About 10 years ago they inquired about a mixer from A&J Mixing International. Gary Forte, the previous owner, and his right hand man in charge of Dan Kleinow had a mixing application for castables that included fiber. They had fair prices from a good manufacturer of ribbons, and it was A&J’s challenge to convince them that they could do a better job and with far less maintenance that would justify the investment. They were sending trucks past A&J’s shop, so A&J invited them to drop off some material and then come over to see a demo. A&J loaded the mixer with a castable mix with the fiber placed on top and turned the mixer on for one minute. Forte said, “I saw that but I don’t believe it! Run it for another minute — I still don’t believe it..“
After demonstrating the performance, A&J shared their knowledge as to how to make a machine to withstand the abrasion and customize it for their application. They had experience with UHMW liners, which are sacrificial and give a reasonable life without replacement — it has been replaced once. The paddles were made with replaceable heads with AR425 flat surfaces and the attachment socket of 3140 heat treated. The paddles have also been replaced once.
After seeing this performance on a highly abrasive product, Kleinow thought he could eliminate some significant maintenance cost if he could improve a ribbon mixer on the nozzle fill sand by having an A&J rotor and installing a liner. A&J designed a retrofit kit and allowed for the liner. This eliminated the maintenance problem and improved their quality. In addition, whereas the paddle mixer could reverse, he could direct the sand to either an air packer or a bulk bag. The short mixing time also means less wear.
Business kept increasing and they bought another new mixer for the sand, and an expansion is planned for the fourth mixer. Plant foreman Scott Kleinow said, “We buy [A&J’s] stuff because it works.”
For more information on mixing abrasives see: http://www.ajmixing.com/store.asp?pid=32158&catid=20010