An IBC and blending system installed by Matcon IBC for Steric Trading has increased production efficiency, reduced waste and brought about better quality control in the client’s manufacturing processes.
Steric Trading is a 100% Australian-owned food, beverage and non-food manufacturing company.
Steric is also a contract packing company for several major retailers who produce beverage powders, toppings, maple flavoured syrups, packet soups, juices and wet sauces.
In order to maintain and enhance their market share, Steric decided to improve their dry powder manufacturing process. Part of this requirement was to blend their dried powder products in-house, which was previously carried out by subcontractors.
Matcon was awarded a contract in March 2009 for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of an IBC and blending system for Steric’s manufacturing facility located in Villawood, NSW.
Matcon had to supply a cost-effective and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) powder handling system. Steric also required that the mixer was suitable for various recipe formulations, some of which were purely dry while others consisted of liquid or oil additions.
Matcon IBC batch blender was selected for installation as it provided a homogenous mix of various dry solids with varying bulk densities and characteristics.
The batch blender tumbles the IBC 360 degrees causing the contents to flow over each other. When liquid or oil addition is required, there is a separate high shear IBC lid with high speed agitator blades that rotate at 1,000-4,000rpm during the blender’s tumbling action, which disperses the liquid and breaks lumps completely.
Key features of Matcon’s IBC batch blenders:
- Improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
- Improved flexibility
- Every Product Every Cycle (EPEC)
- No cleaning of the blender required since IBC is the blending vessel
- Cleaning of the IBC is offline
- Completely dust-tight operation
- Zero cross-contamination between batches
The manufacturing process is batch-based using Matcon's Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) technology.
IBC technology allows the batch formulation, mixing and packing processes to be completely de-coupled as separate standalone processes.
The manufacturing process involves the following steps:
- Pre-weigh minor ingredients into bags/boxes, dispensing from the flow booth to minimise dust, ensuring a safe and clean working environment complying with OHS requirements
- Formulation using major and minor ingredients from sack tip station direct into IBC filling
- IBC batch blending
- IBC discharging to bulk bags
- IBC cleaning
The Steric plant has been in production since November 2009 and the Managing Director, Mr Richard Brownie is very pleased with the Matcon IBC system.
He says that Steric is realising the cost savings from increased production efficiency, reduced waste as well as better quality control to meet relevant health and safety regulations.
Matcon IBC and blending system has proved to be a cost-effective solution that has met all of Steric’s expectations.