A carbon medium wave infrared system from Heraeus Noblelight, of Bromborough, is allowing Cadbury Trebor Bassett Ltd to save energy and space in the manufacture of their famous Cadbury’s Caramel product at their Keynsham factory.
Cadbury’s Caramel is made by filling a shaped mould with chocolate, to form a shell, chilling the chocolate to solidify it, filling the shell with the caramel filling and cooling again.
It is then necessary to fuse a closing layer of chocolate to the filled shells and, to do this, the rim of the moulded chocolate must be slightly melted, without changing the consistency or the temper of the chocolate.
Previously, Cadbury had used a 20kW infrared system, using ceramic elements, to apply the heat for this important part of the process but this had certain limitations.
It was quite bulky, it had a long heat-up time, so had to be switched on continuously and, because of its slow response time, it had to be retracted in the event of a line stoppage, to prevent overheating of the chocolate, which could result in damage to the product.
All of these problems have been solved with the introduction of the new carbon medium wave infrared system.
The 8kW, stainless steel cassette is an integral part of the production line and there is no need for any retraction equipment, as the low thermal mass, carbon fibre elements, operating at a temperature of around 1500°K, combine the energy-efficiency of medium wave infrared with rapid response and precise controllability.
Consequently, the infrared system can be switched on, when necessary and, in the event of line stoppage, it is switched off virtually immediately, minimising the possibility of damage to the chocolate product.
The system also incorporates a double jeopardy facility, which acts to ensure that the filament fails rapidly and an alarm is sounded to alert the operator, in the unlikely event that an emitter is broken during the production process.
The installation has allowed Cadbury to achieve considerable space savings, as the compact carbon system requires only 25% of the length required by the ceramic system. There have also been significant energy savings and the closing layer application process is precisely controllable.
Heraeus Noblelight Ltd, part of the multi-national Heraeus Group , specialises in the production and application of high quality energy sources covering the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from infrared to ultra-violet. It has over 35 years experience in infrared technology and offers the expertise, products and systems to provide efficient and effective solutions to drying, heating and curing problems.