Ask the Expert: HDM

Tobias Lohmüller, the Director of R&D and Design at Hamburg Dresdner Maschinenfabriken (HDM) provides company updates and innovation.

1)    What is the history of HDM and what is the key to the company’s success? 

HDM was founded in 1834 by J. M. Lehmann, the company grew with the start of industrial chocolate production. The first systems for the mechanical production of chocolate were developed, making today’s HDM one of the pioneers in the industry.  

Today, three business areas determine the activities of Hamburg Dresdner Maschinenfabriken GmbH (HDM): mechanical engineering for the processing of cocoa, chocolate as well as grain, malt and nuts. 

All three business areas are present in the most modern technical application centre in the industry in Dresden. Here, the core machines are set up on a reduced scale production line, so that the functions can be illustrated clearly and practically. 

2)    We previously discussed your new digitalisation innovation; can you reiterate what this new innovation entailed? 

The “Quality Yield Cockpit” (QYC) for winnowing 

The QYC-System allows the online monitoring of a winnowing system that is a key process step for yield and quality management when separating the cocoa kernel from the cocoa shell. Since this process is not monitored digitally and a quality check occurs on average one time per shift, yield and quality losses go unnoticed for far too long. Therefore, HDM decided to address a solution for this critical process step. 

The QYC- System ensures two important targets: 

                      Food safety 

                      Maintaining maximum yield  

The QYC enables a permanent quality check to keep shell content in the desired quantity in order to keep shell related contaminants such as mineral oil and aluminium low. 

Furthermore, the system allows us to maximise yield by targeting the percentage of shell in nib quantity and avoiding cocoa nib kernel aspiration into the shell fraction due to “over” aspiration. Since cocoa is costing between 2.000-3.000 € per metric Tonne the saving of 1% is quite reasonable.  

The “Stripe Detection Cockpit” (SDC) 

The SDC-System for the chocolate “Five-Roll Refiner” is an online monitoring tool that continuously evaluates the machine performance by observing the chocolate layer on the rolls.  

The Stripe Detection Cockpit (SDC-System) transferred successfully into the field during the Beta test phase. The first market feedback of our lead customers is very positive. We could increase the throughput approximately 10% per refiner. Furthermore, it helps the operator to keep the line running continuously under optimal conditions. 

Especially, if the five-roll refiner is the bottleneck within a chocolate line, the SDC-System maximises the output of the whole production line. Operators are now able to drive the machine close to the limit to obtain a higher throughput, because they can permanently monitor the performance of each roll-refiner. This System can be retrofitted on the existing “Five-Roll Refiner” 

The “Flavour Monitoring Cockpit” (FMC) 

The FMC-System is used in conching equipment that finalises the chocolate rheology and addresses the delicious chocolate flavour. For decades, the improvements to conches were achieved by optimising the conching elements to add maximum energy intake by sheer and knead forces into the chocolate paste. Certainly, this was done with a degree of success, since the conching time has been reduced significantly over the past 10-20 years.  

However, the conching process is still a fixed time-based process, until today. 

Since a direct measurement linked to conching flavour development was never available for industrial machines, it was not possible to stop the conching process based on achieving the most important quality, e.g. flavour. 

Read more of this article here: February 2022 Single Issue form – International Confectionery Magazine (

Media contact

Roshini Bains,
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922

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