State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facility for Image Holdings Limited

I.jpg)mage Holdings Limited is a privately owned and operated New Zealand company. Established in 1982, the company is the market leader in quality nutritional Animal Feed solutions in New Zealand and has widened its reach to supplying the Pacific Basin and South East Asia.

Offering formulations for nutritional, medicinal and agricultural applications, the company provides contract manufacturing, designing custom blends and least cost nutritional formulations. With GMP compliance certification they also manufacture a range of veterinary medicine preparations.

Day to day Image Holdings Limited face a number of challenges in their market: Producing a quality product every time; The risk of contamination; Poor product flow; Pressure to reduce manufacturing costs.

Andy Murray, MD states their business goal as “implementing and achieving continuously improved manufacturing practice to stay competitive and be a leader in the Animal Feed industry”.

State-of-the-art technology:
In September 2012 Deane Murray, Technical Business Manager was planning to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for production start-up in February 2013. After talking to Matcon and understanding how their Lean Manufacturing philosophy is the key to flexible manufacturing, he began working in collaboration with them to install an IBC system.

The system supplied included using IBCs to both fill and empty two existing fixed mixers, then transport the blended batch to either 3 packing machines or 2 Matcon Powder Packers which are used to fill 10-25kg sacks.

In March 2014, the system was expanded to include filling IBCs from Big Bags and a further fixed mixer with its IBCs for filling and emptying.
Future developments planned include automating batch formulation.

Continuous product flow:
Using IBCs to fill and empty the fixed mixers significantly reduces the bottleneck of waiting time. IBCs are filled with all the batch ingredients off-line and are placed above the mixers ready to instantly discharge their contents upon request.

Likewise, at the emptying stage, the IBCs can be quickly filled with all of the blended batch and sent to whichever of the packing lines is ready.

With this ‘parallel processing’ system there is no more waiting at packing for the mixer to be filled and complete its mixing cycle; or waiting for packing to pull through all the blend before the mixer can be filled again. Product flows around the system at all times and all process steps work to an optimum OEE rate (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).

No contamination:
As the IBC system is a closed system, there is no risk of cross-contamination during any of the process steps. This is not only reassuring from a quality point of view, but it has also significantly reduced the cleaning time required around the facility.

The key to future business expansion:
With lowered blending times, and cleaning significantly reduced, the system efficiency has enabled Image Holdings Ltd to produce to order and not build so much to stock. In addition they have made significant savings on overtime and can now complete all production within a single shift.

With all of these gains Image Holdings Limited can now process more volume, which has doubled their capacity. This has enabled them to take on new contracts & expand the business by providing:

  • Greater production efficiency enabling manufacture to order not to stock
  • Reduction in Blending time
  • No risk of cross-contamination
  • Significantly reduced cleaning times
  • Saving on overtime
  • Increased capacity permitting expansion of the business

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