Mechatronics, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 21-34, February 1996.
The feasibility of controlling power for efficient batch mixing
Richard A. Layton, William R. Murray, and Joseph L. Garbini

Batch mixing is an established industrial process, historically practiced in an open-loop manner. Batch-to-batch differences in the process that lead to small variations in torque applied to the mix may result in significant variability in the finished product. A new closed-loop strategy for batch mixing is proposed to make the batch mixing process robust to such variations through the application of feedback and control principles. The new closed-loop strategy is based upon the hypothesis that the repeatability of mixing results can be improved by holding constant the amount of work done on each batch and that mixing efficiency can be improved by controlling power. The new strategy is applied in simulation to the specific case of mixing an ammonium nitrate composite solid propellant. The benefits of the new closed-loop strategy as well as the feasibility of implementing the strategy using common industrial components are demonstrated.

©1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Richard A. Layton
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