A significant cost in the manufacturing of chocolate is the energy consumed in keeping the product in a liquid state whilst in storage tanks. Visiting a leading manufacturer, a Brammer Technical Specialist found that the tanks were being stirred continuously regardless of whether they contained chocolate or not. Not only was this practice wasteful in terms of energy, it was also causing accelerated wear and tear on the drive train assembly.
A review into possible alternative methods of agitating the chocolate begun and preparations for data recording and analysis were made. A trial took place in which PLC (Program Logic Control) programs were modified to incorporate pulsation as well as stirring the tanks only at times in which they were full. With the customer being satisfied that the high quality of the chocolate had been maintained, plans are being made to implement this improvement to all 16 storage tanks. This is set to deliver immediate energy savings equating to 231 mw/hrs and also reduce CO2 emissions by over 9 tonnes.