Revolutionary IBC Blending with High Shear provides Steric Trading with Competitive Advantage

Steric Trading is a 100% owned Australian Food, Beverage and Non-Food Manufacturing Company. Steric was founded in 1964 and is a family owned company producing quality products. Steric also contract pack for many major retailers, producing products such as beverage powders, flavoured toppings, maple flavoured syrups, packet soups, lemon & lime juices and a wide variety of wet sauces.

Steric is the market leader in private label manufacture. In order to maintain and improve their market share, Steric realised the need to invest in the future by improving their dry powder manufacturing process; part of this requirement was to blend their dried powder products in-house, a function which was previously carried out by sub-contractors.

In March 2009, Matcon were awarded a contract for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a Matcon IBC & Blending System for Steric’s manufacturing facility located in Villawood, NSW, Australia.

Matcon IBC Blending

Steric stipulated that the system to be supplied should include all aspects of Good Manufacturing Practice, and be capable of manufacturing product with the lowest ‘cost per Kgs’ possible. One vital requirement was that the Mixer needed to be suitable for their current varied recipe formulations and those to be developed in the future. Some of these formulations are purely dry and some consist of a mixture of dry solids together with liquid or oil additions.

The Matcon IBC Batch Blender was selected as it provides a homogenous mix of various dry solids with varying bulk densities and characteristics using its 360° tumbling action. When liquid or oil addition is required, the option of a high speed agitator is available.

This unique agitator has given many food ingredient and global flavour manufacturers a competitive edge in their market.

Other distinctive advantages of the IBC Batch Blending process are:-

  • Improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
  • Improved flexibility
  • Every Product Every Cycle
  • No cleaning of the Blender is required. The IBC is the Blending Vessel and is cleaned off-line.
  • Completely dust-tight operation
  • Zero cross-contamination between batches.

Process Steps

The manufacturing process is batch based using Matcon’s Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) technology. IBC technology allows the Batch Formulation, Mixing and Packing processes to be completely de-coupled as separate stand-alone processes. It also helps to minimise dust, providing a safe and clean working environment complying with all OH&S regulations.

The plant has been in production since November 2009 and the Managing Director of Steric, Mr Richard Brownie is very pleased with the performance of the MATCON IBC System. “The system provides opportunities for growth in contract packing and it would be fair to say that Steric have seen the benefits of cost savings from increasing production efficiency, reducing waste, as well as better quality control in meeting relevant health and safety regulations.” In brief, the Matcon IBC & Blending System is a cost effective solution that has met all of Steric’s expectations.

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