October 23, 2022

The Client

Gordon Rhodes & Son Ltd is a leading producer of high-quality food seasoning, supplying flavors for the meat, fish, and bakery industries. Following rapid expansion since their incorporation in 197, they moved into a purpose-built factory in Bradford in 2003/4. This was followed in 2005 with the award of the prestigious British Retail Consortium (BRC) certification, which expects all recipients to work to consortium standards with reviews carried out on an annual basis.

The Objective

As part of the Bradford move, Gordon Rhodes & Son carried out a detailed investigation of the available materials handling and process technology to ensure that it encompassed, both, their own very high demands and that of the food industry. With a portfolio of over 4000 recipes, many ingredients offered challenges in their highly different handling characteristics. It was, therefore, determined that the product storage and associated handling systems must be easy to clean and maintain but above all provide adaptability. Another key issue for Gordon Rhodes & Son, covered under the remit of adaptability, was the need for accurate repeatability of a range of materials dosed and batched through the IBC system. This requirement was met totally by ISL and was demonstrated successfully at an initial trial. ISL was then invited to carry out an extensive series of IBC fill and discharge trials with a range of products from a rusk ingredient through to sausage seasoning, as well as a number with a high dust content, all, setting different problems. The analysis of the testing showed beyond doubt that the ISL cone valve IBCs and discharge station met the needs demanded by Gordon Rhodes & Son, of cleanliness, ease of maintenance, guaranteed discharge, accurate batch weighing, and operational adaptability.

The Solutions

Gordon Rhodes & Son placed an order with ISL in 2003 for two discharge systems and a series of IBC’s. Five key

points emerged during the pre-order discussions and these determined the parameters of the contract:

- Solid cone valve & one-piece polyethylene IBC’s with no flanges.

- Efficient cleaning between material changes

- Batch repeatability achieved by the use of sensors and time delays

- Maintaining direct dosing accuracy achieved during trails

- Zero maintenance.


The ISL cone valve IBC’s are used for the holding of product dispensed from the blender whilst QC is carried out.

When released, the 1000 litre capacity IBCs can be placed on either of the two discharge stations located on the blender floor. One ISL station directs the product to the batch weigh premix machine located 3m below on the ground floor and controls the dosing accuracy by the use of a pair of sensors. One sensor allows the bulk of the material to discharge, the second will trickle material out to the target weight set point. The second ISL station, fitted with a product level sensor and a control panel discharges into a small capacity extension hopper above the packing machine auger. As both discharge stations are out of sight from the control room operator an ‘IBC is Docked’ feature is incorporated into the main console. From Gordon Rhodes & Son's perspective, their requirements of operational adaptability, cleanliness and ease of maintenance have all been met by ISL.

Since original installation, the ISL system has met all the requirements and in 2005 Gordon Rhodes purchased a further series of IBC’s.