Published on

December 21, 2023


Nick Halliday

PTL’s snack bar perfection

Enrobers have evolved the process of manually dipping confections into chocolate into a streamlined, technologically advanced system. However, PTL’s enrober stands out as among the most efficient in the market. That’s because it addresses the complexities of SKU variations and allergen considerations. We spoke with Mike Nevines, PTL technical director, about what sets PTL enrobers apart.

1. Streamlined cleaning process

All manufacturers must meet regulatory compliance requirements, consumer expectations for food safety and quality, and specific ingredient claims. To prevent cross-contamination, enrobers must be cleaned meticulously when switching between SKUs. And if you’re working with real chocolate rather than compound, they must also be totally dry.  

Most enrobers are difficult to clean effectively because they can’t be broken down. This means there will always be nooks and crannies that workers can’t reach to thoroughly clean and dry. Traditionally, manufacturers have had to establish separate lines to ensure allergens such as peanuts did not contaminate peanut-free products.  

In contrast, PTL’s machinery has always been built to allow fast and efficient disassembly, and our enrober is no different.  

“The key difference between our enrober and others on the market is how quickly it can be cleaned – it’s how clients add SKUs without risking contamination,” explains Mike.

Without needing tools or specialist skills, each part of the enrober that has product contact can be removed to a purpose-built trolly, wheeled to a wash bay and thoroughly washed and dried.  

By speeding up the washing process, PTL clients can change SKUs at will without needing a second line.

Manufacturers dip into enrobing :

When Joy Cone, known for its high-quality products, decided to start dipping its ice-cream cones in chocolate, PTL enrobers were the obvious choice. Their easy-to-clean design meant it could add a new SKU while minimizing disruption to production. Jeff Hull, Director of R&D at Joy Cone, said:

“Thanks to PTL’s innovative designs, we could efficiently produce a new item that had a chocolate coating.”

When Hearthside Foods wanted to grow its capacity, it also invested in PTL’s enrober machinery. The incredible cleaning efficiency provided a significant competitive advantage. Fred Grep, Director of Engineering at Hearthside Foods states:

“By getting PTL machinery first, we were ahead of the game.”

2. Completely toolless changeovers and adjustments  

PTL enrobers don’t need complex tooling or highly trained staff. Operators can adjust or disassemble the machines with secure T handles attached to the machine with chains. Simple instructions etched into the side of each machine make it easier to upskill new team members. Because there’s no hunting for tools or waiting for an engineer, the team can get your line back up and running faster.  

Mike says it’s crucial for all operators to find the cleaning and maintenance process easy:

“It’s important for sanitation crews, regardless of skill level, to make sure they can achieve thorough sanitation and prevent issues with the machinery,” says Mike.  

The built-in usability features mean you never have to worry about inexperienced staff over or under-tightening screws, or damaging the equipment in other ways.  

3. Swappable parts

Because PTL enrobers are modular, it’s possible to swap parts in and out. Some PTL clients make the most of this by buying two complete sets for their enrobers. This makes SKU changeovers almost instant – wheel one set in and wheel in the next in as little as 15 minutes.  

That means the line can get back up and running while the other set is thoroughly washed and dried, ready for the next changeover.  

“The ability to swap sets is a game-changer for manufacturers. It lets them clean and maintain their machines on the go, with uninterrupted confectionery production,” says Mike.

4. Customization magic

While most enrobers let you fit additional parts to add decorative features to the chocolate, PTL goes further. Rather than offering just the standard, PTL’s collaborative approach gives you direct access to the design team to plan and build the equipment.  

This ensures we can customize your enrober to deliver the decorative features you need while continuing to boost productivity and efficiency. For anything very specialized, PTL can also bring in the expertise of partner businesses.  

“We collaborate with clients to build enrobers specifically around their SKUs. Any variation of granola bars, protein bars, energy bars, and cookies we’ve got them covered,” says Mike.

Sweetening the deal

From tool-less cleaning to swappable parts and customization options, the PTL enrober’s practical solutions redefine industry standards.  

By enabling the cleaning of essential parts without disrupting the entire production process, PTL’s enrobers enhance efficiency, reduce downtime, and provide a solution tailored to the dynamic demands of allergen-sensitive manufacturing.

As the chocolate-coated future unfolds, PTL’s enrobers are a testament to precision and reliability. Sweeten your production processes with the transformative power of advanced chocolate enrobers.

Need a new enrober? Get in touch with the team at PTL today.