In 2006 HF Rubber Machinery (HFRM) began holding our biennial International Mixing Seminar (IMS) in its facility in Topeka, Kansas, an event designed solely with customers in mind. Over the past decade the popularity of our event has grown significantly, with customer attendance more than doubling. We started out with 85 attendees in 2006 and hosted over 200 this year.
IMS 2016 attendees heard from industry experts who discussed topics such as silica mixing, dust stop developments, and equipment optimization, as well as visited with further mill room equipment vendors to learn about new products and materials on the market. In addition to attending the presentations and vendor-networking opportunities, attendees had the option to go on a plant tour of HFRM to see the updated facility and newest machining capabilities, as well as attend an evening social event with catered dinner, drinks, and entertainment.
Each IMS has boasted a different theme, ranging from Backyard BBQ (2011) to Octoberfest (2014). This year celebrated “100 Years of the Banbury”, in honor of Fernley Banbury’s first Mixer patent in 1916. Special attractions included the “Churn of the Century” ice cream vendor, with a 1920’s Stover hit-and-miss engine powering the machine; a F270 cutaway mixer, showcased inside the conference center; a handmade “Original Banbury” #3A mixer, built by our very own Oliver Simmons (CSD); as well as a live band, giant Jenga games, dirt-track race car simulators, and a “pit stop” tire changing challenge.
Special guest speakers and presentation topics for IMS 2016 included: Frank Borzenski (former Farrel) on “100 Years of the Banbury Mixer”; Ian Wilson (Farrel LTD) on “Recent Developments and Current Design”; Bruce Meyer (Rubber & Plastics News) on “Industry Outlook”; Tim O’Connell (former Cooper) on “Mixer Development from a Tire Maker Perspective”; Bob McNabb (HFRM) on “Mixer Project Organization: From Concept to Completion”; Paul White (HFRM) on “Preventative Maintenance of Mixer”; Dr. Andreas Limper (HFMG) on “The Next 100 Years for Mixing Technology”; Dr. Sadhan Jana (University of Akron) on “Effects of Filler Dispersion”; Bill Flaherty (HFRM) on “The True Cost of Downtime”; Jerry Carrol (Hexpol) on “The Future of Custom Mixing”; Otto Huth (Pomini) on “New Developments in Twin Screw Extruders”; Alexander Quast (HF) on “Mixing Systems and Automation”; John Powell (FD Johnson) on “Maintaining Lube and Process Panels”; Lucas Kerley (Exxon Mobil) on “Dust Stop Lubrication Oils”; Dr. Judy Douglas (Lanxess) on “The Benefit of BR, SBR & Butyl in Your Rubber Application”; and Pete Glasser (HFRM) on “Footprinting/ Process Optimization”.