Enclosed System Concept improves Hygiene

Selb, April 14, 2014 – Keeping production systems for confectionery masses meticulously clean is an undertaking that is as time-consuming as it is costly. That is why preventive measures have been included in the new plant concept from Netzsch that reduce dirt ingress and accelerate cleaning.

The creamier and smoother chocolate and fillings, spreads and coatings become, the more flavor they develop and delight the palate. But the coveted stuff of so many sweet dreams has a downside: it tends to settle in the tanks, pipelines and machines during production. The dust and residue-filled ambient air in a production hall does the rest to amplify the cleaning effort required. And, for conventional systems with an open design, that is readily the case.

Protection from Dirt

In its new Mambo® system concept, Netzsch Confectionery has already taken these necessities into account in terms of construction and designed the plant for continuous hygienic maintenance. The decisive preventive measure to prevent contamination is a completely enclosed design. A housing completely covers all system components and reduces the ingress of dirt from the outside to a minimum. In order to minimize the remaining risk of dirt particles getting into the production cycle, the system operates under a slight overpressure.

Completely enclosed and easily accessible

The individual machines are positioned such that their connections are accessible from the front. The walls of the housing can be removed quickly and easily for maintenance and repairs. Additional advantages of the complete covering: First, it drastically reduces the noise level in the work environment. Second, it keeps the waste heat generated during the production process in the area of the equipment and helps to evenly warm the components. This reduces the energy required to keep the system at production temperature.

In order to keep the volume of the housing and plant manageable, Netzsch Confectionery made efficient use of the covered floor space with a correspondingly compact arrangement of the individual machines. "In addition, we gave the Mambo® a two-level design and strictly separated the raw material supply from the production area in order to confine the ingress of dust to the immediate area," said Theron W. Harbs, General Manager of Netzsch Confectionery, describing the plant architecture. The machines are operated from the upper work level and the raw materials are fed from there, with an integrated lift to facilitate the raw material transport.

Clean fast and often, and very efficiently

The compact arrangement of the components not only saves space, but also distances. The entire course of pipelines that connect the machines and storage tanks is 20 to 30 percent shorter compared to similarly sized plants with an open design, which facilitates the automated cleaning. For this, Netzsch Confectionery utilizes a pigging system, the cleaning component of which is driven through the pipelines with dry, oil-free and filtered compressed air. After each product transfer – whether it's the raw material or the finished masses – the little cleaning maniac whizzes through all the pipelines, curves and branches and mechanically removes all of the residual product that has been deposited there.

There is one principle behind the hygiene concept of the new Mambo®: fast cleaning at short intervals with minimal material usage. The pre-melted fats, which are used for the production process anyway, are precisely dosed and fed via spray systems. The batch tank is pre-cleaned in this way for every batch, without the need to use additional fat. Theron Harbs mentions a major strength of this approach: "Even when changing products, the machines no longer have to be manually cleaned or even disassembled." That not only gives the user cost and time advantages, but guarantees him the required product safety for quality products.

Netzsch Confectionery at the Interpack 2014 in Düsseldorf

We will be exhibiting these and other innovations at the Interpack 2014 at the exhibition center in Düsseldorf. You are cordially invited to visit us at our stand in Hall 03/F28 from May 8-14. We appreciate your interest.