Published on

August 31, 2021


Nick Halliday

Using the right melter can help you innovate and adapt in a fast-moving industry

Food manufacturing moves at warp speed – is your business keeping up? With consumers constantly on the lookout for new products and innovative flavor combinations, manufacturers are in a race to get new products to market. More and more factories are manufacturing huge product lines and introducing new SKUs frequently – impossible if your machinery doesn’t allow efficient change-overs and cleaning.

If you’re using older machinery designed for one or two product lines, it can be difficult to introduce new SKUs efficiently – by the time you set up new equipment or implemented new systems, you’ve fallen behind your competition. You need machinery that’s flexible enough to let you introduce new products frequently, and do it all without compromising the efficiency or quality of your production process.  

Why flexibility matters

This new normal means that your production facility and machinery set-up can’t be set in stone. Equipment needs to handle a wider range of products, with shorter run lengths and increased changeovers. If your equipment isn’t up to speed, your business may fall behind as your competitors process far more bars in a shorter time.  

Fred Grep, Director of Engineering at US-based Hearthside Food Solutions, switched the business to PTL equipment shortly after the business launched. He explains that using efficient machinery, customized to the unique product range, gave a competitive advantage right from the start.  

“It worked out well because our modifications were changes our customers wanted to see. By getting them first, it meant Hearthside was ahead of the game,” he says.  

More bars, similar costs

As with almost every business, manufacturers need to maximize efficiency if they want to succeed. There’s no point in producing a huge range of bars if the process is slow and costly – passing the price on to consumers is usually a no-go. That’s why flexibility needs to be backed up with efficiency, so new processes and production methods can be completed rapidly, and frequent changeovers between SKUs don’t slow down the process.  

PTL’s new V2O melter was designed to do just that, with features built around efficiency and fast changeovers. Instant melt functionality and continuous supply mean fewer delays and faster processing, while removable melt grids and easy-wash design make it simple to clean between products – even if you’re dealing with allergens. The whole unit is more compact than older models, making it easy to move around your production floor to be used in different processes. The ‘plug and play’ design means that it can be set up next to other equipment as needed, eliminating long product pipe runs, which can slow production time and be cumbersome to clean afterwards.  

Ready for innovation  

Every manufacturer wants to make the latest bar – the one consumers go crazy for – but introducing amazing, innovative products means changing manufacturing lines and, in some cases, even investing in new machinery before a product goes to market.  

Newer chocolate manufacturing equipment – like the V20 – is designed with innovation in mind. Built-in flexibility makes it much easier to configure production lines and produce new bars without buying costly new machinery. This means you can create products that combine ingredients in surprising new ways, use different texture profiles to stand out, or appeal to demographics with specific dietary needs.  

In many cases, you can also customize equipment to suit your production goals. That’s what Hearthside did when it wanted to create a specific range of bars and other products. As Fred explains, the company worked with PTL to customize equipment that fit its unique needs.  

“By [PTL] being open to our modifications and design change requests, we can create superior solutions for customers and gain increased flexibility in our operations,” he enthuses.  

Flexibility, efficiency, innovation

As more products hit the market every day, it’s becoming near-impossible to succeed with a limited range of SKUs. New, interesting products are a must-have – and your production facilities need flexible, efficient, and reliable machinery to turn those innovative ideas into a reality.  

That’s where PTL’s V20 Melter, along with other chocolate & bar -manufacturing equipment, comes in. The V20 is a unique piece of machinery, designed to fit the modern manufacturing environment. Rather than a set piece of equipment that can’t be modified or changed without a large time investment, it’s a flexible, hyper-efficient unit that can adapt to meet your changing needs.  

Here’s how it works:  

  • Efficiency – accelerate production speed
  • Flexibility – customization and quick changeovers make the V20 ideal for producing a wider range of bars and other products.  
  • Changeover speed – efficiency continues with high-speed changeovers and ease of cleaning – even for allergens.  
  • Size and portability – the smaller footprint makes the V20 easy to slot in anywhere on your manufacturing floor, and move around as needed.  
  • Innovation – flexible, customizable functions mean that manufacturers can create and develop new, innovative bars without the need for a whole new equipment set-up.  

In an industry obsessed with innovation, it could be just what you need to get ahead.  

Want to know more? Download our eBook ‘How SKU-ed up is your chocolate and bar production process?’ for insights, statistics, and more detail.