lot of free area
around the laser test equipment gives Philly the flexibility to test impellers
using many different sizes and shapes of tanks.
The lab had a lot of equipment that was obviously in use or was used just
recently. There were clear horizontal test tanks, very tall tanks, and
several tanks for side-entry mixing. I am sure there is much more in
storage that wasn't visible. The lab had a wide array of impellers for
testing. One tank was setup for up-pumping studies. The impellers
were attached to a shaft that would allow for individual torque readings, not
just total readings. Everything was so clean and the lab looked very well
taken care of.
Dr. Wojciech Wyczalkowski was in the process of running an experiment for a
client. Philadelphia Mixers encourages engineers and scientists to
consider hiring the lab staff to do mixing experiments for them. If you
are considering getting some objective mixing tests done, where you are in
charge of the experimentation, you should contact Philadelphia
Dr. John von Essen was unfortunately in Philadelphia attending a BHR meeting
so I could not see him.
There is more. In the next lab, a 3/4 million gallon tank was being
used for an experiment. The depth of the tank is 39 feet and this entire
tank is inside a huge room. There is plenty of room to get around all of
the sides of the tank. They have the flexibility to position the mixer(s)
anywhere they want over the liquid surface. This room had 3 more very
large tanks. I was told that one of them was at least one floor down into
the ground whereas it was also at least one floor above the floor. This
makes it ideal to do fermentation and hydrogenation studies. Side windows
allowed visual inspection. The others were not as tall, but had even
greater diameters. Catwalks allowed you to get to the top of the tanks.
If you are interested in mixing, you should definitely give Philadelphia
Mixers a call, 1-800-95-MIXER. Since I was impressed, I am sure you will be, too.