Lareka redesigns 3D printed sealer arm to increase the quality of chocolate packaging

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Jan-Willem van der Voort, (right) Lareka Confectionery Equipment collects the award for Design Challenge 2017. Picture: Additive Industries.
Jan-Willem van der Voort, (right) Lareka Confectionery Equipment collects the award for Design Challenge 2017. Picture: Additive Industries.

Related tags 3d printing Netherlands

Lareka has won recognition for its redesigned 3D printed sealer arm for chocolate tablet packaging.

The company took first place in the Additive World Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge 2017 in the Netherlands last week and will showcase the machine at Interpack, in Dusseldorf, Germany (May 4-10).

Major step forward

Henk Somers, director/owner, Lareka Confectionery Equipment, said the 3D machine demonstrates a major step forward in reducing thermal damage to chocolate tablets to increase the quality of chocolate packaging.

He claims premium chocolate tablets are normally sealed in aluminium foil at 140°​C but this can cause thermal damage to the chocolate bars and causes irregularities because the corners and edges of the packaging can melt in the heat.

But with the redesigned 3D printed sealer arm, the chocolate temperature is controlled to within a few tenths of a degree during the tempering process, for optimal snap, gloss, taste and shelf life.

Somers claims Lareka has developed a 3D heat sealing machine which can heat chocolate tablets at a lower temperature at 26°​C.

The new sealing bar has integrated ventilation with cooling ribs,” he said. “The holder keeps the heating to a minimum. As a result, it stays below 26°C on the product side. The sealing bar consists of a single unit with no other parts, which can only be realized through 3D printing in stainless steel​.”

Lareka entered the ‘redesigned Sealer Arm for a chocolate bar packaging line’ in the professional category of the Design Challenge 2017 at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven via its ‘Chocolate Shock Prevention Team’.

Scott Summit, chairman of the Jury said the redesigned 3D printed sealer arm successfully combined a substantial increase in the quality of chocolate packaging because of better temperature regulation with a reduction of 50 parts.

Design Challenge 2017

In all, 76 contestants, both professionals and students, entered the competition and three finalists were selected for the professional category and the student category.

The Lareka 'sealer Arm'

The winner of the student category was Cassidy Silbernagel, from the University of Nottingham, UK, for his redesigned carburetor including integrated moving parts, floats, light-weight internal lattice structures and optimized design to reduce the number of support structures for additive manufacturing.

This year the designers took a broader view on design for additive manufacturing​”, said Daan Kersten, CEO/co-founder, Additive Industries.

“They tailored their designs to eliminate manufacturing difficulties, reduce the number of parts, minimize assembly or lower logistics costs, often combined. This clearly underlines the trend that industrial additive manufacturing is maturing​.”

Entries from advanced food processing, aeronautics, automotive and the high-tech industry were submitted from all over the world. The six finalists were:

  • ‘Sealer-arm’ from the Team Chocolate Shock Prevention (Lareka, the Netherlands, professional category)
  • ‘Monolithic Heat Exchanger’ from Dr. Christoph Kiener (Siemens, Germany, professional category)
  • ‘Custom Micro Quadcopter Frame’ from Michael van der Bent (the Netherlands, professional category)
  • ‘Demonstrator Model for a Supersonic Wind Tunnel’ from Team Alliance (Alliance University, India, student category)
  • ‘Light weight components for Manufacturing Robot’ from Boris Sokolov (Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia, student category)
  • ‘Carburettor for an Internal Combustion Engine’ from Cassidy Silbernagel (The University of Nottingham, UK, student category)

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