While these five Timeless Technologies either were discovered or came online in different decades over the last 100 years, they all have one thing in common: staying power.
The Banbury mixer is a foundation of the rubber manufacturing industry, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. LSR injection molding is far from reaching its peak in application, and the radial tire continues to improve in chemistry and technology.
Predictive maintenance and 3D printing will maintain increasing importance in the 21st century, as manufacturing floors are increasingly automated and rapid production of complex plastic and rubber components becomes critical—a trend that fell in to stark contrast against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here, we highlight five technologies that have stood—and will continue to stand—the test of time.
1. Banbury changes the game
It is the remarkably versatile mixing bowl of rubber production, a 105-year-old device that is as foundational to the industry as the vulcanization process.
Patented in 1916 by Fernley H. Banbury, the Banbury mixer exerts enormous pressures on rubber mix, using rotors to churn the knead. Though early Banburys lacked torque, it is not uncommon today to see 1,000-pound batches of rubber mixed using 4,000 horsepower that requires 2,400 kW.
Polymers of all types have wound their way through the Banbury, and to this day, no other mixing device boasts its versatility—though it is not the only mixing machine option on the market. HF Mixing Group GmbH owns the Banbury label.
The Banbury has been improved through its 11 decades, and usually it is the rotor design that is the beneficiary of innovations. With 30 to 40 rotations per minute, the process is heat-intensive.
The applications for this innovative machine are endless, and the Banbury mixer remains the go-to device for mixers both domestic and global.