The Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) estimates that around 3.8 million tons of sweets and snacks were consumed in Germany in 2017. Sophisticated technology is required for the industrial production of these items.
Look behind the scenes
Fine milling is an essential process step in the production of chocolate and fat-based confectionery compounds. Intermediate products such as cocoa liquor, nut paste or almond paste are crushed very finely, but also pre-mixtures of rough recipe ingredients. NETZSCH bead mills and pumps work in perfect symbiosis in this process.
The Master Refiner horizontal agitator bead mill from NETZSCH was specially designed for particularly efficient use in applications for the food and confectionery industry, where process and hygiene requirements are highly complex.
NETZSCH also has a suitable pump in its portfolio to go with the agitator bead mill, for reliably conveying the raw material mixtures for cocoa, nougat and other confectionery substances to the mill. The T.Sano® model with smooth design is a hygiene rotary lobe pump of the type TORNADO®, which is equipped with a belt drive and therefore works completely lubrication oil-free.
The pump is particularly suitable for use in chocolate and confectionery production due to the material selection. All components used in the T.Sano® rotary lobe pump that come into contact with the medium are made of stainless steel to comply with food safety guidelines. This ensures excellent cleanability, a long service life and guarantees long-term availability of the pump. The special drive of this pump type also helps to protect products and consumers: "Instead of the usual complex synchromesh gear, in this design a toothed belt transfers the torque from the motor to the rotary lobes while synchronising their rotation," says Erwin Weber, responsible for the development of the TORNADO® rotary lobe pump. "The pump runs completely without oil, which not only omits the work for lubrication and oil change, but also excludes product contamination."
Furthermore, the TORNADO® rotary lobe pump is designed to operate largely maintenance-free, ensure high operational reliability an allow easy cleaning. A key element in this is that the pump chamber, lobes and seals are free from dead spaces and flow-optimised. "The rotary lobes, for example, are attached outside of the pump chamber using quick-release elements, omitting the need for a threaded connection inside the conveying area, which would cause cavities," explains Weber. "The face sides of the lobes remain smooth and offer no weak points for medium adhesion." Likewise, dead spaces were avoided at the shaft sealings by positioning their sliding surfaces in such a way that they seal flush with the rear side of the rotary lobes. In addition, the full-service-in place (FSIP®) principle was implemented for the T.Sano® rotary lobe pump to facilitate comprehensive cleaning and maintenance tasks. "The pump is designed to be opened and cleaned directly on site (COP). In addition, all wearing components can be replaced if necessary without having to disconnecting the pump," explains Weber. The pump is also suitable for CIP. Overall, this allowed downtime of the unit to be clearly minimized.