Shaking things up

The pure power and efficiency of the RAM technology can, on first viewing, be difficult to comprehend. Resodyn Europe’s Director of Marketing and Sales, Chris Bull, has become well-acquainted with the look of disbelief on the faces of prospective customers as they realise the transformative potential of the RAM being demonstrated in front of them.

“When companies view the product, they genuinely do not believe what they are seeing,” Chris proclaims. “I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s been so successful. When we go out and visit customers, they tell us that it normally takes them two or three hours to do what the RAM mixer can do in two or three minutes, and these are scientists and PhDs –they’ve never seen anything like it before.” (Figure 1)

By no means isolated incidents, during his time talking to Manufacturing Today Europe, Chris can relate multiple stories about the impact RAM technology has made during demonstrations with companies across the globe.

“Not long ago, Resodyn visited a company that produced ceramic products for the aerospace industry, Chris says. “Their original process required three steps which took them 22 hours to complete. With the use of RAM technology, the three steps process was reduced to one step and the processing time was reduced to 18 minutes.

“Like anyone in that situation, they couldn’t believe it. They said, look, is there something that we are missing here, so they actually put all the mix processes through their laboratory and did extensive studies on the results including laser diffraction analysis. Their findings were that with the RAM technology the particle size and distribution were ideal and concluded that, even though it took just 18 minutes, the Resodyn mix met their standards and requirements. It was a huge moment for this company because it meant they could greatly reduce the process steps and time required for each batch. As you can imagine,” Chris adds, “that demonstration turned into the company renting machine for further testing prior to purchase.”

Founded in 1994 as a research and development company looking to ‘Build value through discovery and innovation’ Resodyn Corporation developed a new mixing technology in 2003 in response to a U.S. government request for an innovative Resodynmethod of mixing explosives. In 2007, this patented ResonantAcoustic® mixing product was launched in the U.S. commercially, with international markets soon to follow.

What is it then that makes the product so ground-breaking?

“Firstly, there is no direct competition to the RAM technology,” Chris states. “This patented mixing technology is unique to Resodyn. The real value proposition for our clients, however, is that RAM will mix nearly any combination of material – liquid, powder, gas, and combinations thereof – on the identical technology platform, more efficiently than any other processing technology.”

Turning sound energy into mixing phenomena, RAM products generate powerful processing energy by oscillating rapidly a mixing vessel with a relatively large displacement. The mixing process is achieved with intense vertical travel, 60 times per second, creating and transferring acoustic energy into the processed ingredients without the use of impellers, propellers, or any internal hardware. This results in rapid, effective mixing, reduced waste materials, and eliminates the need for cleaning internal mixer apparatus after each process batch.

“Resodyn has developed a product that uniquely delivers order of magnitude improvements over alternatives that are currently in the market and what we class as conventional mixing technologies,” Chris remarks. “Our acoustic mixers provide processing results not available by other means. For example, a high-value abrasives coating company was able to streamline their mix process from 53 steps taking 10.5 hours down to just three steps using RAM technology, giving them a higher quality of mix in 0.5 hours. The mixer’s performance resulted in a payback for the product of less than six months.”

As Chris alludes to, the benefits of RAM technology do not simply end with a superior product for the customer. Most businesses that adopt a Resodyn Acoustic Mixer as their primary method for mixing find far-reaching advantages, especially in terms of improved product performance and profitability.

“If you imagine some of these big conventional mixing machines that have very large propellers and impellers, every time you change a batch, you have to put the machine into downtime, scrape off valuable material, scrap it, and then clean all of the components, oftentimes with solvents, then dispose of contaminated materials,” Chris asserts. It is also important to recognize that traditional technologies only mix at the edge of the mixing blade or propeller whereas RAM mixes everywhere in the mix vessel delivering exceptional uniformity and consistency. In modern product development and production these are qualities critical to our industrial clients.

Additionally, the efficiency of the Resodyn mixing process means that companies can simultaneously reduce processing time, increase production capacity, whilst achieving higher quality levels than previously considered possible. The net result is increased profitability.

“I know in marketing parlance you always hear the phrase ‘you only need two or three USPs’ but we seem to have quite a few, and they can be adapted to each process or company’s need. In other words, Resodyn’s value proposition offers the identical technology platform used for virtually any application with equally impressive results.”

The 2020, the Resodyn product portfolio consists of models ranging from bench scale (Figure 3) to production scale, including systems that mix materials continuously. At the end of 2019, 13 years since the company released its first acoustic mixing machine – a ½kg capacity mixer called the LabRAM – Resodyn unveiled the LabRAM I (Figure 1), a next-generation version of the original with significant and innovative improvements in power, operating system, and usability.

Building momentum
More recently, in response to market demand, Resodyn launched a new 5 kg system named the OmniRAM (Figure 4). The OmniRAM was designed as a bridge from the laboratory scale machines to larger production batch systems, the RAM 5 at 36 kg (Figure 5) and RAM 55 at 420 kg (Figure 2). All three of these models are also capable of continuous operation, removing the limitations inherent to batch processing (Figure 6). Market acceptance of the new OmniRAM has been brisk as demonstrated by a robust run of global sales. Similarly, a growing number of companies are actively pursuing continuous capabilities to multiply RAM’s processing performance with dramatically higher productivity potential.

With a host of additional processing options available for use with the RAM technology, including mix vessel vacuum, temperature control, as well as spray coating, sieving, and grinding, RAM technology can be tailored to a wide variety of customers with specific needs and requirements. As demand for RAM technology grows, Chris and the team at Resodyn Europe are expecting to build on the enthusiastic feedback on successful applications that they continue to receive from existing clients.

“The more people we can get in front of to demonstrate the RAM technology, the greater the applications we can feature, ” Chris declares. “Customer demonstrations get people talking, resulting in building the RAM technology momentum, followed by people coming to us enquiring about the RAM technology they’ve heard about.”

Under normal circumstances, Chris and his team would currently be travelling throughout Europe to demonstrate RAM technology, but global restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic mean that the company has developed new, creative ways to drum up business. Soon after talking to Manufacturing Today Europe, Chris was preparing to deliver an online product demonstration to a customer in Europe.

“Our machinery is unique; there isn’t anything else like it anywhere in the world, so for people to understand that, and get the best from it, what we would normally do is visit them,” Chris explains. “Once a machine is delivered either for a purchase or a trial rental, we would arrange an installation and training session, but with travel restrictions the way they are at the moment, that option is not available for now so we’ve determined to provide client mix trials online by video conferencing. Resodyn has already conducted many online video demonstrations to clients globally.

“We have additional enquiries for online video demonstrations across Europe. Furthermore, the online video demonstrations allow Resodyn to also provide mix training online. This adversity has prompted us to fine tune our processes to benefit our customers with more information, faster to serve their needs.

“Client feedback remains the basis for all new RAM technology products. In fact, RAM was born in the energetic industry and the ‘H’, or hazardous, designation of several models (Figure 5) was developed through close work understanding and responding to customers’ needs, resulting in a design that is specifically configured for optional certification to the most rigorous safety regulations in the industrial world.”

The second half of 2020 is poised to be another exciting chapter in the Resodyn story. The OmniRAM has been launched globally as has the launch of a Continuous Acoustic Mixing process. Furthermore, Resodyn will launch a Resonant Acoustic Continuous Micro-Reactor in 2021, which promises to be a breakthrough mixing technology for the formulation of chemicals.

As the company’s product line continues to develop, and interest in Resodyn Europe grows, Chris and his team are extremely positive about the organisation’s potential for growth over the next five years. “At this stage of Resodyn Europe’s development, it is important to present RAM technology to as many qualified companies as possible, hence our active forthcoming exhibition schedule,” Chris notes. “We are constantly searching and responding to opportunities to demonstrate the RAM technology to interested clients, expand our online presence, and perform mixing tests using client materials.”

Products: Acoustic mixers