Enrobing Machine: The Ultimate FAQs Guide

An enrobing machine is one of the many modern machines that are available to make production easier in the confectionery industry. This guide will tell you all you need to know about enrobing machines and why you need one.

What is an Enrobing Machine?

An enrobing machine, also known as an enrober, is a machine for coating confectionery with a coating medium, usually chocolate. Examples of foods that need coating include biscuits, nuts, candy bars, ice cream, etc.

This coating, with chocolate, typically extends the shelf life of the confectionery.

 enrobing machine

 enrobing machine

What are the Salient Features of the Enrobing Machine?

There are obvious features to look out for in an enrobing machine, but there are also more salient features which include:

  • Width of the mesh belt: this is a feature of the enrobing machine that is often overlooked. How wide the mesh belt is, determines the amount of product it can contain at a time.
  • Mesh belt speed: the speed of the mesh belt is another salient feature of the enrobing machine. The speed of the mesh is what determines how fast production will be. If the mesh belt is really fast it churns out more product by the hour, leading to increased production output.
  • Width of the conveyor belt: the conveyor belt is the part of the machine that carries the products from one part to the other. The dimensions of the conveyor belt also determine how fast production will be.
  • Speed of the conveyor belt: this salient feature also determines your production output. The faster the conveyor belt, the more products it churns out per hour or minute.
  • Tunnel temperature: the temperature of the tunnel needs to be stable to ensure that the chocolate does not melt. This feature is important to ensure the overall aesthetical appearance of the finished product.
  • Power intake of the machine: the amount of energy the machine consumes is another important feature to consider.
  • Dimension of the machine: the width, length, and height of the enrobing machine are all important features. You need to consider the available space and choose a machine that fits into that space.
  • Weight: you should also consider how heavy the machine is and if it suits your production system.

Which are the Main Parts of an Enrober?

The main parts of enrobing equipment comprise of:

  • Bottomer: this is also called the ‘pre-bottomer’ and it is responsible for coating the bottom of the middle of the products. After the products pass through the bottomer, they proceed to the moving belt for cooling.
  • Coater: this part is responsible for coating the products. The coating area usually has tempering units and extra tanks.

This coating section is the area where the products get their all-round coating, including the bottom again.

  • Cooling Tunnel: in the cooling tunnel, the coating of the product undergoes cooling, before the finished product comes out.

How Does an Enrobing Machine Work?

The process of enrobing confectionery occurs in different stages. The larger enrobers are usually all-in-one and contain all the parts you need in the enrobing process.

Although with smaller enrobers, you might need to attach a cooling tunnel or temperer.

Here is how the enrobing machine works:

  1. The work of the enrober starts in the tempering system, where you place your chocolates. The tempering system melts your chocolate till it is in a smooth and liquid state.

You connect the tempering system to the enrober which supplies the chocolate liquid for the enrobing stage. In a typical enrobing system, the tempering machine comes with the enrober.

In some cases, you need to buy a tempering machine separately and connect it to your enrobing system.

  1. After the tempering stage, you place the product on a wire belt which then moves it to the prebottomer.

It is this botomer that coats the bottom of the product evenly. Some smaller enrobers also need you to buy a prebottomer separately and attach it.

  • The product still on the wire belt then passes through a cooling belt where the chocolate coating solidifies.
  1. The cooling belt moves the product to the coating pumps, where the actual enrobing takes place. The coating pumps coat the products completely with a stream of chocolate. Excess chocolate from the coating process then drains out through the wire mesh. Some enrobing systems recycle the chocolate back to the tempering system.
  2. After the coating process, the wire belt vibrates to ensure that the coating is spread evenly round the product.

Good enrobing machines have a tail cutter that removes the excess chocolate from the coating process.

  1. The next step is to transfer the product to wax paper for easy removal when cool. You can then proceed to add toppings like coconut shavings to the product at this point.
  • Passing the product through the cooling tunnel is the final step to solidify the chocolate and bring out the final product.

The cooling tunnel maintains a particular low temperature to ensure the final product looks nice and lasts long on the shelves.

If your chocolate enrobing equipment does not have a cooling tunnel, you can move the products manually to a refrigerator.

Do all Enrobing Machines come With a Cooling Tunnel System?

Not all enrobing machines have a cooling tunnel system.

For some enrobing machines, you need to buy a cooling tunnel separately and attach it to the system.

How does the Cooling Time and Temperature Affect the Final Product of Enrobing Machine?

The cooling process of chocolate coated products is greatly dependent on time. To get the best finished products, you need to cool for a long time at high temperature.

The cooling time for pure dark chocolate is six minutes, while that of milk chocolate is eight minutes. If the cooling time or temperature is compromised, the chocolate might not solidify properly.

Melting chocolate coating is not a good look for the finished products. Products that undergo cooling at the right time and temperatures have a glossy look and do not melt on handling.

What Type and Sizes of Enrobing Machines are Available?

There are various sizes and types of enrobers available. There are large industrial scale enrobers with 100 inches belts that are great for large scale productions.

Smaller enrobing machines with belts that are as narrow as 6 inches are also an option. The size of the conveyor belt determines the production output of the machine.

If you are producing on a large scale, you might want to get an enrobing machine with wide belts.

Apart from the sizes, there are also enrobing machines that come with cooling tunnel, and others that you have to attach.

Of course, the all-in-one machines produce faster and are more efficient than the ones without cooling tunnel or tempering unit.

The type and size of enrober you choose, depends on the production output you desire.

How do Mini Chocolate Enrober and Industrial Chocolate Enrobing Machine Compare?

The mini chocolate enrober is a small-sized enrober suitable for small scale production or home use. To use the mini enrober, you need to attach a cooling tunnel and other necessary parts.

On the contrary, the industrial enrobing machine is larger than the mini enrober and usually contains most of the necessary parts. Wider belts make the industrial enrober more suitable for large scale industrial production than the mini enrober.

mini chocolate enrobing machine

mini chocolate enrobing machine

What are the Key Considerations before you Purchase an Enrobing Machine?

Before buying an enrobing machine, there are certain factors you need to take into considerations, which include:

  • Dimension of the Enrobing Machine: these machines are available in different sizes, so you need to choose the size that is most suitable for your business. Your available storage space also determines the size of enrober you can get.
  • Safety Features: working with heavy machinery is generally dangerous, so you need to choose an enrober with suitable safety features.
  • Energy Consumption: it stands to reason that the larger the machine, the more energy it consumes. Large industry-sized enrobing machines have large production output, hence they require larger power intake.
  • Enrobing Speed: the speed at which an enrober produces, determines its production output. If you have a large scale business and desire a larger production output, you should get an enrober that produces fast.
  • Type of Enrober: apart from the dimensions of the enrober, you need to consider what type of enrober you want. Some enrobers are all-in-one, while for others you need to attach certain parts like the tempering unit and cooling tunnel.
  • Quality Approval: You also need to ensure that the enrober meets all the quality requirements of the various agencies.

How do you monitor the Operation Parameters of Enrobing Machines?

Enrobing machines generally have one control panel that allows the user to monitor all parts of operation at the same time.  From the control panel you can control how much chocolate the coating pump is dispensing, the conveyor’s speed etc.

Does the Belt Size Affect the Production Capacity of the Enrobing Machine?

Yes, the belt size does affect the production capacity of the enrobing machine. Enrobing machines for industry scale productions usually have conveyor belts as wide as 100 inches and above.

The wider the belt, the more products it can carry at once, therefore production output will be high. Slimmer belts are more suitable for small scale production because they cannot carry large amounts of confectionery at the same time.

Can Enrobing Machine do all Enrobing Styles?

There are different styles of enrobing confectionery. The complete enrobing, partial enrobing, top enrobing and bottom enrobing are the most common types.

An enrobing machine that has all the parts attached can enrobe your product in whatever style you want.

How do you Perform Bottom Enrobing with Enrobing Machine?

In order to coat just the bottom of your product, you need to set the height of your enrober to meet your requirements.

The belt carrying the product passes over the liquid chocolate without the chocolate touching the whole product. This is also how the machine does different enrobing styles, depending on what you want.

Which are the Possible Additional Customizations for Enrobing Machines?

Enrobing machines have parts that are common to all of them like the belts and coating pump. Apart from these common parts, you can choose to customize your enrober to suit your production needs.

Some other parts that you can add to customize the enrobing machine include:

  • Cooling Tunnel: this part maintains the temperature of the production process and ensures the product cools down appropriately.
  • Vibrating Tables: you can add a vibrating table to your enrober to ensure that the product vibrates to shake off excess coatings.
  • Blowers
  • Product Toppers: adding a product topper feature to your enrobing machine enables the machine to design your confectionery.
  • You can also customize the size of the conveyor belt.

While adding the customized features, you need to ensure that they match the already existing system. You can also customize by removing some parts of the machine that you do not need in your production system.

Do you Supply Small Scale Enrobing Machines?

Yes we do supply all sizes of enrobing machines according to the client’s specifications.

Which are the Types of Conveyor Belts used in Enrobing Machines?

The different types of conveyor belts used in enrobing machines include:

  • Rod Network Belts: this type of conveyor belt has an open mesh structure to small amount of products. There are three types of rod network belts; ECO, ELT and corner rod network belts.

Rod network belts are very low maintenance and operate precisely. These belts have a small transfer radius and a permeable belt structure.

Their design is hygienic and they have a thin and flexible belt construction.  Apart from the enrobing machine, you can also use the rod network belts in glazing machines, drying tunnels, among others.

Features of the ELT rod network belts include:

  1. They have a larger transfer radius than the ECO belts.
  2. You can use them to transport heavy products
  • They have a longer life span
  1. They are hygienic and you can use them for food processing

The corner rod network belts have a curved design that makes them suitable for use in all industries. Some of the features of this rod network belt include:

  1. Their belt structure is permeable
  2. Their corner angle is about 300 to 1800
  • Their design is also hygienic and they can withstand high temperatures.
  1. You can use the corner rod network belt to change the product flow direction

rod network belt ECO

rod network belt ECO

 rod network belt ELT

 rod network belt ELT

corner rod network belt

corner rod network belts

  • Metal Conveyor Belts: this type of conveyor belt also has different types like;
    • wide spiral link belts
    • wire mesh belts
    • narrow spiral link belts
    • steel belts
    • flat rolled oven baking belts
    • loop-joined wire belts.

The wide spiral link belts are made of wire spirals linked together to form a wide spiral. The features of this type of metal conveyor belt are:

  1. They are durable and have a long life span
  2. Their belt structure is permeable
  • They have straight tracks
  1. You can use this belt in ovens, cleaning machines, refrigerators amongst others.

 wide spiral link belts

wide spiral link belts

The narrow spiral link belts are made of flat wire spirals. Their features include:

  1. Their designs are variable
  2. Are also durable and last long
  • Their mesh structure is very tight
  1. Highly tension resistant
  2. Come in three types according to their edges, the bended, the S and the welded edges

 narrow spiral link belt

narrow spiral link belt

The loop joined wire belts are made up of cross bars that join together to form wire loops.  They are suitable for moving heavyweight products and have good tracks as well.

 loop joined wire belt

 loop joined wire belt

The wire mesh belt is another type of metal conveyor belt made with lighter materials than the others. The edges of this belt have either of two designs; welded or bent.

Some of the features of the wire mesh belt include:

  1. They are ideal for transporting only lighter products
  2. They are made of affordable material
  • Their belt structure is also permeable
  1. Wire mesh belts consist of simple connections

 wire mesh conveyor belt

wire mesh conveyor belt

The steel belt is a heavy-duty belt that is very resilient and can withstand extreme temperature changes and heavy loading.  Their shapes do not bend to weather conditions.

Features of the steel belt are:

  1. Their surfaces are smooth and resistant to abrasion
  2. They are durable and last long
  • Their belt tracking capabilities are precise
  1. They are quite easy to clean
  2. Their designs are hygienic
  3. They are mostly used in the food industry in freezing, drying, steaming and cooling applications.

 steel conveyor belts

steel conveyor belt

The flat-rolled baking oven belts consist of wire spirals that are rolled into round shapes. They can either have woven or melded edges, and are most suitable for baking.

This is due to their great heat distribution abilities and their low thickness.

 flat-rolled baking oven belt

 flat-rolled baking oven belt

  • Plastic Conveyor Belts: these belts are made of special materials that are flexible, high in quality and very durable. They are most often transparent or colored but, sometimes they have a polyester fabric coating.

They are mostly used in the bakery and confectionery industry.  PU plastic conveyor belts also serve as cooling belts during the coating process in the confectionery industry.

The PU plastic conveyor belts are easy to maneuver and they have excellent flat laying properties.

 plastic conveyor belt

plastic conveyor belt

There are also other sub divisions of the plastic conveyor belt:

  1. Silicone Conveyor Belts: these conveyor belts have a silicone coating which protects them from chemicals, oils and temperature changes. They are very flexible and resistant to high temperatures.

The silicone coating gives these conveyor belts a unique non-stick property. Silicone conveyor belts are most suitable for carrying products that would ordinarily stick.

 silicone conveyor belt

silicone conveyor belt

  1. PVC Conveyor Belt: these belts are economical, durable, and very versatile. The PVC surface makes them resistant to oils and chemicals as well.

PVC conveyor belt

PVC conveyor belt

  • Transparent Conveyor Belt: this conveyor belt is made of transparent silicone, and fabric with fluoroscopic properties. They are very versatile and you can customize them to suit your needs.

The transparent conveyor belts give your products perfect positioning on the belts. These types of conveyor belts are also popular in the packaging industry because of this precise positioning feature.

 transparent conveyor belt

 transparent conveyor belt

  1. Endless Woven Conveyor Belts: these belts are made of woven thread and can either be plain weave, pointed twill or cross twill.

The woven belts are flexible, have great non-stick properties and temperature resistant. They also re-gain moisture excellently and are durable as well.

Cotton, Kevlar, polyester, and polyamide are some of the materials for making this type of conveyor belt. You can find this woven type of conveyor belt in drying tunnels, fleece production, laminating machines, amongst others.

endless woven conveyor belt

 endless woven conveyor belt

  1. Thermoplastic Elastomer Belts: the surfaces of these belts are smooth-cut and resistant to abrasion. They are highly resistant to water, oil and chemicals.

 thermoplastic elastomer belts

thermoplastic elastomer belts

  1. Plastic Corner Belt: this is a plastic conveyor belt that you can use to change the direction of product flow.

The corner angles of the plastic corner belt are 350 to 800. Plastic corner belts are flexible, reliable and versatile.

 plastic corner belt

plastic corner belt

  • Timing Belt: this is also a type of plastic conveyor belt that operates in a synchronized manner. You can customize the timing belt to accommodate any coating you want.

This conveyor belt ensures the perfect positioning of your product on the belt. The rollers and bearings of the machine undergo less stress and the belt runs smoothly and silently.

Another major advantage of the timing belt is that it is budget friendly and costs little to maintain.

 timing belt conveyor

timing conveyor belt

  • Modular Conveyor Belts: these conveyor belts are mostly made of moulded plastic with bar joints connecting them. They are versatile, durable and very easy to clean.

These types of plastic conveyor belts are lightweight but very strong. They are mostly made of polypropylene, polyacetal or polyethylene.

Apart from the above mentioned materials, this conveyor belt is also available in stainless steel material. The stainless steel variant is low maintenance.

modular conveyor belt

 modular conveyor belt

  • Separating Belts: these belts have non-stick properties and you can use them for large amounts of small products. Separating belts consist of rows whose distance change by the transverse movement of the separating belt.

The separating belt moves with the help of a special link chain that maintains the distance between the rows of the belt.

The major advantage of this type of belt is that you don’t need to refit or resize if you change products. This type of conveyor belt ensures the smooth handling of products.

 separating belt

 separating belt

  • Silicone Moulding Belt: this is perhaps the most versatile amongst the conveyor belts. You can use the silicone moulding belt to shape your product, cool them down and transport them.

The best industries to use the silicone moulding belt are the confectionery industry and also chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Silicone moulding belts are available in different shapes according to your desire.

 silicone moulding belt

silicone moulding belt

What are the Materials used in Making Conveyor Belts of Enrobing Machine?

The different materials that are used in making conveyor belts for enrobing machines are:

  • Silicon
  • Polyurethane
  • PVC
  • Stainless steel
  • Spring steel

Some conveyor belts consist of these materials mixed together in one form or the other.

How much does an Enrobing Machine Cost?

Enrobing machines cost from as low as $15000 to $100000, depending on the size and features. The regular all-in-one enrobing machine would cost less than customized enrobers.

Additional features on your enrober come at an additional cost.

What Determines Chocolate Enrobing Machine Price?

The price of a chocolate enrobing machine could be either low or high depending on its features and functions. Adding extra features like cooling tunnel, vibrating table etc. come at an extra cost.

Which Industries use Enrobing Machines?

Enrobing machines are mostly used in the food industry, precisely for confectionery. Food items are most often the products that require coating, hence the need for an enrober.

Are there Continuous Enrobing Machines?

Yes, there are continuous enrobing machines and some of them even skip the tempering step as well.

Which are the Additional Equipment you can attach to Enrobing Machine?

There are various other equipment that you can add to customize your enrobing machine. Such equipment includes:

  • Cooling Tunnel: the cooling tunnel is the part of the machine that regulates the cooling temperature of the coated product
  • Tempering Machine: tempering helps to put the chocolate in a more liquid state for easy coating
  • Vibrating Table: the vibrating table helps to shake off the excess coating material from the product
  • Blower
  • Product Topper
  • Different designs of conveyor belts

What is the Role of Water Jacket in the Heating System of Enrobing Machine?

Water jackets are generally used for temperature control in various machines. The process of coating confectionery is a temperature-sensitive process and that is where the water jacket comes in.

The contents of the water jacket are heated electrically in order to maintain the temperature of the tempering unit.

Which are the Quality Certifications and Standards for Enrobing Machine?

You should ensure that your enrobing machine meets the following quality standards:

  • NSF Certification

Your enrobing machine has to meet NSF standards and get the NSF certification. The NSF certification is proof that your machine meets the strict standard for public health.

  • ISO Certification
  • CE Certification
  • ASTM Certification
  • cGMP Standards

For any questions or inquiries on enrobing machines, you can contact SaintyCo now.

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