We needed to design a complete workstation for filling chocolate croissants and decorating them with chocolate shavings. This production line was incorporated into a factory with other stations already in operation.
Given the factory’s high degree of automation, the production demand was high and the station had to make around 18,000 croissants every hour. The chocolate had to be dosed while warm, at a constant temperature and spread evenly throughout the croissant. Another interesting challenge was that of having to transfer the products between the production line’s different stations made up of different conveyor formats.
The solution provided by Formex consists of a production line made up of three stations:
- an injector machine with three rows of 9 nozzles to inject 27 croissants simultaneously, and with three needles per nozzle so that the product is spread out evenly;
- a gelatin station that sprays a mist of gelatin over the croissants that soak it in;
- a topping station, with an upper conveyor belt filled with chocolate shavings so that they fall on the product and stick to the gelatin layer.
In order to reach the desired production quantities, and since the croissants have to be placed manually, at the beginning of the line there is enough space prior to injection for four people to place the croissants on the conveyor belt. With injector machines, it is the table that is raised to inject the product, but since in this case the conveyor belt was longer, this wasn’t possible and the entire head was adapted to descend and inject the product. The head of the injector machine is adapted to descend and inject the product, instead of the conveyor belt being raised due to how long it is. As for the dosing, the servo motor offers us greater control and adjustment, and the tank is heated to keep the chocolate hot and avoid problems when dosing it. The injector machine’s conveyor belt is made up of 9 croissant indentations to make it easier for the operator to place the croissants in the correct place. This means that between the conveyor belt of the injector machine and the gelatin depositor machine, made up of cords, there is a transfer conveyor belt so that the croissants fall correctly into position without turning, and are stacked in order to receive the gelatin spray and subsequent sprinkling of the chocolate shavings. At the end of the line there is enough space for the product packaging area.