APV unveils new confectionery depositor

APV Baker has developed a new range of ServoForm depositors for the
production of hard and soft confectionery, toffees, gums, jellies
and lollipops.

The system has been designed to give manufacturers complete control of the depositing process to ensure complete shape and weight accuracy, negligible scrap rates and efficient wrapping. Greater flexibility and improved process control have been made possible by the installation of servomotors to control machine movements.

All this means that the new equipment can handle a range of different textures, enabling multi-component products with one or two centre-fills to be made.

Servo control has been used for many years to provide enhanced flexibility and process control on APV Baker's laboratory and high-specification machines, but the company claims that the new range takes the benefits of electronics a stage further. Three-axis control is standard, enabling deposit patterns fillings and weights to be changed at the touch of a button.

This gives the operator complete mastery of the depositing process, including 'on-the-run' fine-tuning of operation. An optional fourth axis of control is available for the mould lift.

The servos are under the control of a PLC and a touch-sensitive HMI screen that provides full process visualisation, recipe management, alarm handling and data logging. The system can be integrated with upstream and downstream equipment, or into a plant supervisory system (SCADA).

APV claims that higher output can be achieved by mounting drive components on the machine frame rather than on the depositing head. This underband design is said to reduce the inertia of the head allowing a higher depositor running speed. It also contributes to improved hygiene and easier maintenance.

APV​ also says that downtime due to product changeover and clean down has been reduced by the introduction as standard of a modular carrier mould, with quick release attachments. The solid construction improves dimensional stability and ejection efficiency, ensures the most efficient use of the cooling circuit by maximising heat transfer, and offers the highest hygiene standards and minimum maintenance.

The aluminium mould construction contributes to improved efficiency through optimum heat transfer, with reduced cooling times and energy usage, while ensuring the highest end-product quality. In addition, the introduction of a totally self-draining hopper ensures an improved product flow, with reduced hopper retention time and no reduction in capacity between single and two component product depositing.

APV Baker is also introducing a new generation of depositing system specifically for the lollipop market, incorporating many of the features of this latest confectionery depositor, plus the specialised mould circuit and stick placer required for automatic lollipop production.

The launch of the new depositor is the latest in a series of APV innovations within the confectionery sector. Earlier this year, the company developed a depositing system capable of multi-colour and multi-component production.

Four-colour depositing aims at giving the freedom to create a diversity of hard candies, which the company says can give high added value for a variety of effects including both random 'marbling' and deliberate patterns. Effects are created by using opaque or translucent colours, or a combination of the two.

The technology, for which the company says a patent is pending, involves a 'one-shot' deposit from a bank of four hoppers, each containing a different coloured candy syrup. Furthermore, mould shape is said to be unlimited.

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