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Magna Speciality Confectioners is using carbon infrared heating systems from Heraeus Noblelight to achieve better control over the quality of its filled chocolate products, as well as saving energy and space when compared with the previous chocolate heating system.

Magna Speciality Confectioners makes a range of chocolates, under contract, for well-known chocolate manufacturers. It has particular expertise in filled products, such as filled chocolate bars and filled chocolate eggs, where the application of heat is an important process step.

In the manufacture of chocolate-filled eggs, molten chocolate is poured into moulds on a so-called book moulding line to form the two halves of the finished product. The chocolate is then chilled so that it solidifies. The moulds are then filled and are eventually brought together so they can form the complete eggs.

Before this joining can take place, it is necessary to heat the egg rims, so that the two halves in the two moulds can fuse together. Previously this had been carried out by using hot air blowers but the temperature profile proved difficult to control. This caused quality control problems and could also cause problems at the subsequent chilling and wrapping stages. It is also important to heat the moulds before the chocolate is poured in.

It was decided to install carbon medium-wave infrared systems from Heraeus Noblelight. The pyrometer on the mould heating section of the line measures the temperature of the plastic moulds just before the infrared station. This temperature then dictates the length of time that the heaters are switched on when the moulds are under the infrared heater. A pyrometer after the heating station then ensures that the correct mould temperature has been achieved to allow chocolate to be deposited. Deflector plates at the front and back of the heating module ensure that only one module at a time is heated. On the book moulding section of the line, the pyrometer helps the chocolate temperature to rise to around 30°C, which ensures that the two halves are satisfactorily fused together.

Key application benefits

  • Apart from the quality improvements and the more consistent presentation of the finished product, the new infrared heating system has also provided significant savings in space and energy over the previous system
  • Temperatures can be controlled at 29°C ±1°C
  • The fast response of the heaters minimises damage to the chocolate product

Technical data

  • Carbon medium-wave infrared system
  • Four 8.4kW systems
  • Pyrometer controlled
  • Typical dwell times are three to four seconds for line speeds of around 16 to 20 modules per minute

Heraeus Noblelight

Heraeus specialises in the production and application of high quality energy sources covering the electro-magnetic spectrum from ultraviolet to infra-red. It has over 40 years experience in infra-red technology and offers the expertise, products and systems to provide efficient and effective solutions to drying, heating and curing problems throughout industry.

Heraeus Noblelight GmbH with its headquarters in Hanau and with subsidiaries in the USA, Great Britain, France and China is one of the technology- and market-leaders in the production of specialty light sources and systems. In 2016, Heraeus Noblelight employed 707 people worldwide. The organization develops, manufactures and markets infrared and ultraviolet emitters, systems and solutions for applications in industrial manufacture, environmental protection, medicine and cosmetics, research, development and analytical measurement techniques.

In the 2016 financial year, Heraeus generated revenues without precious metals of €2.0 bn and a total revenue of €21.5 bn. With approximately 12,400 employees worldwide in more than 100 subsidiaries in 38 countries, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.

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