The success of a manufacturer is dependent upon their ability to produce their products as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. To achieve this, a production line must have the flexibility and capacity to meet the demands of the consumer, whilst incurring minimal overheads associated with downtime and scrapped product. This is where an IBC Powder Handling System comes in.
With the potential to manufacture more than one product at any given time, Intermediate Bulk Containers have been pivotal in improving the efficiency and profitability of manufacturing companies worldwide. Which is why investing in an IBC system to solve your powder handling issues is vital to ensuring that you can meet demand and maintain your competitive edge.
What is an IBC system?
An IBC system is based around the use of portable containers (IBCs) that can be moved independently from one process to the next. These containers provide the flexibility for ingredients to be moved freely around the production phases, creating the potential for multiple processes to take place simultaneously. Essentially, you could be filling one IBC, whilst another is blending, a third is offline being cleaned, whilst a fourth is being discharged to the packing line.
This ability to carry out a range of processes in parallel ensures that your entire production line is able to function concurrently, facilitating the potential for a highly efficient and productive manufacturing operation.
Why use an IBC for powder processing?
To succeed in manufacturing, avoiding waste and improving efficiency is essential. But unfortunately, these are attributes that traditional powder processors regularly fall short on. Historically, static and unintuitive machines are often cited as creating:
- Reduced efficiency – due to the coupled nature of these machines, only one process is able to take place at any given time, meaning that operators and machinery are sat idle whilst they wait for the production line to reach the next stage of the manufacturing process.
- Excessive downtime – long filling and cleaning times can bring the entire production line to a standstill for up to eight hours.
- Product defects – caused by cross-contamination and human error, when moving the ingredients between production stages, resulting in scrapped batches.
This combination of factors equates to an inefficient and wasteful manufacturing process, that only serves to reduce the productivity and profitability of a company.
Whereas in contrast, an IBC system has the potential to eliminate these issues altogether by:
- Improving efficiency – as the IBCs allow multiple processes to take place simultaneously.
- Reducing downtime – IBCs are able to be cleaned whilst they’re out of rotation (offline), and filling and packing off can take place without the need to pause the entire production line.
- Minimising defects – as ingredients stay in the same IBC throughout the entire process, cross contamination risks are minimal.
Investing in an IBC system will help you to avoid the shortcomings associated with traditional powder handling systems and create a process that promotes an efficient and flexible production line.
The Matcon IBC System
The Matcon IBC System has been designed to give manufacturers full control over their product, at every stage of the process. Unlike other IBC systems, the Matcon System addresses all of the issues associated with powder handling, to ensure that products are manufactured to the highest standard. Below, we have outlined a few of the key features from the Matcon process:
Cone Valve technology
The Matcon System incorporates the flexible and innovative features of an IBC system with its unique Cone Valve technology at its heart. This technology provides operators with a hygienic and dust-free, automated system, that overcomes powder handling issues by:
- Promoting powder flow – the flow of materials is stimulated by the integral cone vibration
- Providing powder control – the variable lift height of the Cone Valve permits full control, without the need for additional feeders
- Creating mass flow – the flow of the blended material at the centre of the Cone Valve is slowed, whilst the material on the outer edges is encouraged to flow, minimising the risk of segregation.
Powder Formulation and Mixing
As the Matcon System consists of numerous individual containers, powder recipes can be formulated directly into an IBC at any time, using either the automated Matcon Flexibatch or manual Sack Tipping process. The transportable nature of the IBCs allows the ingredients to remain in the container whilst it is loaded onto the IBC Blender to be mixed/blended and then moved onto the next process stage, without the need for cleaning between batches.
IBC Cleaning systems
The simple design of Matcon IBCs means that they are quick and easy to clean, using either water or air wash options. Containers can be cleaned whilst they are out of rotation, eliminating the need for production line downtime. The Matcon IBC Cleaning Module provides safe, repeatable wash sequences that can be validated for Regulatory Authorities.
The Matcon IBC System is tried, tested and trusted by world leading manufacturers, and proven to provide you with the ability to produce product as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Choosing to invest in a Matcon System has the potential to provide you with an intuitive and effective production line, giving you the competitive edge that you need to outperform the manufacturers in your field.