Investments in Technology Improve Quality and Efficiency for LMI Custom Mixing


LMI invests in new analytical lab equipment to improve compound quality and technical service.

Cambridge, OH - As a leader in polymer mixing, LMI Custom Mixing, LLC, has continued to raise the bar through investments-this time through their technological lab equipment. Specializing in the production of polymer materials, LMI prides itself on producing the highest quality mixed compounds for the most demanding applications.

To continue to meet and exceed customer expectations, LMI purchased a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR), the preferred method of infrared spectroscopy. In Infrared spectroscopy, IR radiation is passed through a sample. Some of the infrared radiation is absorbed by the sample and some is passed through (transmitted). The resulting spectrum represents the molecular absorption and transmission, creating a molecular fingerprint of the sample. Like a fingerprint, no two unique molecular structures produce the same infrared spectrum. This makes infrared spectroscopy useful for several types of analysis.

So, what information can the FT-IR provide for LMI and its customers?

· It can identify unknown materials. LMI is in the process of updating a library of spectra identifying materials used in or to manufacture finished product. Everything from raw materials, mixed compound and plant supplies will have an identifying fingerprint spectrum.

· It can determine the quality or consistency of a sample. Scans of raw materials and finished material will help in the quality control process of obtaining batch to batch and part consistency.

· The FT-IR can help determine the amount of components in a mixture. Scanning a rubber compound can show LMI chemists what the material is made up of; such as EPDM, Nitrile, and/or Natural rubber. The FT-IR can also identify what fillers are in the material; such as calcium carbonate (chalk), carbon black and/or magnesium silicate (talc).

· The instrument is easy to use. A standard rubber technician can drive the FT-IR software with a simple point and click of a mouse.

In addition to the FT-IR instrument, LMI has added an AS200 Retsch Analytical Sieve Shaker. The Sieve Shaker has the capability to measure and help determine particle size of incoming polymer fillers such as carbon black (Carbon black is used as a pigment and reinforcement in rubber and plastic products.). Fine particles in filler material of small or different sizes can lead to variation in finished product and additional maintenance from wear and tear on manufacturing equipment.

Also acquired this year was the Keyence VHX-Digital Microscope for accurate sample review. The digital microscope can observe, measure, and record all within a single system. This portable microscope provides precision and convenience for users. Without the touch of an operator, a motorized lens electronically controls the focus on a sample. The high-quality zoom allows for maximum depth-of-field measurements while still being able to maintain high resolution images.

The microscope includes programs that generate 3D images and calculate height data on a measuring line. Also included is a built-in flexible lighting system that corrects brightness, reflections or glare on the materials; which results in a more accurate reading. LMI is now able to catalog high resolution photos of contamination and raw materials for improved product quality and future troubleshooting.

"Our mission has always been to give customers the highest quality compounds and our new technology is truly a tremendous leap forward in this pursuit," said Jim Nixon, General Manager of LMI Custom Mixing. "Our team is very excited to have the capability to offer products that have been thoroughly examined and approved. Our customer will see instant benefits from it."

In the future LMI will pursue a microscope attachment for the FT-IR. The attachment will give LMI the capability to scan materials that measure only microns in size. This could further aide in identifying potential contamination in finished goods. LMI is also planning for thermal analysis instruments to characterize materials even further. These instruments will help identify thermal properties such as glass transition, temperature and melting point that will also aide in the development of new quality control testing.

About LMI: LMI Custom Mixing was established in 1998 through the partnership of Lauren International and Meteor Gummiwerke. Today LMI produces the finest quality custom polymer mixes at its state-of-the-art custom mixing facility in Cambridge, Ohio. LMI is dedicated to delivering tightly-controlled polymer compounds that meet even the toughest specifications, batch after batch. LMI Custom Mixing is equipped with two completely integrated intermesh mixing lines inside a 50,000 ft2 climate controlled facility. Plant capacity is 35 million pounds annually, with expansion capabilities of over 50 million pounds. To learn more about our material diversity, batch-to-batch consistency, bar coding, temperature controlled environment and more, contact us at 740-435-0444 or visit www.lmimix.com.

Mindy Lyon

Marketing Manager

LMI Mixing

740-435-0444

804 Byesville Rd.

Cambridge Ohio 43725

www.lmimix.com

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