OPTIMIZATION OF OPERATION PARAMETERS OF A DEVELOPED DOUGH MIXER
A mixer is essentially required for homogenizing flour and other ingredients in the bakery industry. In this research, a dough mixer was developed using a 10.5% chromium stainless-steel and its performance evaluated based on the machine parameters. The shaft speed (250−350 rpm), agitator geometry angle (45o, 60o and 90o) and number of blades (type A-5, type B-4 and type C-3) were considered as the machine parameters. The Effective mix proportion (EMP) was determined as the performance index. A Split-Plot Optimal Design was used to determine the desired variables for maximum EMP. Results show that the EMP decreases with an increase in the agitator geometry angle, irrespective of the speed of the mixing shaft. A critical behavior of the mixer was obtained at 300rpm, which indicates the homogeneous phase change stage in the mixing process. Again, the mixer performance was higher for the agitator with 5 blades and lower for the 3 blades agitator. The optimum EMP occurred for type C-3 blades, 60o geometry angle at 250 rpm with 98% desirability. These can be considered as the best configurations for a large-scale practice.