Chocolate factory automation for Valentine’s Day

Chocolate manufacturing gains efficiency: On St. Valentine's day, here are links to Control Engineering articles about chocolate manufacturing at Hershey, Mars, Russell Stover, and Zaini facilities. Technologies that help include robotics, solar energy production, and more efficient database and supply chain software.
February 14, 2011

On St. Valentine’s day, here are links to Control Engineering articles about more efficient chocolate manufacturing at Hershey, Mars, Russell Stover, and Zaini facilities. Technologies highlighted include robotics, solar energy production, and more efficient database and supply chain software.

Mars Chocolate unveils solar garden – Mars’ renovated headquarters site features 18-acre solar garden, which provides 20% of plant’s peak energy consumption. See solar garden photo.

Machine control: Robots go like a child in a sweetshop – An innovative robotic packaging line has replaced manual picking and packing for Italian traditional handmade confectionery company Zaini to produce a vast range of chocolates, confectionery, sugar-free sweets, and seasonal items (such as Christmas confectionery, Valentine hearts and Easter eggs). See robot photos.

Giving Chocolate its Crunch – When sales of a popular product are constrained by production limitations, it’s time to take a good look at the manufacturing systems. Mars Austria found itself in that situation with the Mars Delight candy bar product family.

Valentine’s Day deliveries – Vendor managed inventory prevents broken hearts
Sending or receiving a box of chocolates is not as simple a thing as it seems on the surface. If your Valentine’s Day delivery arrived on time, your good fortune may be due to a supply chain management practice known as vendor managed inventory. See example from Russell Stover.

Look inside a Hershey database effort – P. Michael Rosenshine, staff engineer, Information Services area of Hershey Chocolate North America (Hershey, Pa., www.hersheys.com), is working on a pilot project on three lines to test the feasibility of a plant-wide database for process parameters and results (excluding labor, which is handled in another system).

Need more efficient process controls? Look on the Control Engineering channel for Process Control: http://www.controleng.com/channels/process-control.html

– Compiled by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com.