“Our production volume has almost doubled with the Matcon IBC System. We are no longer using the ribbon blenders as the mixing results achieved with the Matcon IBC Blender with High Shear far exceeds those with the ribbon blenders. Ribbon blending produces a variance of 7% in homogeneity while IBC blending produces a variance of 2%.” - Andrew Gubatan Plant Manager, F J Wegon
In this article we look at how F J Wegon worked together with our team to implement a Powder Handling System to deliver scalable growth. We’ll look at the process taken, the issues and needs identified, the solutions and the range of benefits that resulted.
Background on a Leading Animal Nutrition Manufacturer
F J Wegon Animal Health, Inc., are an affiliate of Simon Enterprises, Inc., a family-owned company, established in 2000. They have successfully become a major distributor of animal nutrition products for the domestic market. F J Wegon relaunched as a manufacturing and distribution company in 2011, focusing on the production of quality pre-mixes, water soluble powders and specialist nutritional products. Today, as a well-known, innovative leader in the animal nutrition industry and a key supplier to business to business (B2B) animal nutrition producers, F J Wegon provide contract blending services.
Read on for a summary or jump straight into our F J Wegon case study at the link below:
What Was the Issue?
In F J Wegon’s case, their existing production capabilities did not meet their high-quality product aspirations.
In each batch they produced, they experienced huge product and time wastage due to re-mixing. Achieving homogeneity of mixes with different bulk densities was becoming an increasing problem. They also recognised that too much time was being spent on manual handling and production capacity was limited becasue of the extended cleaning cycles.
Collectively, all these issues stifled their ability to achieve scalable, predictable growth and meet their primary goal of reducing the cost of raising animals without compromising product quality.
In consultation with F J Wegon’s production team, Matcon specified a complete system designed purely around F J Wegon’s goals and current production issues. Through onsite visits, 3D renders and CAD visuals, the team at F J Wegon were able to see how their new facility could work.
The next step was proof of concept. Using Matcon’s in-house testing facility and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) during the blending process, F J Wegon could see the exact time and rotation speed needed for mix homogeneity to be achieved. Accurate blend times were calculated which gave F J Wegon the confidence that the Matcon system was the right fit for their production needs.
The process specified to meet F J Wegon’s goals included installation of the following equipment:
- Two IBC Filling Systems to deliver contained formulation
- A Tumble Blending System with an intensifier to deliver high shear blending
- Three IBC Discharge Stations to feed directly to packing
- Four stainless steel IBCs in two sizes
By achieving their goal of manufacturing homogeneity and by using their new state-of-the-art food and pharma-grade Matcon equipment, F J Wegon have become a competitive supplier of top-quality premixes for the animal industry.
“Currently one IBC Blender does the work that four Ribbon Blenders did previously.” - Andrew Gubatan, Plant Manager
The Benefits and Rewards
The results of the new system speak for themselves:
- Production time was reduced significantly
- The capability to repeat batches or rapidly change between product recipes has meant that production volume has nearly doubled to 10 tons per day
- With the new equipment, 5-10 recipe changeovers can take place per day.
- A reduction in segregation and enhanced blending has improved food safety and product quality.
The new IBC Blending system consistently blends powders into homogenous premixes. With an IBC Blending System, F J Wegon now have the capability to blend multiple batch sizes from 50-400Kg to meet individual order sizes without the need for stock storage. It has also increased capacity, enabling tailored orders to be produced such as customised ‘Lumiz Enzymes’ concepts, tagged as being “pioneer in customising enzymes”.
F J Wegon have become more efficient, lean and are now able to handle new product lines, complex mixes and short runs with ease. With this system flexibility, they now attract more new business from local farmers, integrators and multi-national feed millers.
“The Matcon IBC System has provided batch quality and manufacturing flexibility, allowing us to attract new customers to our business.” - Andrew Gubatan, Plant Manager, F J Wegon
You can download the full case study at the link below, or if you feel that your facility could benefit from a similar system or you would like to explore the opportunities offered by a Matcon system at our testing facility, please email us at this link and one of our engineers will be in touch.