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Private label or brand consumers are switching sq2

A tightening economy sees increased focus on private-label production, driving the demand for quality, cost-efficiency and sustainability

Private label or brand consumers are switching
Private label or brand? Consumers are switching

But is this change all about price?

Not according to Circana, a global leader in consumer behaviour.

Their research reveals a major part of the shift is from traditional trusted brands to retailers’ own mid to high-end Private Label ranges.

”…Sixty per cent of shoppers in Europe now think private labels are as good as national brands, and crucially: 21% of consumers who buy both, many of whom are middle-income cohorts, now think they are better than national brands”

Steph Cullen, head of Circana

Customer trust in Private Label brands has been won through retailers’ constant focus on innovation and quality.

Retailer’s manufacturing partners have a deep understanding of this market dynamic. As a result, they are ready to invest in mixing capability that helps meet retailers’ demands.

Brand Switch 2022
A clear switch to Private-Label

The Greaves Experience

In Greaves’ own experience, private label manufacturers are often more willing to embrace new methods than brand competitors as they seek our help to meet the exacting standards of leading food retailers.

Rapid mixing, repeatability, consistency and swift batch changes are always top of their agenda.

However, there is also a new focus on sustainability. Goals include reduced energy consumption, lower processing waste and extended shelf life.

The Greaves Effect

Greaves engineers work collaboratively with manufacturers’ technical teams. We first evaluate current performance and then offer innovative ways of achieving their objectives whilst complying with certification requirements.

Our initial consultation involves a “deep dive” into existing processes. This is key in identifying what additional gains might be achieved beyond our customer’s initial expectations.

We find customers are frequently surprised at the significant capacity and quality gains achievable through a relatively small investment.

Automation Benefits
Automation Benefits

Often, the number and size of machines required are less than anticipated. New mixing technology can dramatically reduce cycle times.

Furthermore, process waste can regularly be reduced to insignificant levels. As a result, this helps customers achieve their sustainability goals and deliver additional cost savings.

Greaves Deliver

In summary, Greaves’ collaborative approach enables our customers to consistently deliver quality products with the extended shelf life that meets retailers’ sustainability goals.

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100 years and still improving – The Move to High Performance Mixing

2019 is our centenary year. Over the past 100 years, Greaves has built an enviable reputation for our knowledge and expertise in mixing processes and systems. While the technologies have continually developed to meet the growing needs and expectations of our customers, we have witnessed a significant acceleration in the sophistication of mixing requirements over the past 20 years.

Above all, with market forces driving a relentless pursuit of product quality and consistency, our clients have been pressed to constantly improve their manufacturing processes. As a result, enhanced technical performance and mixing productivity are now essential. These advances have primarily been achieved through process systems delivering ever more flexible control automation and a corresponding reduction in the need for human intervention.

In today’s manufacturing world, the Greaves Team sees a constant requirement for High-Performance Mixing Solutions and Integrated Mixing Systems. Furthermore, we have seen this shift across all of our markets whether industrial chemicals, food or pharmaceuticals.

Examples of 21st Century integrated mixing systems from Greaves

Consequently, many features that might have been considered as optional ‘add-ons’ or costly luxuries in the 1980s and 90s are now common requirements:

  • Hygienic design with no “hang-ups” to avoid cross-contamination
  • Highly-polished stainless steel
  • Integrated cleaning systems for rapid product change
  • Rapid heating and cooling for energy efficiency
  • Pressurised/vacuum vessels to control cycle times
  • High-performance shaft sealing technology to eliminate product leakage
  • Automated filling and discharge to expedite production turnaround
  • Programmable cycle control with batch recording for end-to-end traceability
  • Material and finish certification, FAT & SAT acceptance for comprehensive documentation

Notwithstanding these rapid changes, we are proud to maintain our position at the forefront of industrial mixing technology.

So, here’s to the next 100 years.

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Greaves Solution: Capacity Up 660%

Borregaard are an innovative additive producer servicing a wide range manufacturing industries including Construction, Agriculture, Animal Feed, Oil & Gas, Food and Pharmaceutical.

The single largest use for lignosulfonates is as plasticisers in making
concrete, blocks and bricks

Borregaard is the leading UK manufacturer and distributor of Lignosulphanates.

Lignosulphanates are widely used in construction products to increase manufacturing efficiency, reduce energy usage and improve product performance.

Project Brief:

Borregaard UK Production Manager, Chris Barrick takes up the story…

“To meet increased demand and to improve efficiencies, we needed to rapidly increase our production capacity and turned to Greaves for help. Our manufacturing process is very challenging as it includes the dispersion of a fine, hygroscopic powder in liquid.  Process time for large batches was often upwards of two days from start to finish and required a significant amount of operator input.”

Chris invited Greaves to study the companies existing production set-up and offer alternative solutions.

The Greaves Proposition...
Greaves technicians conducted a thorough process review and proposed a change in mixing technology using Borregaard’s existing process vessels. The next step was to perform small-scale trials in Greaves MixLab R&D centre. The trials confirmed the suitability of the new technology which gave Borregaard confidence to invest in Greaves full-scale solution.

The Results...

The first two Greaves mixers were installed in Borregaards existing 5000L & 24000L vessels and had an immediate impact on operations.

Chris Barrick continues: ” This has resulted in improved efficiencies for operators and production output.  We are now able to produce 5 times more product in our larger process and 10 times more product in our smaller process over the same period of time as previous methods of mixing technology had produced.

We are extremely pleased with the outcome and would like to thank the team at Greaves Mixers for helping us to achieve this significant step forward in our production efficiencies and capacity.”

Project Update...

The Borregaard parent company has been so pleased with the commercial success of this new technology that they have now made funds available for investment in 3 new vessels and mixers.

Greaves is delighted to work with Borregaard and its team and we look forward to assisting their future growth.

If you have an issue with mixing capacity and would like to talk to Greaves, please get in touch.

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Powders into liquid – A new solution to an old mixing problem

The Problem

The dispersion of fine powder in a liquid can be a challenging process throughout pharma, cosmetics/healthcare & food manufacturing. Example applications include:

  • Foods – Garlic to cold water, pectin, starch, xanthan gum, cornflour, carbon black
  • Pharma & Cosmetics – Carbopol, calcium carbonate, titanium dioxide, sorbitol

The issue often arises where manufacturers are using inappropriate or outdated mixing technology. The issues can include:

  • Excessive mixing time – often measured in hours
  • Slow manual addition of raw materials
  • Floating agglomerates and  “fish-eyes”
  • Risk of unreliable operator input with results highly dependent on operator skill
  • The common need to pre-heat liquid base is slow & energy-inefficient
  • Unstable suspensions can be prone to separation (meaning short shelf-life)
  • Powder adheres to support pillars and support bushes. (wear, cleaning & maintenance issues)
  • Difficult-to-clean systems present hygiene risks

The traditional approach

Historically, when faced with the “powder-liquid problem” manufacturers usually try two techniques:

  • Impeller / propeller (perhaps at high speed)
  • High shear mixer (rotor-stator type)

Neither of these approaches is guaranteed to resolve the powder/liquid problem and almost invariably results in lower productivity than optimum solution.


The Greaves’ solution – the High-Speed Disperser™ (HSD)

Greaves’ High-Speed Disperser™ technology has been developed specifically to tackle the problems associated with mixing lightweight, difficult-to-wet powders.

The HSD solution involves:

  • Creation of a deep vortex which immediately draws powder into the mixing zone allowing:
    • Rapid addition of powder
    • Greatly reduced surface agglomeration
  • High-speed, serrated disc impeller delivering:
    • Rapid powder incorporation and dispersion
    • Dispersion of agglomerates
    • Consistent flow and downthrust

The benefits of Greaves’ HSD mixers include

  • Significant increase in productivity – cycle time in minutes rather than hours
  • Reduced operator input – easier to use
  • Hygienic construction – easy clean-down
  • Cold mixing – no slow, expensive pre-heating
  • Improved product consistency and stability

This video demonstrates the Greaves’ solution in action…

For further information please see

Our focus is on delivering real benefit to our customers. We are happy to arrange mixer trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch

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Mixing trends – Fast, Flexible, Repeatable

Mixing trends – Fast, Flexible, Repeatable

High shear mixers can reduce process time by 80%


We work with an enormously diverse range of customers, from foodstuffs to pharmaceuticals, base chemicals to cosmetics. The market exposure gives us real insight into mixing trends and how the market is moving.

If we wanted to sum up this movement in one word, that word is REPEATABILITY.

At the heart of this is repeatability regardless of batch size.

Heated, mobile mixers allow flexible, rapid processing to meet customer demand

Greaves’ Top 10:

Here are our Top 10 reasons why end users are demanding more from our mixer customers:

  1. Need to produce low volume, high value products for niche markets
  2. Demand for repeatable high quality across a wide range of production batch sizes
  3. Produce the volumes customers require and remove the barrier of minimum order quantities
  4. Lean manufacturing to minimise inventory and waste
  5. Launching new products with low commercial risk i.e. stock risks, seasonal variations
  6. Elastic volume capability of say 60L to 10L (i.e. 6:1 turndown ratio. Historically this was only 3:1)
  7. Reduced cycle times to keep costs down (typically less than 5 minutes vs historic 20 minutes+)
  8. Ability to mix hundreds of product types with quick clean down & change-over
  9. Rapid, accurate repetition of product formulations
  10. Batch traceability across more, smaller batches

Are you geared up to make the most of an evolving market? Call us to find out more

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Lean Forward -Mixing solutions that exceed expectations

We see our business as providing effective mixing solutions rather than simply supplying mixers and vessels. Clients frequently ask to meet with Greaves’ Process Consultants to tap into our extensive experience and knowledge to help them solve specific issues including:

  • Increased capacity
  • Process flexibility
  • Reducing cycle times
  • Output validationproc2

All of these tend to be driven by customer specification and the drive for ever-increased efficiency in competitive markets.

Our initial recommendation is normally a full process review.

Investment in new processing equipment can often open up potential to increase capability, flexibility and efficiency. To make the most of this opportunity it is important to establish a comprehensive understanding of both current and future needs.

While it may seem obvious to extend capacity by duplicating current equipment, our experience and knowledge can often identify a better solution bringing additional benefits. These can lead to a faster return on investment through shorter cycle times and greater flexibility.

Our Consultants challenge an existing process by :

  • Analysing the most effective way to mix products
  • Considering other options available to save time and improve consistency
  • Looking at ways to reduce operator input
  • Exploring mixer configurations offering greater viscosity and volume flexibility
  • Improving process efficiencies with heat, cooling and/or vacuum or pressure)
  • Always ensuring compliance with safety legislation, ATEX and CE marking
Greaves look at end to end process optimisation

Throughout every process review, we aim to help customers make strategically sound investment decisions that support future operational needs. This can include the use of hire equipment to test a proposed solution prior to committing to permanent investment.

Customers can hire Greaves mixers to test the performance and process benefits in several ways:

  • Free of charge 14 day trial
  • Extended hire periods (minimum 1 month)
  • Leasing or Hire purchase

Our hire equipment is naturally of the highest performance standard you expect from us and includes:

  • High Shear – top entry & in-line
  • High Speed Dispersers
  • Laboratory – high shear & HSD types
  • IBC mixers
  • 45 Gallon drum blenders & dispersers

If you would like to talk to us about improving processes to exceed your expectations – get in touch

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Greaves launches new High Speed IBC Mixer range

With the iHD IBC 7500 F50t down.png-optidrivencreasing popularity of IBC mixers in all product areas, Greaves has recently updated and expanded the models and options in this range.

AHD IBC 7500 F50t ups customers become more ambitious and make greater demands on their IBC mixing processing we have increased the viscosity range performance, added hoppers and funnel inlets as well as variable speed IP66 control units with shaft speed display.

With our new range, Greaves are taking IBC processing away from its roots of low thrust / slow agitator units.

Our new IBC mixers also overcome limitations previously associated with the geometry of an IBC tank.

Greaves Mixers are UK designed and manufactured to deliver solutions developed for serious manufacturers who are committed to high quality, consistent and flexible processing.

Greaves IBC Mixers deliver

  • Reduced capital outlayIMG_8917IMG_6124
  • Fast throughput
  • Reduced stock holding/working capital
  • Mix-on-demand flexibility
  • Reduced cleaning time
  • Reduced waste
  • Quicker delivery
  • Happier customers

Download our new IBC Mixer Brochure here



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Trial, Demo or Hire before you buy. Ensure the best Greaves Mixer for your needs

With any investment in mixers, it is vital that you get the best and most cost-effective mixing system for your needs.

Greaves have comprehensive specification and performance documentation available but we recognise that nothing beats a real-world test with your own products.

We have a wide and expanding selection of mixers from across our range which are available for trial or demo*. If you are looking for a longer term test, or have mixing needs where you don’t want to tie-up capital, we can also hire* our mixers to you.

IBC 750 R35
IBC Mixers are available for Trial, Demo and Hire

The following units are now available:

  • IBC mixers
  • Laboratory Mixers inc. high shear & dispersers
  • Vacuum Mixers
  • Thermal Vacuum Dispersers
  • 45 Gallon drum (205L) Archimedes Ribbon Blender (Viscous products)
  • High Shear Mixers
  • In-line High Shear Mixers
  • High Speed Dispersers
  • Triple Action Thermal Vacuum Reactor

To find out more, visit our Trials and Hire page

*Subject to Terms and Conditions

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Industry Trends – IBC mixing


HD IBC 7500 F50t downWith the continuing focus on system improvement and cost reduction, more and more manufacturers are recognising that reducing the number of process stages in their product cycle can deliver significant benefits.

When IBCs were first introduced in the mid 1990s, they were seen as an ideal transport container and storage solution but for any material processing, product was transferred to a dedicated mixing vessel.   More recently there has been a trend towards product mixing directly in IBCs bringing a range of efficiency improvements:

  • Reduced capital outlay
  • Faster throughputSemi-automatic-filling-systems
  • Reduced stock holding/working capital
  • Reduced cleaning time
  • Reduced waste
  • Quicker delivery
  • Happier customers!

The growth in IBC mixing has led to the development of a number of products to help customers achieve maximum benefit:

  • Clean in place systemsHD IBC 7500 F50t up
  • In-line mixers
  • Drum mixers
  • IBC mixers

The demand for scalable samples mixes whilst maintaining production on bulk mixers has also led to the development of a range of laboratory mixers. This is an important element of achieving the best efficiency improvements.


During the first quarter of 2016 Greaves have experienced a 5 fold increase in our already popular IBC mixer range. This mixer unit delivers all the benefits listed above. See here for full details

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Scaling-Up – Food for thought?

High Volume Food Processor – The Greaves 3000 Litre Food Mixer Kettle

Salad Dressing
Consistency is king!

Meeting Customers’ Specifications:

We are regularly contacted by companies who all have a similar issue:

“…We can achieve the desired mixing specification on test and pilot volumes but
struggle to maintain validated standards when we scale up to production volumes…”

This was exactly the scenario we were presented with recently by a customer who wished to upscale from test volumes using a Greaves 100L dual action trial mixer to full scale production based around a 3000L food kettle

3000L Kettle matches performance and specification of 100L pilot plant
3000L Greaves Kettle matches performance and specification of 100L pilot plant

Meeting the customer’s requirements (and wish lists) requires a well thought out and detailed approach. We had to consider measurements and comparisons of data, machine flexibility and best practice.

Scaled from the Greaves 100L dual action trial mixer, this 3000L food kettle combines volume flexibility, rapid, yet efficient, heat-up and also efficient clean down in a stand-alone, dual action unit.

Mixer interior showing combined High-Shear Homogeniser and mass-flow turbine

Once in the mixing phase, the two mixer tools complement one another. The turbine offers downward thrust of ingredients whilst maintaining complete mixing of the vessel contents (mass flow). This action assists the high shear homogeniser by pulling the ingredients into to the path of the high shear head. Once the homogeniser has run for the specified time and the droplet / particle size achieved, the independently driven turbine continues to maintain a consistent, ‘in-spec‘ mixture until discharge is required.

In addition, the turbine assists in heat-up (and cool-down) at the vessel walls to ensure the steam jacket does not burn or overheat the quality food sauces being mixed.

“Solid-Clad” insulation ensures heat retention with a robust outer stainless steel wall for hygiene and efficient clean-down. Motors and gearboxes are shrouded to prevent contamination ingress and potential paint-flake losses.

Greaves offer a wealth of real-world mixer expertise coupled with the attention to detail. We deliver the best and most appropriate solution for your mixing requirments.

Please get in touch and we will help you get the best from your mixing, now and into the future