Mixer Maintenance 101: Monthly Checks

Posted by Wayne Beveridge on Feb 22, 2021
Variety of tools including wrench, screwdriver, hammer, pliers and tape measure

Some things we look forward to on a monthly basis: full moons, paychecks, movie releases, and gypsum mixer maintenance.

Gypsum slurry can be a tough product, but proper maintenance extends the lifespan of your mixer, prevents paper breaks and keeps the whole process running smoothly.

A while back, we listed the best weekly maintenance practices for your gypsum pin mixer. There are some important checks to make on a monthly basis, as well – some of which overlap with the weeklies, but it’s good to familiarize yourself with all the necessary steps.

ACS has a gypsum expert on staff to dole out the best tips. Check out his recommended monthly maintenance procedures to keep your mixer in tip-top shape.

Don’t skip this step: lubrication

Proper lubrication reduces friction and heat between all the different moving parts in your mixer. That reduces wear on the bearings and helps parts last longer, so it’s important to keep them greased up. Check the lubrication on the bronze nut and top and lower bearings, top it up as needed, and add lube to the drive coupling on a monthly basis.

Cleanup & buildup

Good monthly housekeeping includes cleaning out the breather holes in your mixer base and inspecting the area. In particular, look at the shaft seal and the bottom of the rotor – you should see a smear of grease in this area, which indicates your bottom bearing housing is staying well-lubricated. This will help protect seals from corrosion and keep water out of the bearing housing. Our in-house gypsum consultant recommends two shots of grease per day, every day.

Besides that, check the base jet for material buildup or plugging. Also remove any buildup on the back lid, which isn’t checked often. Buildup can lead to lumps in your slurry, wear on the mixer parts or generally inefficient performance.

Where’s the wear?

Look for signs of wear-and-tear, because that will tell you if anything needs to be replaced. Here are the parts to check on a monthly basis:

  • Drive belt
  • Drive sprocket/sheave
  • Rotor hub UHMW scraper
  • Back lid liner
  • Back lid pin/water pin
  • Lump ring

Those ones are more self-explanatory, but there are a few other things you might not know about wear. For one, wear on the rotor scraper can become problematic if you leave it too long, because it opens up the lump-ring-to-rotor clearances and let bigger lumps get through. At that point, you would need rotor height adjustments to keep the correct base-liner-to-scraper clearances .

The extractor/pinch valve donut is another one to check closely. The back (face) extractor does not get viewed as often as the front (back) extractor donut, so wear can go undetected and create premature issues on the rim liner.

Preventative maintenance: The key to cost savings

Prevention is the word of the day. The more you keep up with these weekly and monthly checks, the longer your mixer will run without issues. If your gypsum pin mixer is looking a bit worse for wear, it may be time for a rebuild. You can set up a regular rebuild schedule with ACS Mixers to extend the mixer’s longevity and avoid having to buy brand-new before it’s absolutely necessary.

Looking for more maintenance tips? Feel free to reach out.

Variety of tools including wrench, screwdriver, hammer, pliers and tape measure
Posted By Wayne Beveridge Gypsum Sales/Consulting Manager

Wayne is our technical jet-setter. He will explore any possible explanation for why your mixer or valve might not be functioning at its best—even if he has to travel by planes, trains and motorcycles to get to your machinery. He’ll take a look at the minute details of your equipment to make sure that your whole system is back up and running in no time.