Published on

March 4, 2022


Nick Halliday

PTL’s V20 melter for bar and chocolate manufacturing

For decades, the PTL team has been refining our machinery, not just from an engineering perspective but with an on-the-ground understanding of what could make facilities materially more efficient and productive. At every iteration, we ask, ‘How can our machinery support our clients’ never-ending quest for SKU proliferation? What more could we do to boost speed and efficiency to keep pace with demand, improve profit and better manage labour shortages?’

The answer is our recent melter, the V20. To create its revolutionary design, we drew on discussions with clients of all sizes and added months of R&D to our decades-long history of innovation and improvement.  

Here’s how it’s designed to meet some of the most pressing challenges facing today’s bar and chocolate manufacturers.  

Instant melts

Traditional melting often uses a series of melt tanks feeding into other equipment. Melting is slow, requiring a lot of energy and priming time. That means you’re adding costs and waiting a long time before you can start production using the chocolate.  

The V20 offers innovative, instant-melt functionality. Rather than heating tank – or a series of them –the V20 uses a grid melter, embedded with priority technology, a melt grid agitator to super-charge melt rates. This technology means priming time is a fraction of what you may be used to. In short, you get melted chocolate when you need it.

Chocolate on demand  

The grid melter also delivers benefits to manufacturers managing very large or very short runs. With a continuous supply of chocolate, production lines won’t have to stop while another tank melts. The V20 keeps up and running through a full shift or all month. As long as your line is running, the chocolate will be melted, ready and available.

Conversely, short runs won’t leave you with half a tank of chocolate that costs money to keep warm until you’re ready to use it – it delivers what you need and nothing more.

Remove the melting bottle neck

If you can eliminate the chocolate-melting bottleneck, your overall production capacity is suddenly unleashed. With faster processing improving downstream production rates, you can produce more bars or chocolate in a shorter time, maximising the potential of your facilities and staff.

Keep up with demand for SKU proliferation  

According to McKinsey, new products appearing on shelves have almost doubled in twenty years, from 20,000 in 1996 to 39,000. In 2019, snacks, bakery foods and beverages were the top three food categories for new products, accounting for 42.7% of all new products on the shelves. The capacity to deliver more with less makes the V20 a powerful enabler of SKU proliferation, something discovered by Fred Grep, Director of Engineering at Hearthside Food Solutions.  

“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.  

Boost production rates  

The result of V20’s incredibly powerful melt system can increase products while lowering costs.

That was the experience of TruFood Mfg after installing the V20 melter. Mike Berko, Project Engineer, says they saw a marked increase in production efficiency.  

“That came down to the unique, innovative approach they’ve taken towards melting and delivering coatings. No other options I investigated could meet all the design criteria for the project’s needs,” says Mike.  

Better profits  

The revolutionary melt system shaves costs at multiple levels of production. You’re not paying staff to wait while the chocolate melts, ramping up the power bill to keep it warm or missing out on growth opportunities because of production bottlenecks. Those multi-layer cost savers make a real impact on your profitability.  

A new way to melt

For bar and chocolate manufacturers, tackling the ongoing challenges of the industry takes a multi-pronged approach – staff and culture, processes, business strategy and supply chain. But when it comes to making the best use of your factory floor, looking at the technology itself can create a huge impact. While most modern machinery offers incremental improvements on predecessors, it’s rare to find technology that entirely changes the way functions are delivered. That’s what PTL sets out to do – improve on existing designs, of course, but continue asking, “How could we help clients achieve better outcomes, faster and more efficiently?” The V20 melter is the perfect example of the value of that thinking. By challenging the need for melt tanks altogether, it delivers an unmatched performance that puts our clients far ahead of the game.  

To see the V20 in action and learn how it can fit into your production line, book a demo.