Since our foundation in 1980, Matcon has built a world-renowned reputation as an industry leader in the supply of flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) systems for batch powder and solids processing.
With a diverse customer portfolio including both large multi-national manufacturers and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), our IBC solutions are designed to provide flexibility so that production processes can easily manage varying order sizes, large recipe portfolios and stringent industry regulations.
We caught up with our resident Food and Dairy application specialist, Dave Newell to uncover his expert knowledge and experience in the powder handling industry.
Tell us about your current role and key duties
My key responsibility is the Sales and Business Development for the Matcon business in the South East Asia and Pacific regions. I get great satisfaction by helping our clients to become more efficient and profitable, so that they can grow their business. Whether it’s a green field site or existing facility, each project is unique in so many ways. By walking the client’s site and suggesting ideas on how improvements can be made really builds the relationship and trust, which is key.
How do you deliver customer obsession?
As mentioned, relationship is key and being committed to customer support is essential. This starts at the initial sales contact through to well beyond the installation and commissioning phase of a project. Every company has the odd hick up with supply however it is how you deal with them which sets companies apart. With over 10 countries across our regions where we are active, we have professional local agents providing support on an ongoing basis. Matcon also have a dedicated After Market Manager located in the region to oversee the support for our customers.
Are you a specialist in any applications?
I have extensive knowledge from many industries, but particularly in food and dairy. We have hosted several customer conferences in our region which has provided a two-way education for both our clients and us to learn about key manufacturing trends and understand the requirements and production challenges.
Allergen Handling is an important subject for many food manufacturers’, and we held a series of conferences with industry specialists covering this last year. With allergen handling regulations becoming stricter in developing countries in the region, this will be an on-going topic of discussion.
I have also presented at several Pharmaceutical and Dairy conferences on Powder Handling related subjects. I recently produced a blog discussing Flexibility and Hygiene in the Dairy industry as there is a balancing act in the industry which is striving for a flexible manufacturing process to cater for the increase in product variety whilst still maintaining tight Hygiene standards.
I have also hosted a webinar focusing on flexibility and hygiene in dairy industry manufacture. If you’d like to watch it, click on the video below.
What advice would you give prospects looking for powder handling equipment?
My advice would be to fully understand your business requirements now and where you see your production being in 10-20 years’ time as this is key to recognizing what equipment you will need i.e. the global trend is smaller batch sizes and more product variety to suit consumers ever changing dietary preferences. Therefore, a modular system that allows for process flexibility but can also be expanded in the future would be a very good investment choice.
Process efficiency is also key with quick recipe changeover times and less equipment cleaning required. From a Lean perspective, having a high equipment OEE - “Sweat the Assets” – reduces the non-value-added processes such waiting and cleaning times.
How have you solved a customer process problem before?
Our clients producing 3-1 Coffee and Tea beverages have had big issues with powder segregation and over feed of the blended material when fed into a downstream packing machine. This leads to inconsistent product quality and pack weights which can affect a companies’ reputation in the marketplace. This has been solved with the use of Matcon IBC Cone Valve technology which ensures a controlled mass flow discharge of the blended material into the packing machine.
How can we help in product applications that are currently experiencing a high demand?
We are presently seeing an increase in demand in the Functional Food and Nutraceutical industry sectors, which is due to people being more health conscious and taking supplements to fight off infections. We have applications with Carrageenan which is used as a health food additive and various Vitamin tablet applications. The best way we can help this market is applications where multiple recipes are produced with numerous ingredients. Blend homogeneity of the small inclusions with the main ingredients is critical to maintain product quality and the Matcon IBC Blender is industry proven in providing low CV values. The batch size range tends to vary a lot in these sectors however the IBC Blender benefits from being capable of blending multiple batch sizes in the same Blender.
What are some of the typical questions you are asked by prospects?
I am asked questions like “What is the cost of the equipment?” This is naturally important to our clients however we are fortunate to have a choice, to provide them manufacturing expertise from a range of global suppliers.
How will we be supported? This is a high priority for us and as mentioned earlier, we work with our agents and After Market Team to provide excellent customer support.
Do you have any reference sites we can visit? We are fortunate that during our 30 plus years presence in the region, we have built some very good customer relationships who allow us to take potential clients to their sites.
One of those clients is food ingredient contract manufacturer, SternMaid Asia Pacific who have recently installed an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) system. Learn more about how they have increased their manufacturing flexibility with improved traceability and speed by watching the case study video below.
Are there any other developments or plans for your region?
Our agent for Australia and New Zealand, GP Systems will be representing Matcon at the forthcoming Foodtech Packtech exhibition taking place in Auckland between 22nd & 24th September 2020. Visit us on Stand 3003 to find out more about our Powder Handling solutions.
If you would like to find out more about how to optimize your manufacturing process and improve product quality or need any After Sales assistance, then please contact us using the link below.