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My name is Lane Pittner, I'm the OptiFlow Business Unit Manager for Crane Engineering.
There's been unprecedented growth in the wet wipes market in the past year, and the biggest challenge manufacturers are facing right now is the struggle to keep up with demand.
As converting lines get bigger and faster, they consume a lot more fluid. In many situations, manufacturers have the ability to get more production out of their existing converting lines, but their traditional batch systems are not able to keep up and they don't have the space or manpower required to add more tanks and make more batches.
With an inline blend system, batches of fluid are still mixed in a traditional batch tank, but since the main ingredient in many fluid recipes is water, batches can be produced in a highly concentrated form and diluted with water using an inline blend system.
An inline blend system can offer several advantages over batch processing. System capacity can be increased without adding any additional tanks. Tanks are expensive and they take up a lot of room. One tank is able to supply a converting line for for a much longer period of time which means less cleaning in between batches and less time for operators to make new batches.
An inline blend system provides highly accurate ratio control and also offers the opportunity to add ingredients such as fragrances outside the batch tank which means that manufacturers can make fewer base formulas, and add the differentiating ingredients later.
We worked with a company that switched from a traditional batching system to an inline blend system and they were able to extend their runtime on one tank from 90 minutes to 30 hours.
If someone is interested in increasing their production capabilities with an inline blend system, I would recommend that they do some research on companies that have experience with these systems and reach out to discuss their specific requirements.