I'm in the market for a smallish enrobing line

Paul2
@paul2
01/24/15 09:20:55PM
20 posts

Hi there,

I'm transitioning from doing craft fairs to opening a store front. In the past I rented time in a Hilliard line, but that's not really a viable option for an on going venture. So I'm in the market for an enrobing line. The Hilliard is ok, but quirky, I like the look if the Selmi, but doubt I could afford one. I don't need huge capacity; I could probably get by with a 6" belt. I need what ever unit I purchase to run on either 110 or 220v single phase as that's all that is available in my building.

So who has experience with what machines? What are, in your opinion, the pros and cons of the unit you use? What are the cost, and where would I find one. Ideally I would like to find a used unit to save money as I'm spending most of my budget buying the building and build out the kitchen.

Thanks for what ever help you can give me,

Paul
Bramosia Chocolates
Oakland, CA


updated by @paul2: 06/07/15 03:02:34PM
Dirke Botsford
@dirke-botsford
01/25/15 12:38:16PM
98 posts

I'm in the same boat and have been looking at the "perfect equipment" line, I bought the tempering machine and just waiting to afford the erobing portion. Very resonably priced $14000 compared to $25000+ starting every where else I've seen. Check them out - http://www.perfectchoco.com/en/perfect-equipments

Elizabeth Schick
@elizabeth-schick
01/25/15 01:13:39PM
1 posts

[ Moderator - Edited to remove off-topic solicitation. ]

 

Dave  Hoselton
@dave-hoselton
01/25/15 02:27:06PM
3 posts

I would sell my NovaChoc TE3, it has the 10-inch wide enrobing belt as well as a vibrating table. It was Jacques Torres’ machine, used before he went with the larger Sollich line. I’m in it $17,500 plus freight.

This is a continuous temperer, like the Selmi. The TE3 is the current model in the NovaChoc lineup. http://www.novachoc.fr/static/media/uploads/products/TE3%20ang_1.pdf

The Hilliard and Perfect machine mentioned are batch temperers, “quirky”. The continuous tempering makes all the difference, which is why everyone moves to the European machines.

The European machines use three phase refrigeration units for proper crystallization. A phase converter to change your 220v single to three phase runs about $1,200.

Dave

Clay Gordon
@clay
01/25/15 08:46:46PM
1,680 posts

Paul -

As you may know, I represent FBM machines here in the US and to ChocolateLife members around the world and ChocolateLife members are entitled to a 10% discount. [THIS DISCOUNT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.] Most FBM 220V machines can be purchased in either single- or three-phase. Smaller machines can be run off 120V with a step-up transformer and there are step-up transformers we recommend. While you can use phase converters to turn single- to three-phase, because of the reactive load (compressors cycling on and off) you can't use static phase converters. Rotary or the much more expensive digital option.

That out of the way ...

One of the misconceptions out there is that throughput, when it comes to an enrober belt on a continuous tempering machine, is dependent on working bowl capacity. It's not.

Time to do some math.

Let's say you want to enrobe 250 pieces an hour. If each piece has 10 grams of chocolate on it, then you only need to temper about 2.5 kilos of chocolate per hour. You should not have to purchase a tempering machine with a 25 kilo working bowl just to be able to kit it out with an enrober belt. (The general rule of thumb for continuous tempering machines is that they will temper about 3x the capacity of the working bowl per hour. So if you need ~100 kilos of chocolate per day and are actually working 4-5 hours per day, a continuous tempering machine with a working bowl capacity of between 7-12 kilos will do the trick. Of course, if you are doing molded work and bars as well, you may need a larger tempering machine.

Let's get back to that 250 pieces per hour. That's only about four pieces per minute which is trivial for a 150-200 mm-wide belt. The real gating factors on throughput are how the pieces are going to be decorated. If you are going to be putting transfers on or hand decorating, a single operator should easily be able to do 250 pieces an hour, even if the work is not well organized. As you need to increase your throughput, organization becomes more and more important - how the work is organized before it goes on the belt, how it is handled to decorate it, and what happens after it gets decorated.

Maximum throughput is going to depend on the sizes of the pieces. If you are doing, say 40 mm-square pieces, then you can comfortably get three across a 180 mm-wide belt with lots of room between them. As the operator becomes familiar with the operation of the belt, they might be able to get four across. Keeping in mind spacing, I would estimate that an organized operator could get 10-12 rows of three pieces in the length of a sheet pan. You'd run those pieces through, take the pieces off, decorate, and then start the process over again. That's with one operator. If you have two you can have one put the pieces on and another take them off. So, ultimately, throughput is dependent on the number of people operating the line.In order to know what size belt and tempering machine is right for your production situation, it's important to know how many (number of pieces) of what kinds of work you plan to produce, on average, and during peak production seasons. From there it's possible to size the machine that will fit your requirements.Hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions about tempering machines and enrober belts I will be happy to answer them. If you are interested in getting catalog pages and pricing, please let me know and I will send them to you via email.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

updated by @clay: 12/28/16 01:43:55PM
Dave  Hoselton
@dave-hoselton
01/25/15 11:50:48PM
3 posts

Going with an FBM would also get you Clay's expertise, as continuous enrobers must be by nature finicky machines. I do believe that the increased mass of a larger bowl helps to keep bowl temp at the target, especially as less chocolate is typically added to top off. I realize other factors are also in play, from agitation to even where the thermocoupler is located and the temp in the enrobing area.

On the other hand a capacity of 30 kilos is a lot of chocolate for a boutique operation and it's best to keep the bowl on a continuous machine full. It seems that a nice working belt width requires a larger top of the line machine. FBM may be different, and Clay's familiarity with the entire line also means choosing a machine sized to your particular operation.

Paul2
@paul2
01/26/15 11:18:45AM
20 posts

Hi Clay,

I would be interested in looking at a catalog and price list. I should mention that I'm hoping to have the shop open in October, so I'm not in a great hurry to buy a machine. I'm also on a bit of a budget and might have to start with a cheaper, used unit to get up and running until I can afford a nice unit.

Clay Gordon
@clay
01/26/15 04:16:51PM
1,680 posts

Dave Hoselton:
I do believe that the increased mass of a larger bowl helps to keep bowl temp at the target, especially as less chocolate is typically added to top off. I realize other factors are also in play ... (( snipped ))

Dave, you are right. There are other factors at play. One of them is the shape of the working bowl. The bowls on FBM machines are narrow and deep, whereas others tend to be wide and shallow. This bowl shape makes it easier to melt crystals out of the chocolate while reducing heat loss and energy consumption.

You are right when you say that the machines are more efficient when you keep the working bowls full, but that's a matter of organizing work and scheduling production.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
01/26/15 04:17:41PM
1,680 posts

Paul2:
Hi Clay, I would be interested in looking at a catalog and price list. I should mention that I'm hoping to have the shop open in October, so I'm not in a great hurry to buy a machine. I'm also on a bit of a budget and might have to start with a cheaper, used unit to get up and running until I can afford a nice unit.

Paul - I will get you info and we can take a look at your needs over the next few months.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
speckledhen
@speckledhen
01/27/15 12:18:44PM
2 posts

I have a Smith and Sons enrober that I'm looking to sell...I'm in Pittsburgh PA.  It's an older enrober, probably 70's era?  

It's an 8'' belt, so a smaller unit...it runs off of 110/220 and includes the bottomer a mid unit cooling unit and the enrober. I can send pictures if interested.  Asking $11,000 + freight

Paul2
@paul2
01/28/15 01:13:12AM
20 posts

Speckledhen,

yes, please send me some photos. As I've asked, can you tell me the pros and cons of your machine? I've never used a smith before.

speckledhen
@speckledhen
01/29/15 03:31:15PM
2 posts

Hey Paul~

I don't have much experience using any enrobing line, I aquired this enrober this summer along with a package equipment purchase from a local business that had closed some time ago. I really REALLY wanted the melters, and figured that the enrober would be a bonus!  I can tell you that with the help of the previous owner, I got it up and running at my facility and it really is a workhorse.  BUT, totally not the direction that I want my (small hand dipped business model) business heading.  The way that the previous owner used it was to start it running early in the morning and by afternoon, using it to enrobe (not sure if this is common practice) but it seems that by watching the way that the chocolate draped over the enrober, and as it got thicker, the closer that it was in temper?  I dont' have the time for that....I would rather buy another hilliard melter/temperer and dip out of that. 

The Pros that I've seen are: Fast and Steady production, the tanks hold a large amount of chocolate and it's easy to refill with a heated side spout, Easy access to every side of the machine including the loading area, chocolate enrobing area and unloading areas. This machine has a very small footprint ( 3' wide by 16 ' long)...it can serve as a table when not in use :) I've timed the belt speed to run from start to finish at 10 minutes, which is pretty fast moving when you are loading, unloading and shuffling around trays!  Its got 2 detailers one after the bottomer and one at the end of the line, helps to minimize the "foot" of the chocolate piece.  It uses 2 water heated jackets which are easy to maintain, just ensure that they are topped off each day/use and the machine holds temperature very well.  Both the bottomer and the enrober have seperate water jackets and thermostats. The center cooling unit can be turned on and off as needed manually.  It breaks down into 3 different pieces of machine.   It's a cute machine.  

Cons: uses a roll of paper at the end of the line, after enrobing, which is then transfered onto trays  (con is the disposables cost), another con that I had not anticipated is needing more than just "me" to run it.  obviously need someone to load and a very fast one person or two to unload and rack the chocolates. Anyone else know any cons specific to this unit?  

The plastic belt is going to need to be replaced, probably sooner rather than later, I scrubbed the crap out of it when I got it...the belt has some black spots on it and I may have been a bit harsh on it...I have the name of a local company who does this and I could totally get a price for you, replacement was my next step, then I just decided to sell.

 

I have a bunch of pictures...not sure how many I can post to this site...you want me to send them to an e-mail?Feel free to contact me at speckledhenchocolate@gmail.com

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