Loss of product quality is a concern when scaling up the manufacture of any product, but is a particular worry in the sports nutrition industry, where athletes and health-conscious consumers expect nothing but the best. We look at how Intermediate Bulk Containers can help you increase capacity and efficiency, while at the same time maintaining high product quality.
Growth of the Sports Nutrition industry
The rapid growth of the sports nutrition industry has seen thousands of ‘ordinary’ consumers convert to regularly using products that have traditionally been the preserve of only the most serious athletes. Proteins shakes and powders, energy drinks and nutrition bars are now big business, not just for professionals, but for the health and body conscious man (or woman) on the street too.
Product quality is key
When it comes to sports nutrition products, consumers need to be convinced that the particular products they choose will have the desired effect, whether that is increased energy, more lean muscle or a properly nourished body. Product quality and integrity is of paramount importance. Only the best will do.
For the sports nutrition product manufacturer therefore, it’s important to get it right. Whatever products you make, they need to be of consistently high quality, contain what they say they contain, without any risk of contamination, allergens, or even a poor texture.
Scaling up production
Working at a small scale – as many sports nutrition manufacturers start out – it’s relatively easy to keep an eye on product quality. Products are often made in small batches using manual processes, so it’s clear to see when a particular batch hasn’t gone to plan. A disadvantage however, is that manual materials handling leaves you wide open to human-derived errors, the possibility of cross-contamination, and a lesser ability to maintain the consistency of your recipe between batches.
When scaling up your operation to use continuous production lines, some of the challenges of manual material handling are eliminated – but how do you maintain product quality when batches are processed by automatic machines?
IBCs provide an innovative solution
Matcon is a manufacturer of Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) – innovative powder-handling systems that offer the flexibility and simplicity of manual processing but at a larger scale. At the same time, IBC-based production lines can be automated to improve speed and efficiency, while the precision-engineered design drastically reduces the potential for ingredient loss and contamination.
It’s all in the Cone Valve technology
Unique to Matcon, our IBCs have an integrated Cone Valve system that allowspowdered ingredients to be transferred and dispensed effectively and reducing the risk of cross-contamination preventing the escape of any powdered ingredient, reducing particulate waste. The Cone Valve also allows complete discharge of blended ingredients so that nothing is left behind. Meaning no product losses and reduced cleaning requirements, saving you time.
The Cone Valve’s unique design is also effective against product mix segregation – the phenomenon whereby large particles in a blend might separate from smaller ones while transferring from one process to another. The Cone Valve ensures that mixtures which are uniformly blended, and stay that way, at all stages of the production line, so that each and every consumer unit is of consistently high quality.
The flexible nature of IBCs makes them the ideal system for the sports nutrition product manufacturer who wishes to increase production capacity without losing integrity. Talk to one of our engineering consultants to see how Matcon IBCs can grow with your business.