Containment blending is not a new concept and was first introduced in the 1950s. With the development of containment blending, it was possible to resolve a number of previous problems that existed in chemical and pharmaceutical industries, including cross-contamination, clean-up and sanitation, and blend quality. Featuring a simple-straight-forward design, containment blending allows the customer to utilize their own shipping or in-house containers.
The basic premise behind this concept is that the same intermediate bulk container, IBC, will be utilized for shipping, storage, and blending. The typical IBC container is comprised of a cradle as well as a pedestal support. The entire IBC blender is held and rotated by the cradle. Most of the IBC blenders used today function as stand-alone units that can be loaded using a forklift.
IBC blenders provide a host of benefits compared to conventional blending equipment, including complete product containment. In addition, with an IBC blender, there is no clean up required for the blender. In many instances, there is also reduced blend times, which can lead to increased productivity.
With an IBC blender, there is also less ingredient segregation. This eliminates the need for the batch to be removed from the blending container and transport. There is also increased product containment with an IBC blender, which translates to a reduce chance of contamination or spillage occurring. Cross contamination is also eliminated due to the fact that the product does not ever come into contact with the blender. Also, there is no need to transfer the product to and from the container. Process flexibility is also increased, as there are no limits regarding the number of product formulations that can be blending within the same unit. This makes the IBC blender an ideal choice for integration within an automated process.