September 8, 2007
The Art of INNOVATION
Does one use broad strokes? Or is it better to employ a pointillistic style a la Georges-Pierre Seurat. Does one focus on innovating for a client or is it better to pursue internal goals? Does it make sense to draw inspiration from other industries or it better to restrict efforts to confectionery applications?
Each organization, whether it's manufacturing confections for consumers or supplying ingredients, equipment or services to manufacturers, must find its own particular style in establishing vibrancy and dynamism. It is not an easy task.
As Graham Cross, Collaborative Innovation Director at Unilever Foods recently told an audience attending ENG's 3rd European NPD Summit, "We are not good at open innovation, but we are learning fast."
And as most iarge, midsized and small confectionery and partner supplier companies can attest, the pressure is on to innovate.
Where's it coming from? One need only tick off the factors: globalization; increased macro and micro competition; rising ingredient, material and labor costs; escalating consumer expectations; retailer, manufacturer and supplier consolidation; government regulation; political upheavals; product and processing safety issues; technological advancements; skills shortage; the list can and does go on.
But the greater the challenges, the more satisfying the innovative process. Consider the following testimonials from Candi/ Industry's supplier partners: In sharing their thoughts and successes in addressing the art of innovation, they have embraced a broad range of techniques, all of which meet the same goal of providing their customers creative solutions.
To paraphrase the renowned American business guru Peter Drucker, innovation is an entrepreneur's best tool in maximizing one's resources to becoming successful.
In developing a new flexible cold stamping head system to help chocolatiers increase production times, efficiency and flexibility without compromising on chocolate shell quality, Buhler Bindler delivers that tool.
Facing new challenges to meet consumer demand for luxury chocolate items, confectioners are being forced to incorporate a greater range of production processes to accommodate an increasing variety of recipes, batch sizes and product shapes. This involves a quicker changeover of production lines, shorter production cycles and higher equipment flexibility.
Today, cold stamping technology is widely used and has proven its value in the manufacture of chocolate shells that require precise weights, even (thin) rims, and complex abstract geometries. The advantages of cold stamping technology compared to the traditional shell forming process were sometimes offset by long changeover times of stamping plates, which did not allow much flexibility regarding product variety.
In order to improve this situation, Buhler Bindler has developed a multiple stamping head system called FlexiStamp. The associated stamping plates are arranged on a shaft that can be easily and quickly turned for the required product geometry. Each stamping plate is supplied independently with its cooling medium to avoid unnecessary cooling, consequently reducing overall energy consumption when stamping plates are idle, thus reducing energy waste and associated costs.
Now the operator is able to change the stamping geometry during production by simply turning the stamping head, with no interruption of the process whatsoever. The new FlexiStamp system considerably cuts production changeover times, reducing line downtimes, thus minimizing the resulting production costs for producers.
This highly flexible unit developed by Buhler Bindler ensures a production-friendly and efficient cold stamping process. As a result, nothing need prevent higher batch production flexibility, which in the past was avoided for cost reasons.
Christoph Ziegler, director of sales and marketing, Buhler Bindler
Bosch Packaging Technology
Innovation stands for constantly moving on, continuously enhancing and always coming up with the newest ideas. And innovation is always a benefit for our customers. Our machines and production lines emerge from our innovations and stand for the highest possible technical standard, line uniformity, flexibility and efficiency.
Combining the competences of Bosch, Hansella, Makat, Sapai and Togum - five leading companies with more than 300 years of experience in confectionery - and the continuous development of innovative process engineering, Bosch is able to achieve technical solutions of the highest level while retaining operational safety on which one can rely for years to come.
Our product range covers the entire process chain. We are the turnkey partner for the complete production line as well as for custom-built machines and innovative concepts.
In our Technikum facility - which is equipped with two full- scale production lines - we do not only improve our own concepts, but give our customers a platform for creating new products and testing new technologies and ideas.
One example involving continuous improvement is the BKK cooking plant for the production of high-quality candy mass at a throughput of 1,000 to 3,000 kg per hour. In its patent-pending vapor separation chamber, the sour vapors are separated from the sweet mixture. In the following vacuum chamber, the mixture is cooled down and further moisture is removed by a vacuum of up to 40 mbar abs. A final product emerges with an extraordinarily low inversion rate and a residual moisture content, both of which contribute to a long shelf life.
Optionally, the BKK showcases another innovation: the automatic start-up and shut-down system (AS(J), which starts the whole production plant with reproducible high quality and minimal start- up wastage at the push of a button. Additionally, a CIP (clean-in- place) system cleans itself after each production, so there is a low operation requirement.
Another example of innovation at Bosch involves Hansella forming technology, which remains No. 1 worldwide with a standard that represents reliability, quality and best performance. Because of our ongoing research and innovation, these reliable automatic forming machines make it possible to form seamless and burr-free candy pieces - even with a high degree of filling - at rope speeds of up to 240 meters per minute. Various kinds of forming dies ensure the perfect realization of our customer's sweet visions. Furthermore, our recently developed 3D-forming-die creation tool makes it possible to bring nearly every outline on a candy, and customers can see and touch a sample within hours.
Our goal at Bosch - and thus our driver to innovation - is to enable our customer to meet today's and tomorrow's market demands with perfect quality.
Mathias Dulfer, head of the confectionery business unit, Bosch Packaging Technology
(Clockwise) Christoph Ziegler, Buhler Bindler; Mathias Dulfer, Bosch Packaging Technology; Ram Chaudhari, Fortitech.
Nutritional premixes are an innovative and cost-effective means of adding nutritional benefits to products. The overall production process is streamlined because a nutrient system provides a single source of multiple nutrients, thus saving on labor, inventory and testing. Premixes offer greater consistency and address issues of product taste and texture early in the development stage.
Just adding an ingredient or a combination of ingredients to address a health condition, for example, does not ensure delivery of the expected results. Issues such as interactions, bioavailability, potency, and shelf life must be addressed. To overcome these highly complex issues, Fortitech leverages the latest encapsulation technology when formulating its top-notch custom designed nutrient premixes.
The encapsulating process is customized according to a specific function in the final product, e.g. taste making, preventing interactions between other components of the finished product, preventing hygroscopicity of ingredients, etc.
Encapsulation is also an innovative and powerful way to overcome some technological problems associated with functional food ingredients - but there are limitations. In order to encapsulate functional food ingredients, there must be a crystalline structure for an effective coating to take place. The type of coating also depends upon end product composition and delivery system.
While encapsulation is mainly for beverages, Fortitech has recognized that it may be effectively accomplished in instances where the encapsulated ingredients can be formulated in a dry mix, which would be mixed into the liquid just prior to consumption. The major advantages of encapsulated ingredients include improved tastemasking, increased shelf life of a product, time release, prevention of interaction and improved product flow (for powdered products).
Ram Chaudhari, senior executive vice president, chief scientific officer & co-founder, Fortitech
Haas-Mondomix BV is the world leader in continuous aeration, with 95% of our annual production exported to more than 50 countries. Sales are handled via our head office in Almere (Holland) and via our worldwide agents network, with support offices in Richmond, Va. (USA), Curitiba (Brazil), Shanghai (China) and Osaka /Tokyo (Japan). Our staff of experienced food technologists enables our company to develop new products and recipes, while constantly improving existing products, using our testing equipment and outlining production processes in-house.
Haas-Mondomix's innovative and creative engineering department will translate a client's new and improved products into the best possible processing solution with matching equipment.
Haas-Mondomix will be your partner of choice in process solutions for continuous aeration, mixing and homogenizing systems. Our continuous development of new products during the past several years has resulted in the following: A free programmable new XYZ depositor for depositing all sizes and models, with or without center fillings; a hollow wafer sticks filling machine with a special depositing system; a micro-aeration system for chocolate; and complete product lines for the confectionery and bakery industries.
We design and build customer solutions, from stand-alone units up to turnkey projects. Being a member of the Haas group, we can assure effective delivery of turnkey projects. In the years to come, the company will continue to work on new developments and innovations for the confectionery, bakery and dairy industries.
Supported by our headquarters' administrative and engineering staff, the sales group will handle all customer demands efficiently and effectively, thus guaranteeing a quick response and customer satisfaction.
Peter Meyer, commercial director, Haas-Mondomix B.V.
Sollich's roots go back to 1920, when founder Robert Sollich established the company as a bakery and pastry manufacturer. In 1928 Roberts invented his first candy machines, essentially because there wasn't anything on the market that could meet his standard for quality.
This marked the beginning of Sollich as an equipment manufacturing entity, with Robert overseeing the development of both companies.
This was also the start of the "innovation-focused" philosophy that the company wanted to achieve. Given its heritage as a confectionery and candy producer, Sollich's understanding of machines and processing exceeds typical engineering mindsets; the company builds a machine to produce a finished product, not to merely run a machine.
And this is why innovation at Sollich doesn't revolve around solving a problem by adding or changing a component; innovation at Sollich begins with looking at the finished product of our customers and then evaluating the process steps and necessary components to customize the equipment to meet the client's requirements.
In this manner, the innovation that we engineer into the equipment is based on solid and proven know-how, fused with the flexible, innovative solution that we can offer.
In that vein, the company has committed tremendous resources and effort into its R&D center and laboratory to continuously optimize equipment. As one might expect, Sollich is not settling with the results achieved to date; the company is continuously searching to optimize, improve and find new ways with innovative ideas to provide our clients with the highest value.
One of the company's breakthrough innovations was the development of the first circulation tempering process for feeding, enrobing and moulding plants with external tempering and build-in tempering, a process that propelled the candy industry into the modern age.
With the launch of the CONBAR candy bar production line, which enabled a broad spate of innovative ideas in the continuous production of single and multi-layer bar products, the industry now had the tools for high output and three-shift operation.
One of Sollich's most significant innovations involved the development of the TURBOTEMPER process, which changed completely the industry perspective of the tempering process and set standards throughout the entire industry. In doing so, it also became the most successful tempering machine in the world.
Sollich's latest innovation is the introduction of the SOLLCOFOKM that enables our clients to produce bitesize granola products with sugar, fruit and sugar replacement slurry in a forming process that uses no moving parts for demoulding of the finished product. The next round of innovations will be presented at the Interpack exhibition in 2008.
Peter Koch, area safes manager ~ USA & Canada, Solfich
For more than two decades, companies have been looking for a great-tasting, natural, zero-calorie sweetener and none were successful - until now. Rebiana, developed by Cargill gives consumers natural sweetness without calories and companies a powerful new way to reduce calories in their products.
Like traditional stevia, rebiana comes from the leaves of the stevia plant. However, what makes rebiana different is that it only consists of the best-tasting components of the stevia leaf. Cargill is working to bring rebiana to consumers around the world as an ingredient in a variety of foods and beverages.
To do so, it has overcome several challenges, including consistency, aftertaste, sustainabuity and sourcing. First, Cargill discovered a way to keep the quality of the product consistent. This ability to control and predict the profile of the sweetener has unlocked the potential for use of the ingredient. Consistency is maintained from the field all the way through to final formulation.
Secondly, until now, stevia products available in the marketplace typically had a strong, lingering aftertaste. Many who have tried stevia and didn't like the aftertaste now will be pleasantly surprised. Rebiana has all the sweetness and none of the lingering aftertaste.
As with all ingredients, it's important to ensure supply and susta inability. Cargill works with farmers on how to identify the hardiest varieties of stevia, grow a consistent product and produce enough to serve a global marketplace. Only companies like Cargill have the resources and ability to develop this product, make it consistent in quality at size and scale and market it for consumers globally.
Ensuring quality and safety in food ingredients is one of the core components of CargilTs global business - it is something Cargill does every day across food and beverage categories and geographies. For rebiana, there is a comprehensive research and development program underway to scientifically establish the safety of rebiana and to ensure consistent quality and supply. The partners plan to introduce the product first in markets where stevia already has regulatory acceptance, and in the U.S. and Europe when all regulatory requirements have been met.
One of the keys to rebiana is how the product is made; in this case, Cargill opted for natural innovation. This new sweetener begins with a leaf, not in a lab. The leaves are harvested and dried. Then using a process similar to that of steeping tea, the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf is isolated - the finished product delivering the pure sweetness of rebiana.
Marcelo Montero, president, Cargill Sweetness Solutions
BCH Limited has been developing innovative process solutions since it started in 1835 and now are world leaders in the production of licorice and fruit candy extrusion equipment.
For BCH, "Innovation is not an option - it is essential." This has been the driving force behind their ll,000-sq.-ft. Innovation Center, which was built in 2000 and is now a major resource within the company.
Within the Innovation Center, BCH has developed a new 100% fruit cooking and extrusion system. The system is a combination of BCH's large surface area MaxiVap Evaporator technology, which is used for long running caramel plants combined with BCH's licorice extrusion technology. The fruit cooking and extrusion system has enabled BCH to achieve evaporation of high moisture fruit mixes with minimal impact on the fruit flavor and color. At these high solids, the product has a consistency of a soft dough, which can be extruded using BCH extrusion technology. This then enables the production of a healthy snack bar or pieces using 100% organic fruit ingredients. The bars can be co-extruded in a variety of colors, shapes and flavors, and in combination with other products. The extruded fruit bars can then be sold as one of the consumers' five-a-day fruit portions.
(Clockwise) Peter Meyer, Haas-Mondomix; Peter Koch, Soilich; and Marcelo Montero, Cargill Sweetness Solutions.
BCH also manufactures a range of extruders for the confectionery industry, including side flow, twin screw mixing, either continuously or batch fed. The extruders are primarily designed to handle hot, doughy textures and have been used to extrude caramel, cheese, fudge, fruit paste and licorice.
BCH has also been developing new, indirect cooking and drying technology for the food industry based on microwave, radio frequency and induction heating.
Matthew Cottam, technical director, BCH Ltd.
Tanis Food Tec
Trust, risk calculation, a sense of security and ambition are the necessary psychological factors for entrepreneurs in general life and in business. And it appears that these factors have overcome fears of the past year. Today, investments, projects and innovations have returned, stimulated by a renewed confidence.
Our customers are executing projects eagerly that had been put on hold and are looking to us for new end products to expand their market. It is one of our missions to supply them ideas on how to make more product varieties on our equipment, with the least investment possible, of course.
(Clockwise) Matthew Cottam, BCH; Peter Tanis, Tanis Food Tec; Oliver Nohynek, Driam; and Richard Benson, Barry Callebaut.
Product concepts that have been developed mutually with customers and put in production recently include wafer balls with an aerated filling (a moulded wafer sheet process) using a newly engineered cream supply system to create a 100% cream-filled ball; the big bubble chocolate wafer bar line, for which TFT engineered a machine that replaces traditional bookmaking and cream-spreading lines, including a special quick set cooling conveyor and depositor to handle this fragile product; and the new TFT CIS-machine for marshmallow balls, which has an unheard of waiting list! With this equipment almost any kind of filling can be used as a center filling - be it pectin jelly, chocolate paste, caramel, peanut butter, nut spreads, anything pumpable - for a lovely looking, soft, chewy marshmallow productTogether TFT and its customers develop technology that creates the consumer's next favorite sweet.
Peter Tanis, sales director, Tanis Food Tec
Founded in 1951 as an engineering design company, Driam began to establish itself as an innovative company during its early formative years. In 1970, it was decided to concentrate on the manufacturing of coating machines based on the vast knowledge accumulated during the past 20 years designing control systems and processes.
Starting out with manual coating pans, Driam soon started dominating the market not only with coating machines for the confectionery industry but also established itself as a well-known name in applications for the pharmaceutical industry.
Both segments are profiting and complimenting each other and during the most recent Interpack in Dusseldorf, the first coater for the confectionery industry was introduced and designed for an all GMP operation.
As of today, Driam emerged as the leading manufacturer for hard sugar coating equipment supplying all major gum manufacturers and panning companies with partially perforated machines, which assures shortest coating times while maintaining the highest and most consistent product quality. The size of production machines ranges from the smallest unit for 500-kg finished batch capacity to the world's largest with a total batch capacity of 3,000 kgs. In addition to machines for sugar coating, Driam also offers an entire line for chocolate and other confectionery product coatings.
Parallel to these developments, Driam is also providing accessories to coating installations, dosing systems, namely air handling systems, factory controls, static and rotary storage utilities along with various conveying and handling systems.
State-of-the-art engineering and developments are supported by its modern and highly flexible lab departments for R&D and contract manufacturing. Our latest innovation is a coating machine designed for a continuous coating application for soft sugar-coated products.
Driam's supporting staff is spanning the globe assisting customers in developing new products, optimizing their coating process and installing complete new coating lines within its turnkey business.
Oliver Nohnyek, managing director, Driam
As the only fully integrated chocolate company with a global presence, Barry Callebaut is re-inventing chocolate through innovative research and development initiatives designed to harness and preserve the healthy components of the cocoa bean in new chocolate products, provide consumers with a variety of unique taste experiences and deliver convenient solutions for our customers.
As part of our innovation process, we're continually tapping into our global expertise and utilizing unique technologies in order to develop compelling concepts to present to our customers - whether it's a top-quality ingredient or a convenient, ready-to-use product.
In fact, our Belgian-based Callebaut and French-based Cacao Barry brands have always been at the forefront of innovation. As an example, Cacao Barry was among the first chocolatiers in the world to offer single-origin chocolates thanks to its presence in Africa. And today, we offer seven distinct Callebaut and six exquisite Cacao Barry single-origin chocolates.
In addition, as part of the growing trend in premium and healthful chocolate, Barry Callebaut is leading the way with the development of a variety of organic and Fair Trade chocolates, as well as sugar-reduced chocolate and white chocolate with real fruit.
These product innovations, combined with the unparalleled training and technical assistance offered through our state-of-the- art Chocolate Academy, make Barry Callebaut a leader in innovation.
Richard Benson, director of research and development
North America, Barry Callebaut
"Evolution" has been constantly part of our company since our founding back in 1889, a special emphasis on the real requirements of our ' clients already existing back then.
Jordi Torres, Lloveras
That cornerstone provides the base for two of the main thrusts or "columns" of this evolutionary process, a process today that drives the company's "Innovation Initiative."
First, our contribution to optimize every customer's investment costs; and second, improving the quality of the customer's end product.
These goals are realized in our design, engineering and manufacture of our line of equipment by incorporating innovative and reliable solutions. Hence, our motto: Reliable Innovation.
Our marketing department has tried always to reflect this "spirit," be it in the publication of new machinery catalogues or in our advertising programs.
Given today's Inter"con"Net"ivity," it's appropriate for us to evolve our website as well, adapting it to our new image, improving our consulting capacity and offering new online services.
In doing so, the Innovation Team at Lloveras wishes to take this opportunity to thank its customers, present and future, for their confidence and for their role in being the growth engine to the company's international recognition.
Jordi Torres, sales & marketing manager, S.A. Martin Lloveras
(Clockwise) Mads Hedstrom, A.E, Nielsen; and Klaus Haupt, Kaul GmbH.
It takes vision and vigor to be innovative. Mads Hedstrom, the company's managing director, understands both, having worked with his father and uncle who founded the company in 1942.
Today, as then, "We're building a customer's wishes into the heart of every machine," he says. Those machines are much larger today, reflective of what the customer and the marketplace demands.
Back then the company was known for its compact enrobers. Today, A.E. Nielsen's enrobers, moulding lines, depositors, cooling tunnels, temperers and other various auxiliary equipment are large enough to handle virtually any chocolate processing operation.
Capable of delivering "large-scale solutions" to both confectioners and bakers, the company remains attuned to the very real need of also engineering operating flexibility for manufacturers.
"In the past where someone may have had three lines handling various products, today manufacturers want one line," says Hedstrom. "They're looking for minimal changeover times and simple sanitation."
Such variables are all part of the innovation equation, he continues. "It's an ongoing process, where our crew, many of whom have 25 to 30 years experience, are continuously reviewing our machines, working on ways to improve them."
One key area that's attracted attention from the company's engineers is simplifying the ever-critical sanitation process. "Cleanability has become an overriding concern. For the longest time, enrobers have been fixed units. Our challenge today, can we design a unit that comes apart easily for cleaning?"
It's clear that the company can, Hedstrom asserts, noting that it and other solutions for the industry will be showcased at the upcoming Interpack exposition.
It's also clear that the company remains committed to its heritage, one that revolves around "unbeatable productivity and reliability."
"That's been our positioning as a company for 65 years," Hedstrom says. "It makes our customers successful, which, in turn, has made us successful."
Having witnessed the evolution from mechanical to electrical, Hedstrorn also understands the thought process that transforms napkin sketches to blueprints, the design route that zigzags from plausible to practical. It's a place where vision and vigor meet, an intersection for innovation. It's also a place where Hedstrorn and the A.E. Nielsen crew feel both comfortable and familiar.
Mads Heustrom, managing director, A.E. Nielsen
Kaul GmbH has produced polishing, glazing, and antisticking agents for the confectionery industry for more than 30 years. Starting with three people in 1975, the company now employs more then 50 in a 7,000-square-meter production facility. Modern manufacturing equipment, the latest technical standards and innovative processes are employed. Kaul has been a leader in GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards since 1977 and implemented a HACCP protocol in 1997. Today Kaul is certified ISO 2001-2000, BRC Global Standards - Food (Classification A), and IFS International Food Standards.
The company markets its products under the trademarks CAPOL, CAPOLEX, CAPOLAN, and FJX GUM worldwide. Because of its extensive research and development activities, Kaul has established itself as a worldwide leader in surface treatment technology.
Distribution of Kaul products are performed through a network of more than 60 agents and distributors worldwide. For that reason, all of our products comply with national food laws and regulations in most countries. The North American distributor for the CXPOL product line is Centerchem, Inc. based in Norwatk, Conn. Centerchem's technical service team has a wide range of confectionery product expertise and can assist our U.S. and Canadian customers at any time.
Kaul's innovative activities have led to the development of a product line of fat-coated organic and inorganic raw materials like granulated sugar, acids, and chlorides used as ingredients in confectionery production.
Klaus Haupt, ceo of Kaul GmbH
Innovation and the claim to deliver the highest level of technology have always driven our company. At the same time, innovations in other industries occasionally enables breakthroughs within the chocolate manufacturing sector. With the availability of the new gearless linear-servo technology introduced several months ago, we are in the position to realize maintenance-free depositors and HiFlex pick-and-place robot systems with - until today - unknown and unexpected performance and precision.
Such innovations lead us to completely new approaches on how to handle certain operations and how to solve difficult challenges with entirely new terms of reference, resulting in truly innovative solutions.
Innovative developments and machines require also innovative engineering and production technology. We are proud to belong to the best-equipped manufacturers in the industry, being capable to produce all our parts in-house.
Using the latest technology of CNC 3D-milling-machines from leading manufacturers from Japan, Germany and Switzerland with matching engineering tools, we remain committed and focused in delivering true innovation to our customers.
Guido Knobel, president, Knobel
Dumoulin's history in the global panning industry covers more than 50 years of working with leading manufacturers in candy, chocolate and panning. During the last 25 years the company has specialized in equipment for panning.
As an innovator, Dumoulin developed the first highcapacity automatic coating pans with batch capacities from 500 to 3, 000 kg, this equipment having been operational since the early 1970s. The company has continued to develop the concept since then and remains a market leader in this field.
In order to fulfill customer requirements, Dumoulin has been able to utilize its technical and process expertise to enhance the peripheral equipment such as conveying and storage systems. During the 1990s we saw developments in coating machinery designed for the pharmaceutical industry, all manufactured to GMP standards.
Recognizing the need to address that emerging market, as well as continue ongoing development with the confectionery segment, the company invested in a new greenfield site in 1995 occupying 13,000 square meters.
The new facility has helped improve quality and efficiency, allowing all departments to address customer requirements for dependability, output and product creativity. It is through these collaborative efforts that true innovation is fostered.
Francois Adele, general manager, and Bernard Dumoulin, ceo, Dumoulin
Innovation not only applies to a new technology. It also includes a company's expertise, the "know-how," of integrating the right packaging machines to offer a highly reliable and flexible packaging process.
The applications for robots in the packaging industry have grown tremendously in the last 10 years. The use of robotics in a customer's packaging line should be a strong part of the manufacturing strategy. The technological growth and reasonable ROI (return-on-investment) make robotic installation attractive to even smaller start-up operations. Usage and maintenance of the robots has become increasingly easy.
The technological advancements have also increased the flexibility in what robotic automation can offer. A manufacturer is not forced to build a packaging line around the robot, the robot is integrated into the packaging line. Often the manufacturer can utilize their existing equipment with small modifications.
As part of Bosch Packaging Technology, Doboy has access to a variety of technologies in many industries to gain inspiration.
Mike Wilcox, director of sales and marketing, Doboy, Inc.
(Clockwise) Guido Knobel, Knobel; Francois Adele and Bernard Dumoulin, Dumoulin; and Mike Wilcox, Doboy.
Research and development - and the innovation inherent in that effort - is done in an evolutionary manner at Caotech, avoiding dangerous mistakes. Customer relations are viewed as mutual opportunities for long-term rewards and profits. As an example, we can refer to our recent developments in cocoa processing.
Our line for high capacity cocoa processing starts with a pre- grinder, a Beater Blade Mill type N4000 - a joint development between Dr.-Ing. Bauermeister GmbH and our company - for the continuous pre-grinding of cocoa nibs. Equipped with special composed alloy-blades, the mill generates a high output - capacities up to 5,000 kg per hour - with minimal requirement for maintenance.
For large scale processing of cocoa masses Caotech supplies the CAO 3000 in-line. This equipment is capable of achieving capacities up to 4,000 kg/hour with a fineness of 0,3 % WSR on a 75 micron screen. All grinders are low-speed type ball mills, which is important in respect of wear and temperature of the mass.
We think that one of the cornerstones for our success is related to our business philosophy, one which can be characterized as "old- fashioned." In our context, the connotation bespeaks of enterprise, dedication, perseverance, empathy, engagement, service and foresight.
In the vision of Caotech, a business deal is not finished by supplying the equipment. The opposite is true, this is only a start for a business relation. Ongoing support after supplying equipment is a major tool in a business relation. This is where in our opinion, companies like Caotech can distinguish themselves from other suppliers.
Development in an evolutionary way - together with a flexible organization - has made Caotech a major player worldwide in grinding processing equipment for the cocoa and chocolate industry. We are confident that we can follow this course, play a more significant role in the future and be a reliable partner in this business area.
Jan Hammink, managing director, Caotech
It is innovation - constant innovation - that keeps a company fresh, forward thinking and fast on its feet. For Aasted-Mikroverk, innovation is as inherent as its chocolate heritage, says Allan Aasted, managing director. Going back to founder Kai Christian Sophous Aasted, the company has been in the forefront of revolutionary, evolutionary and groundbreaking product launches in the area of chocolate processing since 1946.
Having rattled the industry's vision of how to temper, Aasted- Mikroverk forever changed how chocolatiers viewed the moulding process with its debut of FrozenCone technology in 1992, a process that continues to undergo refinements and radical reapplication with the latest generation today.
The company hopes to do the same with extrusion technology, having debuted the Alice method of gentle extrusion at the last Interpack. And while AastedMikroverk's Allan doesn't place Alice's technology in the same "revolutionary" context as FrozenCone, there's no doubt that Alice incorporates several "unique" innovations not found in existing extrusion systems.
During the course of pioneering Alice's debut, the company has also consistently worked at improving tempering technology. Its AMC SuperShear line of temperers incorporate the SuperShear Scraper, which delivers 100% more shear, higher throughput and lower kinetic energy thanks to its multiple-wing design. Variable flow technology enables precise control as well as flexibility to ensure consistent delivery of perfectly tempered chocolate during production runs.
Given that a major part of the company's sales involve tempering units, it's not surprising that Aasted-Mikroverk keeps investing in improving this critical technology.
Nor then is it surprising to find the Aasted-Mikroverk reinvented its FrozenCone technology, one of the truly rare breakthroughs in chocolate processing automation.
Reinvention truly applies to the recently introduced FrozenConeMouldless system, which eliminates the use of moulds by incorporating super-cooled plungers to create various shapes in chocolate.
The piston-driven plungers are all mounted individually and can be exchanged, enabling manufacturers to create different shaped articles in one pressing motion, enhancing flexibility further.
And if that's not impressive, the next FrozenCone application goes one step further. Building on the cold pressing platform established through FrozenCone, the ChocoAssort system, which uses an Aasted MMM chocolate moulding line, allows chocolate manufacturers to create a full assortment box of pralines in one swoop.
"We don't want to be conservative," Allan says. "We want to be an interesting partner, a dynamic partner, an innovative partner. From our vantage point, we consider ourselves large enough to cope with big projects, yet small enough to move fast with a customer's needs and interests."
Allan Aasted, managing director, Aasted-Mikroverk
As early as the year 1898, Hebenstreit was manufacturing confectionery equipment. Today the extent of the product range encompasses everything from raw material dosing and mixing plants for the preparation of wafer batter up to the fully automatic conveying of the cut, cream-filled wafers and to subsequent packing machines, coating plants or moulding lines.
After listening to the needs of our worldwide customers and studying new regulations, Hebenstreit's latest developments have concentrated on reducing energy requirements at the same time as reducing harmful emissions from the baking machine.
New design burner nozzles and inner baking chamber have resulted in a reduction of up to 20% in gas consumption while reducing emissions to 1 /3 of permitted EU levels.
(Clockwise) Jan Hammink, Caotech; Allan Aasted, Aasteo- Mikroverk; Christian Werner, Hebenstreit; and Jorg Sommer, F.B. Leumann.
Trends have led to baking machines that can give up to 40% more production from the same size of oven. In addition, with the use of the latest technology and materials available, the interval between routine servicing has been increased and the general lifetime of the high temperature bearings can now easily exceed 50,000 working hours
New application systems with greater flexibility have been developed. These systems are able to handle creams and fillings of varying viscosities and textures with and without inclusions such as crushed nuts, fruit pieces, caramel nuggets, cereals, rice, etc. The trend in the wafer industry is for more flexibility and higher capacity for each wafer production line. Therefore, we are continuously upgrading our machines for our customers' benefit.
Hebenstreit has more than 100 years of experience of wafer production and our extensive laboratory facilities allows us to develop new and interesting ideas and concepts in partnership with wafer producers from all over the world.
Christian Werner, sales director, Hebenstreit GmbH
Given its rich history with five-roll refiners, it was only natural that RB. Lehmann introduced a new generation of f i ve-roli- refiners at the most recent Interpack. Two key developments highlight the innovations:
First, the new generation of five-roll refiners contains five rollers, five motors and five frequency converters. The result is an absolutely flexible, immediate adjustment of frictions between the rollers without changing gears. Different frictions are needed for different recipes, such as for milk chocolate and dark chocolate. The different settings of each rollers can be stored and recalled back as a recipe in the Multipanel. The speeds and therefore the frictions can be changed effortlessly and individually.
The second breakthrough involves a forced cooling water system. In combining the cooling system into the five-roll refiner, the unit is ideal for heat sensible products, such as milk chocolates and absolutely fine chocolates (17 and 18 urn). Why? The heat is guided away from the friction area efficiently and quickly to preserve the fine taste even under tough friction conditions.
The new five-roll refiner generation, together with the company's latest development, a patented breaking and winnowing process that guarantees better quality and higher yields, is indicative of the company's ongoing quest to deliver innovation tied to productivity, flexibility and improved quality.
Jorg Sommer, safes director, RB. Lehmann
Copyright Stagnito Publishing Jul 2007
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