O'Brien Agglomerator Technology
                                                         1033 Carter Street Folsom  California  95630 USA
                                                                       (916) 941-5376     jpmahar@techmachine.com

Other site pages:

     How they work.   This is a more detailed discussion of the O'Brien Agglomeration process and equipment specifics.

​     Quick Startup Instructions  These instructions are from a Benchtop Agglomerator sold to an English food manufacturer

      How to Make a Basic Laundry Detergent


O'Brien Agglomerators easily manufacture detergents, food products, industrial chemicals, organic and traditional agricultural chemicals, reclaim waste and much more.  O'Brien Agglomerators are inexpensive purchase, easy of use and maintain.

Formulating new or improved products is easy with an O'Brien.  O'Briens can process different grade of the same chemical ingredient, making possible the use of inexpensive fine or course powders, in one step.  All other agglomerators must use additional equipment, such as dryers, mixers or mills, to achieve the same result.    

A liquid binder glues particles of different sizes, shapes or densities into single powder beads of constant characteristics. Without this binding, ingredients quickly separate.   More detail on binders here

This equipment has been proven with over 50 years of manufacturing experience.   Major users of O'Brien Agglomerators include Clorox, Unilever, Amway Corporation, Kellogg, Scotts Lawn Products, and many others.

Proven processes for the O'Brien include:

  • Dry laundry detergents
  • Dry automatic dishwashing detergents
  • Plant food (Scotts'  Osmocote), organic fertilizer blends, others
  • Sintered aluminum
  • Instant Coffee reduced with maltodextrin (think Sanka-type coffee)

This page contains an overview of O'Brien agglomeration technology. There are some YouTube videos of existing O'Brien Agglomerators.  There are a sampling of pictures of some larger industrial agglomerators that show the range of equipment available.

The picture and video above show a 36" diameter by 36" long agglomerator.  Its working capacity is about 2 cu ft.  It can process one batch at a time,  or can be set up for continuous processing.

The control panel is on a cord for easy remote mounting.   This has a 1 hp motor that pulls about 10 amp (max) of  110 v 60 hz single phase a/c. 

These sell for $35,000 USD new.

The above video shows a new 24" O'Brien Agglomerator.  These are used to make experimental runs, short production runs and quality control purposes.  

These sell for $15,000 USD in stainless steel and $10,000 USD in Aluminum with SS interiors.

The above Benchtop Agglomerator was used to make many test runs and concept proof for dozens of customers. 
This is the same as the new unit above.  It is mounted on a metal test stand and has  a liquid heated attachment.​​

Next are pictures of production scale O'Brien Agglomerators made over the last 50 years.  Not included are pictures of any agglomerators where there are Non-Disclosure Agreements.

The above single drum unit was made for industrial chemicals.  Note the variable speed motor on top and the multi-pipe setup on the spray boom

The above is a different single drum agglomerator for processing an intermediate chemical.

This is an all stainless steel research agglomerator made for a joint manufacturing venture of two major US chemical companies.  Note the gauges on the front.  There were two identical agglomerators made in the 1970s - these sold for $250,000 each.

The above picture shows the internals of a large O'Brien Agglomerator.  The view is from the powder discharge end of the agglomerator.  The spray heads and lifter bars can be seen.  The internal recycle ribbon is more difficult to see.

The above is a two drum unit.  The bottom drum was added to provide "conditioning" to the powder.  Conditioning means drying a few percentage of water off a powder surface to avoid product caking in storage. 

Powder enters the top drum from the RHS, discharges from the agglomerator on the LHS of the top drum. Drops into the lower drum, LHS and exits the O'Brien on the RHS.

Note the slot in the discharge end (RHS) of the bottom drum.  These slots are sometimes widened and covered with screening material to begin the sizing step.  

This is a large two-drum O'Brien.  This produces 40,000 lb/hr of laundry detergent.

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