SPX FLOW, Inc., a leading provider of process solutions for the nutrition, health and industrial markets, unveiled the new APV Flex-Mix Pilot Mixer, which enables food and beverage customers to test small-scale pilot batches of low to high viscosity product samples using just a single unit.

Read: August 2022 Issue of Food InfoTech Magazine.

Customers can buy or rent the pilot mixer to conduct tests at their own facilities, including developing recipes for everything from infant formula, ice cream and plant-based products to dressings, sauces and high-protein yogurts. The in-house tests give customers a better sense of whether products and recipes can be replicated on a bigger scale. In addition, by conducting the tests on a smaller scale, customers can avoid shutting down their production lines for a long time.

This pilot mixer is also ideal for small-scale production or craft producers looking to make a variety of products in small batches. The Flex-Mix Pilot Mixer’s compact, ergonomic design, which is easy to move and requires just one operator, adds a convenient and cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.

“Flexibility is a top priority for food and beverage producers and that’s the biggest benefit of the Flex-Mix Pilot Mixer,” said Con O’Driscoll, SPX FLOW’s Global Product Manager. “This helps customers quickly adjust to emerging trends efficiently and reliably — with equipment designed to enable rapid innovation, thereby improving speed to market.”

The Flex-Mix Pilot Mixer also helps customers cut costs and reduce waste. By conducting the tests in their own facilities, customers won’t have to pay to travel or ship raw materials to a different laboratory. And since the batch size is small, there will be less waste during the testing phase.

Equipped with all the features of a full-size mixer, including heating jackets, agitators, scrapers and semi-automation systems, the pilot mixer can perform incorporate mixing, direct heating and jacket heating/cooling.

A single pilot mixer also enables customers to test three different types of mixing techniques available in the full-scale APV Flex-Mix series:

  • Atmospheric mixing: For low viscosity products like ice cream mix and recombined dairy products. It uses internal recirculation and scales up to our Flex-Mix Liquiverter mixer.
  • Vacuum-mixing: For low viscosity products like infant formula and plant-based products. It uses external recirculation and scales up to our Flex-Mix™ Instant mixer.
  • All-in-one mixing with or without vacuum or heating: For medium and high viscous products like processed cheese and meat products. It uses internal recirculation and scales up to our Flex-Mix Multiverter mixer.

The Flex-Mix Pilot Mixer can test a variety of ingredients, including liquids, dry powders, soluble pastes, coarse grinds and solids.

“The ease and flexibility of our new pilot mixer give customers the options they need for their products and recipes to succeed,” said O’Driscoll. “Once the test is successful, SPX FLOW and customers can work together to scale up and achieve optimum results easily.”

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