Overhead Stirrer Operation Options

R50D Overhead StirrerMultiple experiments or pilot plant trials utilizing overhead stirrers as part of the mixing procedures are greatly simplified when overhead mixers can be individually controlled via a computer program.  This sure beats lab assistants moving up and down aisles to check on the performance of each piece of equipment.

A Windows-based PC program with comprehensive user interfaces provide researchers the option of manually or automatically controlling overhead stirrers.  Developed by CAT for its R series of lab equipment the software is easily installed into a PC.  Once installed it shows a collapsible split-screen display.  On the left the researcher enters data for each of the stirrers to be managed by the software, the top half of which is for manual control and the bottom half for automated control.

The manual control interface on the left panel provides time and speed options.  The bottom automatic control interface allows users to set time, start speed, stop speed and maximum torque options.

When these parameters are established the screen can be collapsed to show only the actual operations.  It will indicate:

  • Stirrer type, such as the CAT R100C
  • The control mode (stirrer will be controlled via the stirrer panel, manual control with the manual control interface and auto control via the automatic control interface)
  • Set and actual speed in RPM
  • Absolute and relative torque in Ncm
  • Absolute and relative power in watts
  • Set and elapsed stirring time

Other options and data include a panel update, when maximum torque is reached (in which case it will not be exceeded due to automatic reduced motor speed), frequency of data recording, an emergency stop, and data acquisition.

 When to Use Overhead Stirrers

An overhead stirrer is an example of several means by which ingredients can be blended as part of a research or pilot plant operation. Powered by a drive motor affixed to an adjustable support stand they use impellers, paddles and blades to blend ingredients in the sample containers.  Their drive motors are specified by torque power necessary to work with samples based on viscosity, and by stirring speed and duration.  Self-test features will shut the equipment down in the event of overheating or sample viscosity exceeding the unit’s limits.

Aside from the automated control software featured in this post overhead mixer control depends on the model.  In general, all have adjustable speed control (typically 50 to 2000 RPM) and basic LED displays.  Higher end mixers display set and actual parameters along with other operational details. When used alone, RS232 interfaces can be used to operate an overhead stirrer by computer and collect operating data for record keeping.

Where to get More Info

Scientists at CAT Scientific are ready to help you select the right equipment for your research and manufacturing needs.  To get started all you have to do is contact us and provide some preliminary information.  We promise to get back to you soon.

Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

1 Comment

  1. […] High-viscosity stirrers can also be remotely controlled using a Windows-based PC program that permits automatic or manual operation.  A program available from CAT Scientific features a split screen display, the left of which is used for data entry after which it is closed.  The remaining screen shows actual operations.  Further details are available on our post on overhead stirrer operating options. […]

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