An industrial view on blending and segregation of consumer goods
On any given day, 2.5 billion people use Unilever products to feel good, look good and get more out of life. We sell consumer products in the three divisions Foods and Refreshment, Home Care and Beauty & Personal Care. Products in the form of powder are mainly found in savoury products (soups, sauces, etc.), beverages (tea) and laundry detergents.
For these product categories, mixing and dosing are key operations. The product formulations can be very complex, including ingredients with very different properties (density, size, shape, mechanical properties) and amounts. Implementations need to balance consumer demands in terms of product quality and performance with process efficiency. This requires well-designed factory operations, which are able to deal with the portfolio complexities, and appropriate analysis tools and methodologies. Good scaling between lab and factory is an important element of that.
In the presentation, some typical challenges will be discussed.
Jan Wieringa received an MSc and PhD in physics from Delft University of Technology (Netherlands). He spent most of his working life in Unilever R&D, for several categories including foods and laundry products. A common theme is his work is the relation between the product and process. This came back in work in areas like emulsification and crystallization but also powder flows.