Established in 1994, Heidi Chocolat grew rapidly with major factory expansion and the launch of premium products in 2005. Within this period Heidi also launched the Cappuccino tablet, which marked the starting point of Heidi's development as a premium brand. Today the company is an internationally recognised brand with Heidi premium chocolate found in 14 foreign markets, out of which 10 are in Central and South-Eastern Europe.
Turning to bulk materials handling expert Guttridge, Heidi placed an enquiry for a conveyor that could successfully handle a duty of 160kg/hr of nuts and 560kg/hr of chocolate. Having previously supplied a conveyor for a similar application, Guttridge won the order and supplied an Augaflo 150 (with a water jacket) which is a high quality, special purpose cross feed Archimedean Screw Auger. Designed primarily as a screw feeder for feeding bulk materials to Auger Filling machines, its tubular screw construction makes it ideally suited for this application.
Conveying chocolate in the production process is not simple because the hydraulic and thermal conditions have to be determined to successfully transport the chocolate masses through the system. The most simple and successful conveying method is to apply active heat insulation to the conveyor.
With the mixed nuts being fed into an existing screw feeder, this machine feeds the nuts into the first inlet of the Augaflo 150 which conveys the nuts along the two metre length of the screw. As the nuts are conveyed, they are introduced to the incoming chocolate feed from the second inlet positioned 750mm along the screw casing of the Augaflo 150. Immediately passing through the heated section (water jacket), the action of the screw conveys and simultaneously mixes the two ingredients together before the chocolate and nut mix reaches the final outlet.
The installation was successful with the correct mix being obtained by adjusting the feed rates between the two conveyors to provide the required ratio of nuts to chocolate.
The engineers at Guttridge were very helpful. We were very pleased with the installation and have had faultless operation from the screw feeder.
Head of Investment at Heidi
Designed to be reliable and easy to maintain, the Augaflo machine ensures downtime is kept to a minimum. Manufactured with contact parts in 316 stainless steel, the Augaflo features a unique quick release clamping system which connects the outer screw tubes, whilst slip-fit joints connect the screw auger sections. The system is robust and ideal for frequent wet or dry cleaning regimes, essential in today's modern factories. Inlet hoppers and special outlets allow a variety of configurations making the Augaflo a very versatile machine.
With a foundation of 50 years of experience, Guttridge is a flourishing company, globally respected for delivering well-engineered, reliable materials handling solutions that continue to anticipate dramatically changing industrial needs.
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