As well as producing complete process systems, IPCO is also a world-leading manufacturer of steel belts, supplying third party machine builders (OEMs) confectionery industry.
IPCO is a new name in the Industrial process solutions, but a business partner with whom many will already be familiar. Previously operating as Sandvik Process Systems, we are now an independent company within the Wallenberg group. We continue to develop customised solutions for the processing industry, with the same people, skills and process systems – but under a new name and brand – IPCO.
We are dedicated to provide productivity in the processing of more than 1200 different products across sulphur, chemical fertiliser, chocolate and other food industries. We also provide Double Press solutions with Steel and Teflon belts, including up-and downstream equipment and precision scattering systems as well as solid and perforated steel belts used for improving productivity and quality in the processing of products as diverse as wood-based panels, paper, food, film casting and more.
IPCO chocolate processing
IPCO’s division specialised in the chocolate processing, previously known as IPCO, has its headquarters and own production facilities in Breda, The Netherlands. IPCO is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chocolate forming/ moulding equipment, and a trusted supplier to many of the best known names in chocolate processing and production. The company produces versatile forming systems for both industrial (chunks, chips and blocks) and decorative (rolls, shavings, blossoms etc.) chocolate products. These systems are designed to maximise productivity while also ensuring a premium quality end product. The company has developed a portfolio that includes depositors, extruders, cutters and decorative forming systems, as well as high performance steel belt conveyors and economical plastic belt systems. By combining these different elements, IPCO can offer process lines suitable for everything from low cost, rapid deployment start-ups to high performance, multi-layer systems. At the heart of every IPCO high speed, high capacity chocolate forming system is the Rotoform rotary depositor, a unit first developed for the chemical industry but subsequently adapted for food processing. More than 2000 Rotoform depositors are now used around the world.
Having become an independent company within the Wallenberg group, IPCO have gone from strength to strength, with the company’s chocolate moulding lines winning many plaudits.
The Rotoform itself consists of a heated cylindrical stator and a perforated rotating shell that turns concentrically around the stator. Chocolate drops are deposited across the whole operating width of a continuously running cooling belt. The circumferential speed of the Rotoform is synchronised with the speed of the belt so drops are deposited without deformation. The heat of the drops is transferred to cooling air blown onto the product and also to the belt itself. Suitable for the production of chips from 30,000-300 pcs/kg, this versatile module delivers a consistently sized product at throughput rates of up to 3000 kg/hour. The outer depositor shell can be replaced to enable production of chips of a different size, with changeover in less than 30 minutes. Single and triple pass cooling lines IPCO SGL produces a range of cooling systems to meet different throughput requirements. Single pass, end-to-end cooling lines are designed for low-to-medium capacity requirements from 200-2,000 kg/hr. These affordable systems can incorporate a gear or rotary depositor for chip production and/or extruder and servo cutter for chunks. IPCO triple pass cooling systems enable high throughput rates while minimising floor space requirements. The product is deposited on the first belt and adheres to the underside for the second pass. It is then removed on to a second conveyor for a third pass.
IPCO steel belts have been used for processing chocolate, candy, bakery and other confectionery products for almost 100 years, with applications ranging from simple conveying to continuous processes such as cooling/solidification, conditioning, casting, freezing, baking and finishing.
Steel belts are an extremely versatile conveying medium. They can be supplied in solid form, or perforated to provide a longer-lasting, lighter alternative to wire mesh belts. They can be manufactured to virtually any length and, at IPCO’s world-class manufacturing facility in Sweden, to widths from 800 mm to 3500 mm. They also offer a unique range of thermal properties, being capable of operating in temperatures from minus 80°C to +750°C. Cooling is an area in which IPCO has end-to-end process expertise, working with machine manufacturers to ensure optimum productivity and return on investment. These systems are widely used for cooling and solidifying, with applications including chocolate, sugar mass, caramel, gelatine, hard melt candy, nougat, nut brittle and more.
IPCO steel belts are also used in zoned conditioning systems for slab and bar casting applications such as caramel and sugar mass. In terms of cleanliness and hygienic food handling, the flat surface of a steel confectionery conveyor means there are no joints or crevices in which germs can hide. Its smoothness means cleaner, easier discharge of candies, chocolate and similar products at the end of a conveying or processing line. And stainless steel can be subjected to any method of cleaning – steam, pressure, detergents, brushes, chemicals, even aggressive scrapers – to ensure the lowest levels of bacteria and highest standards of hygiene.
IPCO supplies belts for use in OEM systems and can also supply every aspect of a steel belt conveying unit, including drums, compact belt tracking devices, belt and drum cleaners, safety scrapers and belt edge detectors, cast iron skid bars, graphite skid bars and both active and passive belt tracking controls. Engineers can advise on upgrade paths or optimum process layouts, and the company’s worldwide technical support network means that installations and commissioning can be carried out quickly and efficiently. The company can also supply complete, standalone conveyor units that represent best practice in terms of hygienic food conveying. These features a stainless steel framework designed to allow access for cleaning, with no narrow gaps or other hard-to-reach places in which dirt, debris and bacteria could otherwise collect. The framework is also designed to minimise the risk of water pooling after cleaning, reducing the possibility of bacterial growth. The stainless steel conveyor belt is ‘endless welded’ to eliminate any trace of a joint and its smooth surface means there are no hidden gaps or recesses in which bacteria could collect. All bearings are food approved and lubricated for life with food-approved lubricating grease. The motor is food-approved and has IP65 protection.
Image credit: IPCO
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Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922