Ketchup manufacturers had previously used mechanical mixing to blend their product, but over 20 years ago, Hunt’s Ketchup put their trust in Komax Systems and became the first major company to switch from mechanical mixing to static mixers. Static mixers performed the job much more thoroughly; making the ketchup taste better and it also saved Hunt Wesson a good deal of money.
Mechanical mixing involves the use of large stirred tanks that use mechanical means to mix the ingredients together. These tanks need a great deal of room, use a good deal of energy and loose some of the product through evaporation. In an effort to eliminate these problems the first Komax static mixer was installed in Hunt’s California plant. One four inch diameter Komax static mixer was able to produce more ketchup then fifteen of the 5000 lb. stirred tanks that Hunt Wesson had previously used. This static mixer was also able to provide continual mixing as instead of having to mix their product in batches.
Two months latter Komax added a short flanged tube section to the static mixer for mixing in the spice. Since the static mixer was completely enclosed this dispensed with the problem of evaporation and was able to save Hunt Wesson over $50,000 a year. In addition to this savings the use of the fully enclosed inline Komax static mixer also dispensed with the need of using fifteen 5000 lb. open stirred tanks that took up a great deal of room. By replacing these stirred tanks with the Komax static mixer, Hunt’s had an energy savings of over 95%. Another savings comes from the fact that mechanical mixers are prone to wear and need an abundance of maintenance where static mixers need almost no upkeep.
The use of the Komax static mixer created a great economic savings for Hunt Wesson, but it was also more environmentally friendly since less input is better for the environment. Lastly and most important to Hunt Wesson, the use of the Komax static mixers allowed Hunt’s to achieve a better blend of tomatoes and spice and created a better tasting ketchup.