Netzsch presents first CIP conch

Netzsch Confectionery has developed what it claims is the world’s first cleaning in place (CIP) conch, offering new possibilities for the production of confectionery masses.

The company has developed a new concept for the conching machine that will replace the U-conch. It will be integrated with its Rumba chocolate production lines.

It has a hygienic design with a smooth inner surface, without screws, sharp corners or edges, holes, surface depression or static parts inside the tank, which are potential residual spots and generate ‘shadows’ during cleaning procedure, Netzsch explains. The geometry of the conch provides internal circulation and the optimum emptying with low levels of residuals.

The conching shaft is responsible for the fast mixing and the shear and kneading forces over the mass to develop the chocolate flavour and affect the rheology. The process, which demands up to 30-35% less energy than conventional machines, is said to provide high flowability of the final mass as it is under strict temperature control and combined with the sub-level volumetric aeration with self-cleaning inlets for the low fat dry conching.

It has a fully enclosed design with integrated high pressure cleaning in place (CIP) devices, working with fats, water or rinsing liquid. The sterilising in place (SIP) with steam is also possible, as well as operation under vacuum, for example for drying purposes.

The automatic pre-cleaning cycle at the end of the conching process uses 1% of the conch’s volume of fat, and exits in five minutes.

Cleaning heads work together with the shaft’s inner wall ‘washing’ tools to allow full cleaning of the conch, employing around 3% of the conch’s volume of cleaning liquid and finishing in less than 30 minutes.

As a result, the conching machine enables fast and safe cleaning for a product switch without manual intervention. Compared to conventional cleaning systems, this could save over 600 working hours per year.

On the same basis, thousands of litres of cleaning liquids could be achieved, on average over 20 to 30 times the volume of the conch per year.

Netzsch MasterConch and the upgraded Rumba system, the company says, offer new possibilities for the production of confectionery masses and meet demand for increasing hygienic requirements.

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