Energy Management Case Studies

Reducing noise and vibration for a high-end manufacturer of blenders

A high end manufacturer of blenders for home as well as commercial use contacted Polymer Technologies, Inc. for help with reducing the noise and vibration their blenders create. Polymer consulted with the customer on various improvements to the product and also developed a custom foam insertion, enabling the manufacturer to be confident that their blenders are as quiet as possible.

The Challenge

Reducing noise and vibration in a food service environment

In food service establishments, such as cafes that serve frozen drinks like frozen coffee and smoothies, it’s important to create a welcoming environment for customers without any harsh or disruptive noise.

However, there are two factors that work against noise control in food service. One is the icy drinks served at these establishments—crushing ice in a blender makes a lot of noise. The second is the acoustics. Any establishment that serves food is designed to be easy to clean—this means lots of hard, reflective surfaces such as granite, tile, or laminate countertops and backsplashes.

The reflective surfaces work against noise control, but they are a necessity and aren’t going to change. Therefore, appliances used in food establishments must be designed to make as little noise as possible.

Polymer's Solutions

Sound-reducing enclosures and damped rubber feet

Polymer consulted with the manufacturer on creating an enclosure for the blenders. The result was a see-through enclosure that surrounds the blender and minimizes the amount of airborne noise while keeping the contents visible. Additionally, the customer used damped rubber isolated feet for the blender’s base. Without damped rubber feet, the product would “walk” around the counter and amplify the vibration causing more noise.

Custom foam to reduce noise in base of blender

On their own, the enclosure and rubber feet are only part of the story.  Polymer counseled them on designing a tortuous path for the air inlet and lining the pathways with a sound absorbing Melamine foam.

Much of the noise and vibration comes from the ice-crushing mechanism, but there is also noise from the blender’s motor. The motor requires airflow for cooling, so the noisy motor cannot be sealed up entirely, and without a tortuous path, sound escapes directly from openings in the base and is loud. Polymer recommended a sound baffle so the sound would have to bounce around foam lined interior before escaping, thereby reducing the sound energy.

In many projects, Polymer takes flat sheets of foam and cuts it into the desired shape, similar to a cookie cutter, and the shape’s thickness is uniform. In this case, Polymer contour-cut the foam at a 45-degree angle into a funnel-like shape to create clearance for the sound baffle.

Polymer provides non-flammable and self-extinguishing UL-94V0 POLYDAMP® Melamine foam, which allowed the manufacturer to advertise that their equipment was high-quality and safe for home and commercial use.

The combination of the custom contour cut foam, damped rubber feet, and the sound enclosure allowed the manufacturer to produce a blender that operated at the lowest sound level possible. As a result, the blenders can be used in commercial food service environments with minimal disruption to the customer experience while ordering and enjoying their food and drink.

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