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A 9kW carbon infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight is helping to ensure consistent chocolate quality while reducing production line down-time at OP Chocolate’s Dowlais, South Wales, factory.

The system is used to pre-heat chocolate moulds prior to filling and replaces a long-established ceramic infrared system.

The production of moulded chocolate involves depositing liquid chocolate into polycarbonate moulds. However, it is important that the moulds are pre-heated to a specific temperature before the chocolate is poured. If the moulds are too warm, the chocolate can change its characteristics and detemper. If they are too cold, the poured chocolate will lose shape and possibly crack. 

Previously, OP Chocolate had used infrared, ceramic eaters to pre-heat the moulds. A shuttering system could be placed between the heaters and the moulds in the event of line stoppage, to prevent spoiling of the chocolate in the moulds during the time it took for the heaters to cool down after switch-off. However, the ceramic system was proving unreliable in operation and the action of changing over the shuttering was proving increasingly difficult.

Having successfully installed a similar Heraeus carbon fibre infrared mould heating system on another chocolate tablet production line five years ago, the project engineers at OP Chocolate decided replace the ceramic system with a carbon medium wave system. This proved to be one-third the size of the old system. It features three 3kW emitters and can be either manually or automatically controlled. With manual control the emitter outputs can be adjusted by the operator to achieve a mould temperature of 30ºC as measured by a pyrometer. With automatic control, the emitters are regulated automatically according to the pyrometer setting.

Peter Smith, project manager at Dowlais, said: “The infrared system, which was retrofitted without any problems into the available space, provides precisely controllable heating for the moulds and their very fast response ensures that line stoppages are now more easily managed and quality improved.”

Carbon infrared heating system helps ensure chocolate quality

A 9kW carbon infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight is helping to ensure consistent chocolate quality while reducing production line down-time at OP Chocolate’s Dowlais, South Wales, factory.

The system is used to pre-heat chocolate moulds prior to filling and replaces a long-established ceramic infrared system.

The production of moulded chocolate involves depositing liquid chocolate into polycarbonate moulds. However, it is important that the moulds are pre-heated to a specific temperature before the chocolate is poured. If the moulds are too warm, the chocolate can change its characteristics and detemper. If they are too cold, the poured chocolate will lose shape and possibly crack. 

Previously, OP Chocolate had used infrared, ceramic eaters to pre-heat the moulds. A shuttering system could be placed between the heaters and the moulds in the event of line stoppage, to prevent spoiling of the chocolate in the moulds during the time it took for the heaters to cool down after switch-off. However, the ceramic system was proving unreliable in operation and the action of changing over the shuttering was proving increasingly difficult.

Having successfully installed a similar Heraeus carbon fibre infrared mould heating system on another chocolate tablet production line five years ago, the project engineers at OP Chocolate decided replace the ceramic system with a carbon medium wave system. This proved to be one-third the size of the old system. It features three 3kW emitters and can be either manually or automatically controlled. With manual control the emitter outputs can be adjusted by the operator to achieve a mould temperature of 30ºC as measured by a pyrometer. With automatic control, the emitters are regulated automatically according to the pyrometer setting.

Peter Smith, project manager at Dowlais, said: “The infrared system, which was retrofitted without any problems into the available space, provides precisely controllable heating for the moulds and their very fast response ensures that line stoppages are now more easily managed and quality improved.”

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