Home > Matcon IBCs Facilitate Lean Powder Processing in the Food Industry

Matcon IBCs Facilitate Lean Powder Processing in the Food Industry

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article image IBC Batch Mixer

Intermediate bulk container systems designed and supplied by Matcon IBC help food producers gain more flexibility, efficiency as well as batch traceability with less waste.  

Food producers are under increasing pressure from consumers to offer a wide variety of products, necessitating frequent product changes at the manufacturing level.  

Most modern production plants built in the 1990s are highly automated but offer very little flexibility in switching between products efficiently.  

Reducing the automation and employing more operators for simple, repetitive tasks is not an option considering the high cost of labour.  

Additionally, increased levels of consumer sensitivity have also created pressure on food manufacturers to address issues such as separation of potential allergens from other ingredients in a product mix, not to mention ethnic requirements for kosher or halal foods.   

These extra demands seriously limit the practicality of using conventional high volume automated production systems.  

Lean production processes enable food producers to adopt smart manufacturing methods and embrace sensible automation without waste leading to sustainable profitability.  

Modern IBC Technology is flexible and efficient  

Matcon’s IBC systems allow a greater degree of automation while ensuring batch traceability with the ‘one batch, one dedicated storage and process vessel’ solution.  

Fast product changeover with SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) and unlimited flexibility are the key outcomes of modern IBC technology, especially for powder handling applications.  

Key advantages of modular IBC systems:  

  • Facilitates lean manufacturing by making non value-adding operations such as cleaning, loading and unloading of the mixer external, offering benefits such as:
    • Allows mixer availability to be close to 100% rather than the regular 5-15% with conventional in-line systems
    • Enables tremendous increase in productivity
    • System is faster and easier to clean
    • Prevents cross-contamination
    • Allows full batch traceability
  • Cone valve IBC systems enable efficient packaging, offering benefits such as:
    • Eliminates the need for a cross-feeder to provide consistent top-up
    • Consumer packing line can be wet-washed in less than one hour against a full shift in traditional systems
    • Enables packing directly from the IBC without the feeder in B2B packaging
  • IBC batch mixing allows charging and unloading the mixer with the IBC offering benefits such as:
    • Eliminates need for on-line cleaning, loading and discharge required in fixed mixers
  • IBC batch mixers with high shear capabilities offer several lean benefits:
    • Overcomes the challenges of cohesive materials and liquids
    • Greater system flexibility
    • Eliminates in-process inventory
    • Achieves 2-3 times the capacity of conventional fixed mixers
    • Reduces investment cost and space requirements
  • Flexibatch automated dosing system enhances batch formulation efficiency: 
    • Big Bags used in conventional batch formulation can be decanted into cone valve IBCs to achieve the same level of automation less cost and space demands
    • Can be combined with smart manual systems for frequently changing micro ingredients to reduce labour requirement
    • Eliminates potential human error in a critical part of the value stream

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