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Research from the experienced!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Hi guys,
 
Firstly I'd like to introduce myself! My name is Matthew Clements, I'm from Wales, UK and I'm studying BSc Product Design in Bournemouth University.
 
For my final year project I am going to be looking at existing Jug Blenders on the market and where I could improve them.  I have a few things up my sleeve but what I'm really looking for is where you guys would like to see improvement! I'd really like to see if I can get a good discussion going as to what you think is wrong with them and how could they be improved?
 
Personally when using a jug blender, I have to shake, rock or tilt the blender to ensure the contents have been throughly blended and cleaning is a bit of a pain!  How do you find these issues?  Anything from personal experience? I'm also looking at the use of blenders in Raw food diets! Does anyone have any experience with these?
 
I really hope you can all help and really appreciate all of you feedback!
 
Thanks!
 
Matt.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Just to add a little more information and understanding of what i'm researching guys, here's an image of an existing Jug Blender on the market!
 
_88874__186256__.jpg
post #3 of 9

Number one complaint would be why can't it grab and suck down thicker product?  Also they are just too small in size for most of the things I would use it for. That's why the Immersion blender was made.

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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #4 of 9

Problem I see is that the sides are not rounded enough to insure thorough turning, rotation and mixing. They could still make the bottom 3 inches flat, yet curve the rest of it further on the sides

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 9

1.  I like the "direct drive" models such as oster.  The ones with two meshing gear/clutch mechanisms break too easily, IMHO. 

2.  I'd also like a better recirculation method.  For thinner liquids, most do an adequate job of mixing together.  A good example of my complaint is ice and water.  You will end up with a nice slush at the bottom and untouched cubes at the top.  Perhaps a wider bottom would help, but even then, I think gravity needs an assist.  Perhaps a truly violent blade would work, which would absolutely require the lid to be on every time, else your ceiling will be covered. 

post #6 of 9

1) Jug design:  My "findings" suggest the smoother/rounder the jug design the lousier the mix, and the more vertical baffles, the better the mix.

 

May I suggest making a "white glop" of water and flour and cooked until thick, dividing one half and dying it blue and the other half yellow.  Add a predetermined amount of each colour to each type of jug and mix for a predetermined anmount of time.  Best mixer produces a vibrant green glop.

 

2) Clutch:  Many mixers operate with some kind of a toothed plate on the motor drive, and a matching plate on the jug, many are some kind of rubber.  DO NOT SHAKE OR TILT THE MACHINE when running .  Sorry about the screaming.  When you do this, the two halves dis-engage, and when they come back together, they usually don't match up.  The plates disintigrate--fast.  A better clutch system is needed 

 

3) Torque vs high rpms:  All depends on what you're mixing, is torque more important or is high rpms?  For crushing ice/frozen fruit, I believe torque is more important, for smoothies, rpms are more important..

 

4) Ease of cleaning.  Face it, those things get dirty fast.  The design should be so that one quick swipe with a sanitizer impregnated cloth can clean the whole base unit.  The jug should be made so that it can tolerate countless drops on the floor and countless commercial dishwashings.

 

Kitchenaid had one design that the bottom of the jug would screw off with one 3/4 turn.  LOUSY design, if you twisted the jug off the base, your counter, base unit, and pants would be full of whatever was in the jug.......

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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Excellent feedback from everyone, thank you and keep it coming!!

 

Gunnar - I agree with you, it's difficult to mix the contents if there are a lot of solids in the mixture, but i find Immersion Blenders quite limited and time consuming!  You could be doing something else in the kitchen while the blender works it's magic!

 

Ed Buchanan - Funny you should say that, I have been experimenting with similar design! Increasing the surface area around the blade ... etc!  I'll need to do some test rigs to see how these work out!

 

Gobblygook - I haven't really come across Oster over here in UK as far as I am aware, but after a quite look at their website I'm intrigued! They're products look great! Have you had experience with one>? How well do they work? They look strong and durable, is this the case?

 

Foodpump - Jug design seems to play quite a bit role in how well the contents get mixed, I need to do some testing of existing jugs but logically I imagine the more 'angles' the jug has, the more the mixture moves around to get blended!

I hadn't thought of the coloured water and flour mixture, that will solidify my research thank you for the suggestion! This is going to be fun!  

The shaking and tilting is my main issue I will be looking at.  What you said about the clutch system many users are unaware of, therefore they shake, tilt or rock the blender anyway.  If this does need to be done or is designed into the product so it doesn't cause damage, our products will last longer and be more efficient!

Torue or RPM, you're right, I'm looking at this and think my Blending Program concept may solve the issue.  I'm very early on at the moment so a lot of work needs to be done!

These things are a pain, they get very dirty and a lot of them are an absolute pain to clean!  It needs to be easily taken apart, but not accidently.  An automatic cleaning function in the blender I feel will be a good good solution! Again, a long time to go yet!

 

Thank you ALL for your feedback! It's very much appreciated and keep it coming!!

post #8 of 9

My momma owned an Oster and still does.  I'm sure it's 30+ years old.  Until you've had a clutch die on you, you can't appreciate the direct drive of the oster and metal drive shaft and blade drive.  The Oster blenders I've seen (and I'm no expert by any stretch) are square jars  with a round part at the bottom that is a smaller size from the square jug portion.  The jars are made of glass, which I assume is tempered because it takes a beating without damage.  I'm sure it's been dropped a number of times over the years. 

 

I'd be curious to see if making the blade assembly taller, so that it's a giant "tree" of blades instead of the typical 4 blades (almost like stacking a couple more blade assemblies on top of the existing one) would provide better grinding of thicker ingredients.

post #9 of 9

You're going to have to go a long way to improve a design that is already fairly well perfected by Vita-Mix, Blend-Tec, etc., at one end of the spectrum and by such machines as the Waring BB180 in the middle.  If you can't make a Vita-Mix do what you want it to do, you've completely left the universe of blenders.  And if you can't make a BB 180 do just about as much except for grinding grains, you haven't mastered the intricacies of "on and off" switches.

 

Here's a BB 180: 

waring-bb180-picsmall.jpg

It's built, bored, balanced, blue-printed and ready to run.  Remove cover before racing.

 

The trick at the bottom end of the price ladder, is to make the cheap machines more like their betters -- but that's not much insight.

 

If you're interested in altering the shape of the "jug" to maximize the efficiency of the blending and puree function, and if you lack a mathematical grasp of "fluid dynamics," you're better off letting someone who can "turn the crank" redesign the shape of the carafe.  Although the speculation here is a lot of fun, there's significantly more to it than "common sense." 

 

There are no substitutes for torque and "horsepower."  And between the two, torque is more important.  Are you enough of an engineer to know the difference?  To know which off the shelf motor to source?  Are you enough of a salesman to pitch the difference between meaningful torque and empty watts specs?  It's not enough to do a good job, you have to convince people as well.  

 

The best way to clean most blenders most of the time is to put a couple of drops of dish soap and some water in the jug, spin for a few seconds, then rinse.  However, whatever makes it easiest, and safest to clean in the dishwasher, as well as most difficult to lose pieces, are things to be greatly desired.  Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

 

How about a safety valve of some sort in order to prevent hot mixtures from blowing the cap off.  A hinged (leaf) cap over a strainer screen, would allow ingredients to be added and vent hot vapor.

 

BDL

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