Traditional drum style concrete mixers are the most common and are found at job sites and concrete plants around North America. These mixers are still the best for small contractors manually mixing bags of premix, grout and other small projects where the alternate is mixing by hand.
Drum concrete mixers are now longer the best for use at a concrete batch plant. While a drum style concrete mixer can accomplish the job of mixing the concrete it is no longer the fastest and most profitable concrete mixer available. When considering the mixing style of a concrete drum mixer, the material is lifted up then deposited by gravity onto the top of the material underneath. Strategic placement of paddles encourages further mixing but the process as a whole is often 3+ minutes for a mix that is still homogeneous than the mix received from other mixer in a shorter period of time.
Twin Shaft Mixers
Twin Shaft Mixers are the popular choice for paving and ready mix operations. These concrete mixers usually start around 3 cu. yards and go up to as large as 12 cu. yards. A twin shaft mixer is exactly as it sounds; two mixing shafts with several mixing paddles along each shaft that throw the material together. This aggressive mixing action results in a very homogeneous concrete mix in a very short period of time.
Twin shaft concrete mixers are so fast that it is not uncommon for owners to “double batch” using a smaller mixer and still maintain the same production as large drum mixer concrete plants. Not only do users of twin shaft mixers get a faster more consistent concrete mix; owners of twin shaft mixers have reported less cement usage in some circumstances for the same PSI and break strength as required when using a drum mixer.
SmartMix is a superior twin shaft concrete mixer. Learn more about our SmartMix twin shaft concrete mixers.
Planetary Concrete Mixers
Planetary concrete mixers are commonly found in Precast and Product concrete plants. These mixers are usually 1/2 cu. yard up to 3 yards. Planetary mixers are a special type of pan mixer know for their short mix time and aggressive mixing action. Imagine mixing a cake with a hand mixer; paddles moving around and mixer rotating around the bowl. Now image 2, 3, 4 or more of these mixers moving around the bowl in a coordinated manner and you can get a good idea of the mixing action of a planetary mixer.
Our SmartMix planetary concrete mixers can have multiple discharge doors, automated washout systems and more.