Dispatches from Hispack 2015

Hosokawa Bepex files patent for quick mass change on chocolate production equipment

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Hosokawa Bepex files patent for quick mass change

Related tags Manufacturing Chocolate

Hosokawa Bepex which supplies production equipment for the confectionery industry has developed a concept for quick mass changes for chocolate, which has been filed for patent.

It is based on the concept that the machine is divided in a product wetted lower machine body and the roof section. In case of a mass change, the lower machine body is removed from the line and replaced by a second one which contains the new mass type.

Dark to white chocolate

This ensures all product wetted parts are positively removed from the line and no cleaning is required when changing from one mass to the other. Also contamination of the enrobing mass by cleaning agents or other enrobing mass colors is excluded.

Speaking at Hispack 2015, in Barcelona (April 21-24), Ulrich Gehrke, regional director sales, Hosokawa Bepex, said a mass change (eg from dark to white chocolate) will take approximately 35 minutes from one end of production to another with the new enrobing mass.

Due to the fact no cleaning is required, the process is quicker than other traditional mass change systems.

The downtime of the line is drastically reduced using this concept​,” said Gehrke.


Cleaning and changeover times often sum up to several 100 hours per year. With costs of up to €800/hour for a production line this will mean savings of several €10,000 each year​.”

He added more than five hours are saved in the mass changeover in comparison to usual concepts as the cleaning step (minimum six hours) is not required.

With one mass change per week and 50 production weeks per year this sums up to 250 hours per year​,” said Gehrke.

These 250 hours can either be used to produce more goods or to avoid additional shifts​.”

No risk of contaminating chocolate with water

Hosokawa Bepex claims advantages include; no risk of contaminating the chocolate with water, which is broadly used when cleaning an enrobing machine; cleaning is obsolete and manpower is saved just like cleaning agents and significantly quicker change of the enrobing masses.

In a big production with identical lines it is possible to purchase one lower machine body for a mass which is less often requested (e.g. white chocolate) and it can be used in each production line one after the other​,” added Gehrke.

By this method the lower machine body achieves a higher operation grade, which justifies the additional purchase and offers a bigger product variety​.

Shorter delivery times often cause small batches of niche products. These can be easily fit into the production plan as changeover times are reduced significantly. Big losses due to cleaning and machine set-up do not occur​.”

Hosokawa Bepex is offering interested parties a live presentation in its Technology Center in Leingarten, Germany or can arrange customer demonstrations on-site.

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