Published on

May 10, 2022


Nick Halliday

When you’re in the manufacturing game, growing your business means expanding your output – and traditionally that meant taking over more and more real estate. For clients with facilities in historic buildings or those otherwise restricted in size, there simply isn’t more space to be had. For others, taking on huge fixed costs wipes out any profit to be made from new SKUs or longer runs. The answer, then, is to do more with the space you have – and that’s how we designed the V20 melter. It is incredibly compact, and takes up less than half the space occupied by traditional melt tanks. It’s also portable and self-contained – wheel it over to any line, plug it in, and let the chocolate flow.

Here’s how that can maximize your production and profit along with your use of space.

Future-proof your production

Melt tanks are part of the old guard of production: you build a line intended to create the same few products for years. But the world has changed, and manufacturers need ongoing SKU proliferation and product innovation to stay relevant. There’s no telling what your plant will need to be making in ten or even two years. With your melting function delivered by the more compact V20, you can future-proof your production – wheel it over and plug it in wherever you need it.

Reclaim space

Replacing traditional melt tanks with a portable, compact V20 melter lets you reclaim valuable floor space. With more space to play with, you have the freedom to add more and more complex SKUs, establish washdown areas for greater efficiency or add additional process equipment

Add SKUs without taking up more space

To produce milk, dark and flavored chocolate with traditional melt tanks, manufacturers would need multiple tanks feeding into multiple lines. And then, if they wanted to introduce white chocolate, that would require another tank or a laborious changeover process. The V20 melter’s flexibility amplifies its already compact size: you can replace multiple large melt tanks with a single, much smaller machine while facilitating easier, faster SKU proliferation. Wheel it over to a new line, tuck it into whatever small space is available, plug and play. When that SKU finishes, rinse and repeat with a new line.

Essentially, you’re taking up a fraction of the floor space for a potentially never-ending number of SKUs

Easy loading for better health and safety

Keeping your people safe is a legal responsibility. It’s also smart business practice and a huge part of improving staff retention – particularly important in this era of intense staff shortages. Traditional melt tanks come with higher loading heights. Boxes of chocolate have to be lifted over the head while standing on a platform (which takes up yet more floor space, of course). Even with the best health and safety training, that loading comes with risk – the action of lifting heavy loads over the head can injure necks and backs, and risks head injury by falling chocolate. And that’s not even factoring for the risk of a fall from a platform. The V20 is loaded at waist height – no platforms or heavy loads lifted over the head.

Minimize downtime

It seems obvious, but melt tanks are too big to fit in your washdown area. They need to be cleaned in place and remain out of commission for the duration. The V20 and all its components are small enough to be wheeled over to your washdown area and easily cleaned and dried. The line can begin production again a lot faster.

The V20 is self-contained, with power, air, and water, making it plug and play

TruFoods and the V20

That was what TruFood Manufacturing found when it replaced melt tanks with a V20 melter. The small footprint and portability of the unit meant it could be installed even when space was tight, without crowding other equipment or areas.

Mike Berko, TruFoods project engineer, says this equates to ease of use, minimal downtime, and flexibility.

“As a co-manufacturer, we need to be flexible enough to meet a variety of customers’ requirements,” he explains. “The melter allows us to do just that.”

Read more about how the V20 melter revolutionized TruFood’s production.