Simultaneous Metering Blending – Creating New Levels of Sustainability and Performance from your Lubricants
Friday, 16 June 2023
For decades, lube oil blending plants have faced a challenging choice for fast movers production: In-Line Blending or In-Tank Blending. This ongoing debate has its proponents on both sides.
In-Line Blending involves pumping all formula components simultaneously, each with a controlled flow rate corresponding to its proportion in the formula. After in-line homogenization, achieved with either an in-line static or dynamic mixer, the product is sent to finished product tanks. In theory, each droplet leaving the in-line blender meets specifications, eliminating the need for further homogenization in the tanks. This is especially advantageous for large tanks (200 to 500 tons). However, it’s worth noting that if the In-Line Blender requires flushing with base oil for compatibility, the flushing oil can’t be incorporated into the finished product and must be discarded.
In-Tank Blending combines a Simultaneous Metering Blender (SMB) with a finished product tank used as a blending tank. The SMB meters all components either simultaneously or sequentially, offering formulation flexibility. The SMB process ends with a flushing step, where the flushing oil becomes part of the formula. The finished product tank is then used for final mixing after transferring all components. The SMB offers dosing flexibility and thorough system flushing without compromising the product, but it requires additional mixing equipment for tank homogenization (eductors, air mixing, pump recirculation), making it energy-intensive.