The smart chocolate factory

Published: 21-Apr-2017

A plus for productivity and quality

It is increasingly important for chocolate producers that their plants operate at full capacity.

At Interpack, Bühler is demonstrating how the use of digital services and IoT technologies offers significant gains in efficiency.

"With more intelligent process control, we can further improve productivity and achieve even more consistency in product quality," explains Marco Zappa, Head of Business Unit Chocolate Mass at Bühler.

The market and technology leader is also introducing its new molding plant ChocoBotic with robotic technology and its online learning platform ChocoGenius.

High productivity and consistent product quality are important factors to succeed in the industrial production of chocolate.

The increasing availability of sensors, actuators and IoT technologies also open up opportunities for an even more efficient production in this area.

At the Interpack 2017 trade show, Bühler will be demonstrating, for instance, how the “Smart Chocolate Factory” will change the manufacturing of chocolate mass in the future.

The technology leader is showcasing more intelligent process monitoring and control for its proven DoMiReCo production line.

“Not only will it be possible to increase productivity but also to have more consistency in product quality. And because fewer manual interventions are required, the manufacturing costs drop, while food safety improves,” says Zappa, describing the most important advantages.

Bühler will also be introducing the new moulding plant, ChocoBotic, at the trade show.

Thanks to the integrated robotic technology, process steps, which are usually set up sequentially, can now be arranged differently and modified flexibly to suit different masses, recipes, or products.

Both small and large chocolate processors gain an unprecedented flexibility: they can quickly respond to changing customer needs and also produce smaller batches or seasonal items.

ChocoBotic was developed by Bühler as part of an Innovation Challenge and is regarded as the pioneer of a new generation of plants for the "smart" production of chocolate items.

Digital technologies don’t stop, even when it comes to training: at Interpack, the online learning platform ChocoGenius is celebrating its premiere.

It uses interactive tutorials and learning modules to teach how to operate Bühler plants and provides valuable basic information on chocolate manufacturing.

The web-based platform is aimed primarily at operators and completes Bühler’s existing training offer. Also in the limelight at the trade show is MyBühler: the digital platform adds another communication channel to Bühler, which, for instance, makes ordering spare parts or inquiries about prices and availability much easier and more efficient.

Interpack is the largest and most important trade fair for processing and packaging equipment. It will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 4–10 May.

Bühler will present its complete range of process solutions in an exciting experience world, covering 1700 square metres. In this unique environment, which includes a bistro and a Solutions Space, Bühler will display its offerings for making chocolate products, cocoa, nuts, coffee, sweets, biscuits, cookies, crackers, cereal and energy bars, breakfast cereals and snacks.

Bühler is a global leader in processing solutions with 60% of all chocolate products, 40% of all industrially produced pasta and 35% of all breakfast cereals made using the Swiss company’s technologies.

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