Straight Through Chocolate Moulding line for solid bars

Ilya Snowdon
@ilya-snowdon
08/16/16 03:06:44AM
20 posts

Whats the most cost effective setup for the production of solid single origin Bars without hand moulding

and manually cooling them in racks in a chiller 

temper unit and a second hand cooling tunnel  and manually demould on the other end.

who has set up a basic straight through production line and for how much money

tunnel_300_400.jpg
tunnel_300_400.jpg  •  39KB

Clay Gordon
@clay
08/16/16 11:59:30AM
1,680 posts

The Selmi line you show is not for molds. That setup requires a TOP with mold loader accessory, Tank400, and cooling tunnel - plus room for the cooling tunnel. Last I checked it was in excess of US$70k.

You can get a new Unica from FBM with your choice of 50/100/200kg tanks, pneumatic depositor with mold loader, and CLIMA 50 folded/vertical cooling tunnel for less than the Selmi equivalent.

If you want to cool in a room or fridge instead of using a cooling tunnel I'd need to know how many molds/bars hour/day you want to produce and to think about the options. You can build a room (I know someone producing >10K bars/day that way) or get specialized humidity-controlled chocolate crystallization fridges.

I also know of a way to DIY a cooling tunnel using chest freezers and PID temperature controllers ... if you have the room.




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

updated by @clay: 08/16/16 12:01:01PM
Ilya Snowdon
@ilya-snowdon
08/16/16 09:12:28PM
20 posts

Hi Clay,

Yes I was just using the picture to demonstrative the basic principal.

yes please share your opinions on the cheaper options,  the pneumatic Mould loader seams an attractive option paired with a tempering machine

and DIY Cooling tunnels, or reconditioning a second hand cooling tunnel. 

I only know how to make chocolate from scratch, the idea is that I want to set up a small production of chocolate bars.

Ilya Snowdon
@ilya-snowdon
08/16/16 09:27:18PM
20 posts

What do you think about one of  prefamac's machines paired with a second hand cooling tunnel 

https://youtu.be/PNuBTZ6jr2Y

Clay Gordon
@clay
08/18/16 01:40:44PM
1,680 posts

Ilya -

You mention small production above - how large?

Because, before we go anywhere talking about any specific machine or approach ... it is very helpful to have an estimate of your bar production needs? Hundreds per hour? Hundreds per day? There is a huge difference in how I would recommend approaching this depending on the production volume you are talking about.

That said, one of the nice things about flood/scrape mold loaders is that you can fill different mold configurations without having to adjust anything in the line (assuming all the molds are the same size). The downside is that the method can be very messy and it does not handle mixed-in inclusions very well.

Pneumatic depositing options fill each mold cavity separately. They are more expensive, but the process is much cleaner. That's an advantage when going directly to a cooling tunnel as excess chocolate on the outside of the molds can get caught up in the drive mechanism.

You can DIY a cooling tunnel using a series of chest freezers bolted together. Remove the door (lid) and build a wooden collar (8-12 inches high) on top of each unit (this is done all the time for jockey boxes for craft beer to hold the taps), then attach the door to the top of the wooden collar.

Create openings in the collar for the conveyer to fit through. Put a PID control unit in each freezer to control the temperature of each unit separately. Put a fan in each unit to move the air around inside (you can build internal baffles to direct/control the airflow). If humidity is a problem, put a dessicant inside each freezer.

3, 7-foot chest freezers give you the base for a ~21-foot tunnel for well under $5000. PID controllers are going to be less than $100 each. I don't have a price for a conveyor unit but you want a surface that will allow air flow underneath the mold and you want the speed to be adjustable. You want the conveyor to be at least 18" longer on each end (3 feet overall).

21 feet is approximately 7 meters. If the belt speed is .5 meters/minute then a mold will spend about 14 minutes in the tunnel. If you are using 275x175 molds then the max throughput is just 3 molds per .5 meter so you're talking about max throughput of less than 3 molds/minute. If you need to work faster you need a longer tunnel.

With separate PID controllers you can set the temperature of each freezer differently. If ambient is 68F you could make the outside units 62F and the center unit 55F (I recommend an odd number of units for this reason). Of course, you can make this any length you need by selecting different freezers - though they should all be the same dimensions for obvious mechanical reasons.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Ilya Snowdon
@ilya-snowdon
08/19/16 01:21:43AM
20 posts

I am planing on setting up a bean to bar Production starting at 250KG a week

so I'm looking for the right solution for molding my bars that is scalable and could see me producing according to demand.

Clay Gordon
@clay
08/19/16 09:01:59PM
1,680 posts

Ilya -

250kg week is 2500, 100gr bars or about 3500 70gr bars. If your mold has 3 cavities in it and you can process 3 molds per minute thats 3x3x60 or 540 bars/hour. So, molding 250kg would take 5-7 hours per week at those speeds. Tempered chocolate requirement is ~35-50kg/hr.

Cooling time is dependent on several things, with the thickness of the bar a key factor. A 7mm-thick bar is going to take a lot longer than a 3mm-thick bar (the time difference might not be a linear function).

If it takes 15 minutes to cool down a mold (a cooling tunnel will make this much faster, BTW), then you need to have a minimum of 45 molds at 3 molds/minute if everything went perfectly and there were no delays. To be safe you will want twice that number.

Throughput is going to be dependent on getting your molds into the mold loader, de-molding at the other end, and returning the mold to the mold loader.

One of the things people think is that going to a cooling tunnel eliminates labor. That's not strictly the case as you need people to operate the machine. A skilled operator and manual dosing can do a lot more than you think. It's about organizing production to be efficient.

A case in point is to consider that at .5 meters/minute you need at least a 7.5 meter cooling tunnel to keep up. And that's going to mean a lot of walking from one end of the tunnel to the other.

[ That's not the case with the Selmi bar tunnels because there is one fold. They go down to one end then move to another level, and return to the beginning. ]

A specialized crystallization fridge with 20 racks can probably hold 80-90 molds. It might cost you $6-7000 delivered. By the time you put the bottom tray into the fridge the bars on the top rack will be ready to take out. The operator can work at their own pace - it's not dictated by the machine.

When you need to double production, duplicate the line. It will be less expensive and require less space. When your production projections reach into the 1000 bar/hour range and you have to run at that pace for more than 5 hours/day, then go get a tunnel. And then consider a folded (vertical) tunnel not a linear tunnel.




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

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