Instarmac chooses Boone mixer for demanding role.

For Instarmac Group plc, efficient and reliable mixing of complex pastes lies at the heart of its adhesive business.

As one of the leading independent manufacturers of specialist cements, adhesives and grouts for the highway maintenance, streetscape, commercial flooring and contract tiling markets, Instarmac places great demands on its mixing plant.

When the time came to move to its new £16,000,000 purpose built production facility in Tamworth, Staffordshire, upgrading the existing machinery was top priority. Instarmac had, for a number of years, used a 2000 litre paddle mixer, which became unable to produce such sizeable quantities to their ever-increasing high standards.

To replace it Instarmac selected a 4000 litre helical blade (ribbon) mixer from J.R.Boone Ltd of Congleton, which has doubled the size of batch production while at the same time produced consistently reliable results.

Paul Evans, plant manager at Instarmac picks up the story: “After we put the plans together for the new factory we started looking at different suppliers of kit. At one trade show we got in conversation with Chris Boone on stand who claimed he could provide what we were looking for.”

“He gave us some references that couldn’t speak highly enough of his products and service, so we carried on from there.”

During a series of tests using Boone’s 160 litre mobile test mixer, all Instarmac’s product types were trialed at the client’s site and found to be mixed well within the specification and times required, using a Horizontal Helical Blade installation.

“We make a wide variety of tile adhesives, grouts, and construction products,” explained Mr Evans. “Depending on what the product is, mix times and blade speeds vary greatly. Some mixes have to be looked after very precisely.”

“The technology behind the mixing blade is all-important, especially for high shear mixes. After successful trials we placed an order for the 4000 litre unit plus a 40 litre pilot batch mixer to enable further development of our range of products.”

“We have found the results achieved on this lab plant have been scaled up to the production size consistently.”

The mixer is designed to deal with adhesive pastes having a bulk density between 1.3 and 1.6 tons/M3, and viscosities ranging from 3000 to 6000 CP. Maximum batch weight is 6.4 tons, with a typical cycle time of around 30 minutes.

All contact parts are fabricated from 304 stainless steel. The unit is free standing, consisting of a semi-omega trough with flat ends on which are mounted outboard bearings carrying an interrupted double helix agitator; adjustable packed glands seal the agitator as it passes through the ends.

Located on the side of the trough are two hinged cleaning/inspection doors with quick release clamps and code key safety interlock bolts. Discharge is provided by a pneumatically operated NDP outlet valve.

In producing the unit, J.R.Boone drew on its immense experience in constructing mixers for all kinds of applications to a worldwide customer base. Industries served include food, construction, minerals, chemicals, metallurgical and pharmaceutical.

Instarmac was founded in 1977 upon a simple ethos: to manufacture high performance highway maintenance materials that are both user friendly and cost effective. Since then the company has expanded into the streetscape, commercial flooring and contract tiling markets by continuously introducing solutions that offer customers the benefits of quality and guaranteed durability.

The company is a two-year running winner of the “Top 100 Independent Business Price Waterhouse Coopers Award” and in 2007 achieved a One Star Times 100 Best Companies Status. In addition, Instarmac boasts the highest Quality Standards for its products which are ISO: 9001: 2007, ISO: 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accredited.

“We see our success as continuing to provide optimally engineered products and outstanding customer service that give our clients that ever important competitive edge,” says Mr Evans.