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IPCO showcases Rotoform chocolate forming system at IBIE

IPCO provided us a glimpse into the solutions the company brings on the show floor at IBIE, the updates they incorporate and the market segments in its focus. Marko Leber, Global Product Manager – Food, shared the insights.

Marko Leber, IPCO

Q: What solutions are you highlighting at IBIE?
IPCO will be using this year’s IBIE to highlight four key areas:

  • Solid and perforated steel conveyor belts – The key qualities of an IPCO bake oven belt include outstanding thermal properties for efficient baking; the inherent ease of cleaning of a belt compared with mesh; and the attractive return on investment when considering overall lifetime cost.
  • A comprehensive range of conveyor components – IPCO can also support OEMs in system design and supply a full range of conveyor equipment, from sheaves and shafts to bearings and breakpoints. Other ancillary equipment available includes active and passive belt alignment solutions such as belt edge detectors, guide rollers and compact/automatic tracking devices.
  • Global service support – IPCO has sales and service offices in more than 30 countries. This means we have trained and equipped service teams on the ground in all key markets, who can provide a quick response to any service or repair requirement.
    IPCO’s teams have an in-depth understanding of how a belt behaves in an oven and how it interacts with the many other components that make up the system. As a result, IPCO can deliver inspection and maintenance services that go beyond the belt, with investigations encompassing the entire line to understand how the system as a whole is performing.
  • Chocolate forming systems – IPCO also is a supplier of chocolate forming/molding equipment, with systems designed for the production of industrial ingredients – chips, chunks, drops and blocks – and decorative products such as shavings, rolls, pencils, blossoms and many more. The company will be demonstrating a fully operational Rotoform chocolate forming system at IBIE, a high-capacity rotary drop depositor that can be used to form chips of different sizes – from 30,000 to 300 pcs/kg – by simply changing the shell.

Q: What new innovations or updates do they incorporate?
IPCO will use this year’s IBIE to launch an innovative new laser cleaning system, capable of cutting belt cleaning times at least in half, delivering significant improvements in oven productivity. Developed in partnership with laser specialists, this is a self-contained bake oven belt cleaning system that can be used at a customer’s site with minimal disruption to other lines.

The laser head is installed above the belt on a manually controlled carriage rail and the beam is focused on an area approximately 75 mm wide. As the belt travels under the laser, carbon deposits are burnt off and collected by a vacuum system. Once the strip has been cleaned along the full length of the belt, the laser head is moved across to the next section.

Cleaning can be carried out at a rate of between 10-15 m2/hour depending on the level of build-up, and the entire process can be managed by a single IPCO engineer.

The key benefit of the service is speed; a typical bake oven belt can be cleaned in a day The key benefit of the service is speed; a typical bake oven belt can be cleaned in a day (depending on belt size and level of build-up), significantly faster than cleaning by hand or dry ice, which can take two days or more. And the results are immediate: full production can recommence straight away (no ‘waste’ batches) and product discharge is noticeably improved.

The other major benefit is that this is a much cleaner process than other technologies – in most cases adjacent lines will not need to be closed down.

Q: What markets/product segments are in your focus?

IPCO’s primary markets are the bakery and chocolate/confectionery sectors.

For bakeries, IPCO’s steel belts provide the quality, stability and durability to deliver years of reliable performance and the ability to produce premium quality end products. We have the belts, conveyor components and process know-how to help you maximize the performance and productivity of your bake oven.

For the confectionery sector, IPCO stainless steel belts are used and trusted across the world in hygiene-critical applications ranging from conveying, cooling and forming to film casting, freezing and drying.

And, for the chocolate sector, we manufacture and supply specialized handling, processing and forming systems. A wide range of production components means we can tailor systems to suit different needs, with solutions for everything from low-cost, rapid deployment start-ups to high-capacity, multi-layer systems.

Photos: IPCO