Custom Lift for Smooth On Corporation

Custom Lift Made for Batching Smooth-On Corporation’s Ingredients

SVI International is dedicated to providing custom-designed solutions to industries in need of innovation. When Smooth-On approached our team with a unique request, we accepted the challenge. SVI’s subsidiary, MLM Lifts & Manufacturing, set to work creating a custom product that would efficiently and accurately solve Smooth-On’s problem. MLM’s final product: a disperser cylinder custom-designed for batching Smooth-On’s ingredients.

Smooth-On Corporation

One of the USA’s oldest companies, Smooth-On Corporation has formulated hundreds of unique materials for a plethora of applications since the 1800s. Smooth-On produces materials for aquariums and zoos, architectural restoration, candles, cosplay, food-safe molds, industrial applications, lifecasting, makeup FX, sculptures, and more.

Smooth-On’s material for aquariums and zoos are designed to endure environmental variables, including freezing weather, heat, UV, and water. Architectural restoration requires mold rubbers with extreme versatility. Creating candles requires urethane and silicone mold rubber, excellent for DIY projects. Cosplay costuming requires a wide variety of liquid rubber, foams, coatings, plastics, etc. Items as important as food-safe molds can be utilized in a variety of industries, perfect for customization. The list of detailed applications goes on. In essence, Smooth-On’s hand-made products form a virtually limitless variety of items.

Their products range from silicon and urethane rubber to adhesives and polymer modifiers for concrete. Many materials created by Smooth-On are formed in huge batches. Of course, in order to make large batches of ingredients, industrial mixers are required, driven by equally powerful hydraulic cylinders.

The Problem

Smooth-On approached MLM Lifts & Manufacturing with a unique request: a large low-pressure, high-capacity cylinder to power a huge ingredient mixer. The cylinder must perform optimally during the following industrial process engineering task:

First, a huge vat of ingredients is brought to the mixer station.

Then, the cylinder is raised into the air so the vat can be placed underneath the mixer.

The mixer then stirs the ingredients, churning up to 200 gal of materials.

Finally, the hydraulic cylinder lifts the lid so the vat can be removed.

Industrial Process Engineering


Smooth-On required a cylinder to ease their industrial process engineering. Specifically, mixing. As in baking, industrial mixing accomplishes a simple task: transforming heterogeneous substances into a homogeneous item. In baking, for example, this often takes the form of deagglomeration. Like nearly every industrial processing organization, Smooth-On required the right equipment to perform their process engineering.

Dispersion Mixers

This is where dispersion mixers are required. Dispersion mixers, often utilized in rubber and plastic industries, are designed in such a way to ensure thorough, consistent, and accurate dispersion of large batches of substances. Usually, a rotating blade works to mix the batch. Spinning at incredibly high forces, the ingredients are forcibly dispersed over and over, transforming the batch from a heterogeneous to homogeneous substance, ready for subsequent applications.

The Custom Solution

With this in mind, MLM began creating the custom solution. We built a precision-manufactured disperser cylinder from pressure-rated ASTM A-53 Grade B pipe. As with every MLM cylinder, the plunger/rod was turned and polished for optimized performance, and the casing was welded together with thick end-head plates and special welding wire. Before we sent the cylinder to Smooth-On, it was 100% hydraulically tested. At MLM, we test every cylinder for smooth operation and excellent, proper performance. After delivering the cylinder, Smooth-On placed the mixer bridge on top of the cylinder, creating what looked like a huge KitchenAid mixer. At last, our fully-tested product was put to use for Smooth-On Corporation.

MLM Lifts & Manufacturing

At MLM Lifts & Manufacturing, we understand the journey of a company. Our journey began nearly nine ago, in November of 2010. Our original name, Manitowoc Lifts and Manufacturing, LLC was established and subsequently changed to MLM, our company known for a single-acting hydraulic cylinder manufacturer. Though our established company appears relatively young, our engineering and production knowledge extends back to the 1920s. With decades upon decades of engineering history, we launched into the next step of our journey about one year later, in October of 2011.

SVI International, MLM’s parent company, acquired Miller and Smith Welding Company, incorporating the company within MLM. With this welcome addition of materials and personal, Manitowoc Lifts grew with new products for new markets. December 2012 brought a new line of floor standing single-acting cylinders for industrial use. These new cylinders featured “DUSL,” a duel upper, single lower cylinder rod bearing system.

May of 2014 brought a new name, our current title – our previous name was meaningful but challenging to remember. Along with our name transition, we diversified. Our services began expanding throughout the entire nation while remaining specialized and unique. With full access to SVI International’s stocking locations across the country, our product line at MLM can grow and diversify as we craft custom solutions for a wide variety of industries.

Our own experience of growth, diversification, and development – paired with extensive expertise in crafting custom solutions – influence every project. If your company is searching for a custom solution, please contact us via our online form or directly at (800) 543-8006.