I am frequently asked how often should I test my slurry? I know you shouldn’t answer a question with a question, but what about a series of questions?
✓ Are the adjustments with water, binder or a mixture of both?
✓ Do the components of the adjustment change every time?
✓ Do you have to add so many liquids that flour needs to be added to thicken up the slurry?
✓ Are these adjustments as a result of periodic viscosity checks or from the slurry testing?
The goal of your testing frequency should be as little as possible while ensuring the key parameters are in range. I have seen some customers test their slurries on a daily basis and some do no testing at all.
I firmly believe that if you control your inputs, slurry control will be much easier and a result, less testing is required. That means that you must monitor the material being fed into the slurry tanks and make adjustments prior to adding them into the dip tanks. If the make-up tanks are in range, it would stand to reason that the slurry dip tanks will also be in range. But, what if the make-up tanks aren’t maintained in range?
If you have questions about how to ensure the make-up tanks are in control, read Shark Teeth or an Iowa Cornfield?
If you start to understand why the adjustments are being made and take steps to correct those parts of the process which are causing the variability, then you will be on your way to having a more robust process which will allow the operators to spend less time testing the slurries and more time on production.
If you want to talk about where your process variability might be coming from, send me a quick email at Julie@keyprocessinnovations.com and we can discuss your situation in greater detail.