NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio – Over the last five years, LMI Custom Mixing, LLC, has reported capital investments of more than $1 million in new technology to enhance product quality and manufacturing flexibility across operations.
LMI currently processes more than 25 million pounds of quality custom mixed rubber compound each year. Current plant capacity is 35 million pounds with future plans to expand to 50 million pounds of annual capacity. In recent years, new equipment has been added at both ends of the mixing process to better manage overall product quality and conformity.
Much of the new technology is centered on controlling the variability of incoming raw materials, which are a major cost driver for any custom compounder. Raw materials undergo stringent tests for dispersibility and purity before they are introduced to new products.
• At the receiving process, additional test equipment and procedures have been added to verify materials. Instruments have been added to test the pellet hardness and fines level of incoming bulk carbon black. A viscometer and colorimeter have been added for testing bulk oils.
• New analytical instruments such as a digital microscope, FTIR and DSC have been installed in the quality control lab to confirm material consistency and identify potential contaminants.
Because impurities found in a raw material can migrate to the end product, LMI has invested in straining options for compounds on both of its mixing lines. Gear pump strainers have been installed to filter any raw material impurities found in the end product.
According to Jim Nixon, LMI Custom Mixing's general manager, quality control has always been a key company objective. "Incoming raw material quality and dispersion during the mixing process are vital to creating a uniform and consistent compound. Straining ensures that no contaminants or undispersed materials are presented to the customer," says Nixon. "Our in-line strainers have significantly helped to reduce customer scrap levels."
Finally, to ensure that the customer receives compound in a form that fits their specific process exactly, LMI has made recent investments in the finishing area of its plant, upgrading both the pelletizing and batch-off systems. Customers can receive either strained or unstrained product, in slab, strip or granulated form. "This level of manufacturing flexibility and quality control is uncommon among mixers due to the upfront investment, but it pays off," Nixon says.
About LMI Custom Mixing, LLC
LMI Custom Mixing, LLC is a joint venture between Lauren International, Ltd. and Meteor Gummiwerke (Germany), in production since 1998.
About Meteor Gummiwerke: Meteor Gummiwerke is a global seals and seal systems manufacturer serving the automotive, environmental technology, electronic and other industries. Founded in 1951, Meteor has more than 2,350 employees and an annual turnover of 221 million euros. About Lauren International: Lauren International, Ltd. is a vertically integrated, global company with a strong sense of horizontal perspective among its six highly diversified subsidiaries that include Lauren Manufacturing, Lauren AgriSystems, LMI Custom Mixing, Lauren Plastics, Nurtured Pets and Lauren Innovations. All Lauren companies are united by the same goal: "to bring vision and thought leadership to their respective industries using a combination of industry best practices, market excellence and technical expertise." To learn more about Lauren International, visit www.laureninternational.com or call (330) 339-3373.
Media, Feature Story and Radio Interview Contact: Mindy Lyon
LMI Custom Mixing, LLC; Lauren International