According Wild Flavors Inc., the three facets to marketplace success if color, taste and flavors. Wild flavors are considered a leader in delivering innovative flavors, colors and ingredients as well as processing technology to the food and beverage industry. Located in Erlanger, KY and operating in 190,000-sq-ft facility near a recently opened, 250,000-sw-ft North American distribution center, the company manufactures flavors for a slew of beverages, syrups and dairy products. Some products include yogurts, alcoholic drinks, sodas and more.
The company is also a creator of flavor systems, liquid and dry colors, a Colors from Nature Line, a Health Ingredient Technology & Solutions line, spray dry technology and encapsulation technology. One can imagine that keeping track of so many lines could become rather challenging. The company sought after way in which they would be able to keep count on all products that were in delivery, as well as product accountability within the warehouse.
Wild Flavors sought after intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) to transport their beverage flavors in bulk inbound and outbound. Wild Flavors now uses 300-gal, plastic intermediate bulk containers from Container and Pallet Services, or CAPS, this introduction replaces the 55-gal drums, the collapsible IBCs offer Wild Flavors’ customers a convenient container that reduces handling time, labor and cost within its facility. The convenience of IBCs allow Wild Flavors to reduce cost associated with labor and packaging without having to invest in containers, manage the reverse logistics or bear any ongoing cleaning/maintenance costs. Furthermore, Wild Flavors no longer has to prepare, delabel or store any bulk packaging.
The movement of each container is accounted for within the CAPs comprehensive tracking service. Each container is registered and tracked by any internet access point, also anywhere at any time.
As business grew Wild Flavors’ operation team was looking for opportunities to improve their efficiency. While business boomed there became more of a demand for easy-to-use containers that still offered the same benefits of a one-way tote, IBC offered that win-win solution and thus Wild Flavors’ grew out of the smaller drum and into the IBC.
In fact, Wild Flavors employs the totes on a pay-per-us basis, this means it pays for the on-way shipping of the IBC and CAPS then redistributes the container through a collection of 14 customer service centers across North America. These depots provide and reposition the IBCs from end users to manufacturing facilities. Once delivered to the manufacturing facility, reporting and tracking is immediately available.
Also available at the depot is repair of the container, cleaning, storage and repairs, which relieves Wild Flavors from this duty. The only responsibility left to Wild Flavors is to place a container order, “We place the order for containers and set up and fill them,” states David Haase, VP of operations. He continues by adding, “The new IBCs also conform to certain food and beverage customers’ no-wood policies that restrict wooden pallets in production areas.”
PD learns that Drew Merrill, VP of Business Development and Strategic Planning at CAPS that the customer service centers and logistics group in Livonia, MI handle the responsibilities of repositioning the IBCs back to an applicable service center stating, “We leverage such methods of transportation, including boxcar, stack train and more, and have a network of transportation providers.” He adds, “We have standardized on 300- and 315-gallon IBC types so that we can pool our assets among multiple customers.”
Wild Flavors as eliminated the used of the wooden pallet, the IBC has the capabilities to be stacked five high although Wild Flavors opt to stack them two high. Approximately five of the 55-gallon drums can fit in one of the new IBCs, depending on the weight of the product. CAPS obtains its knocked down Acra ComboLife IBCs through Schoeller Acra Systems. These come form fitted, 3.2 mil, and three ply bag liners from CDF Corp. (www.CDF1.com), accessories and top-and/or bottom discharge outlets, along with setup training, technical service and location support. The outer housing is constructed from polyethylene and is rugged enough to prevent damage from over-stacking and from weather and climate. The IBCs come with an integral pallet for four-way entry.
The container are durable enough to fend off damage from forklifts and to the products inside, this translates into a better relationship with Wild Flavors customers, Merrill comments on the durability stating, “We have yet to exceed the number of trips for any given containers.”
Each week, numerous containers are transported to the Wild Flavors plant in Erlanger from CAPS’ Cincinnati service depot for filling on single-lane Mettler Toledo Hi-Speed equipment. For setup, operators install the sidewalls and lock them into place with their corner posts; next the team inserts the film liner and lastly activating the filling systems. The containers are then equipped with a label for identification purposes, 3 of 9 linear bar coding and a passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag embedded into the base that can be scanned by wireless, hand held scanners.
The scanned data is then uploaded onto the CAPS internet based CAPS-TRAC tracking/inventory management systems database. This makes tracking, shipment history, damages, loss and other factors as it follows the IBCs throughout the supply chain.
After the IBCs are filled, they are then scanned and shipped to customers. Once the customer has emptied the IBC the liner is discarded and the container is collapsed, each IBC is up by CAPS for repositioning to a nearby service center. Upon arrival at the CAPS service center, the IBC is scanned, cleaned and inspected and finally stored until needed again. CAPS says it works with the customers to ensure a timely return of the container.
Wild Flavors incorporated the 300-gal sized container into their manufacturing process in January 2006. Each container measures 48x44x44.4 in. OD. Haase stated that labor and maintenance costs are being evaluated; even so the IBC has lessened filling times. Haase states, “We’ve had no damage or loss of product and have improved efficiencies. They do have a favorable impact on our customers’ disposal costs. We’re very pleased with the containers.”