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Making multi-layered

Making multi-layered chocolates with a single stroke MEASUREMENT AND CONTROL A sweet final product: With ‘one-shot’ technology from Siemens, even multi layered chocolate products – for example, a base, filling and a coating – can be created in a single work process Belgian company ‘Hacos’ is one of the very few companies in the world that specializes in manufacturing machinery for purely artistic chocolate production line with partial or complete automation systems. To meet its customer’s requirements in terms of flexibility, production quality and integrated automation, the company uses control technology from Siemens in its machines, which can be used either as standalone systems or as an integrated part of the production line. The portfolio of machinery manufacturer ‘Hacos’ from Belgium includes molding and dosing machines, spinning and decorating machines, as well as all the accessories required for these applications. The ‘Hacos’ systems are used in the production of chocolate products. “From our point of view, the market is divided into different application segments: artisan chocolate production, semi-automated chocolate production, smaller automated lines and industrial lines,” ex-plains sales & marketing manager Raf Tuytelaars. To be able to meet the varied demands of these quite different target groups, ‘Hacos’ uses Siemens components for the automation of its machines. Solution for market players of all sizes “For us, it is important to support growth, particularly among the emerging smaller and medium-sized chocolate manufacturers. This is why many of our products are designed to work not only as a stand-alone solution in a small company or for manufacturers of hand-made delicacies, but also as an integrated element in partially or fully automated production environments – and they can also be used as a retrofit solution,” explains Raf Tuytelaars. This also applies, for example, to the expansion of existing production capabilities. The level of investment required here is reduced noticeably as a result, which makes it easier for smaller companies in particular to take the step from purely hand-made, artisan production towards automated production. In the process, connectivity between the different machine modules is crucial for the machines from ‘Hacos’, as this enables subsequent modifications or upgrades in terms of functionality. To this end, even the smallest machines are equipped with a Simatic touch panel with liquid crystal display (LCD). Integrated automation systems offer high flexibility Thanks to the integrated open automation, the systems can be adapted to new requirements at any time. For Raf Tuytelaars, the advantages are plain to see: “The integrated technology offers the benefits of sim- About Siemens AG Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resourcesaving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of products and systems across the entire automation value chain, right from controllers, IO systems, software for controllers, high-end motion control system that combine the powerful hardware with efficient engineering and innovative software. In the fiscal year 2016, Siemens had around 350,000 employees in more than 200 countries. The company generated revenues more than € 79 billion with a net income of € 5.6 billion. WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 5/2017

pler programming and communication, and it also offers improved diagnostic capabilities. This enables us to realize modular concepts more easily and our modules can be combined more flexibly. The engineering framework we use for this is the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal and Simotion Scout, which helps us to ensure that our machines can be easily upgraded and expanded in terms of functionality, operation and combination options. This is really important for our customers, since it means that the machines can be constantly reconfigured in new constellations over a long period of time.” The motion control of the machines, which in some cases can imitate handmade chocolates, is implemented via the ‘Simotion’ motion control system. This enables the performance of even complex motion sequences and patterns like the ones required for ‘one-shot’ technology. The concept of ‘one-shot’ technology makes it possible to create even a multi-layered chocolate product with a base, filling and a coating in a single work process. With the aid of the graphical interface ChocoCAD (computeraided design), recipes can be entered for filling different molds or layering up different products on a base plate. A G-Code interpreter, which is available as a standard Simotion module, then directly uses the data generated by ChocoCAD without the user needing to worry about converting the data for the mold that is used into coordinates. Recipes generated in ChocoCAD can be saved and re-called for future use, enabling very fast switching between different products. Continuous and worldwide assistance ‘Hacos’ maintains a high production depth in order to meet the quality demands of its customers. “For us and our customers, a well-developed service network and rapid availability of spare parts are really important. This is another reason for us to use control and automation technology from Siemens. This cooperation with an automation partner who can offer such a global presence helps us to meet our high quality standards, and the remote servicing capability of our machines also benefits from the integrated system technology,” summarizes Raf Tuytelaars. Photographs: lead pixabay, 01-03 Siemens AG 01 With one-shot technology, machines can produce multi-layered chocolate products in a single work step. To make operations as simple as possible, even the smallest machines from ‘Hacos’ are equipped with a Simatic LCD 02 Thanks to the precise automation based on Simotion technology, the machines from ‘Hacos’ are not only capable of manufacturing highquality chocolate products, but also of decorating them 03 The engineering of the machines is implemented in the TIA portal, which allows the machines to be quickly upgraded and expanded in terms of functions and operation 02 01 03


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