HEBENSTREIT GmbH
 
© 2009 Hebenstreit GmbH
© 2009 Hebenstreit GmbH

Manufacturing Process for Flat Wafers
 

 
The planning of a wafer production line complies with the products to be manufactured and the capacity required. Plants of maximum versatility offer the flexibility to be able to react on steadily changing market conditions.
In due consideration of the space conditions available at the installation site our project engineers elaborate mostly customized solutions.


Manufacturing Process for Flat Wafers:
The wafer batter is produced in batches and deposited onto the baking plates at the batter depositing station of the automatic wafer baking machine. According to the preselected baking time and baking temperature, the wafer sheets are baked, automatically discharged and transferred onto the further processing line. While being transported through the wafer sheet cooler, the wafer sheets cool down before they are fed onto the fully automatic wafer spreading machine.
In case of chocolate-coated products an additional conditioning of the wafer sheets is recommended. The spreading machine applies the cream filling by either the film or the contact method, before the wafer sheets are stacked according to the preselected number, the cover sheet is placed on top and the wafer sandwiches are calibrated to achieve the required thickness. For the preparation of the cream fillings, special cream production plants with different degree of automation are available.
In continuation, the wafer sandwiches pass through a wafer sandwich cooler so that the cream sets sufficiently for cutting and packing.
Cutting of the sandwiches into the desired size is carried out by means of a fully automatic cutting machine. Depending on the product required, the cut wafers are conveyed directly onto a packaging machine or transferred to a downstream chocolate coating plant.



Manufacturing Process for Hollow Wafers:
Hollow wafers are made up of two wafer halves that are filled and joined. The baking plates of the automatic wafer baking machine are executed in accordance with the shape of product to be manufactured. In contrast to the manufacturing process for flat wafers, however, the hollow wafer sheets to be covered with cream receive the application by the film method after which two cream-filled wafer sheets each are joined at a time. As an option, for example, a hazelnut kernel can be inserted in every second cavity. Depending on the shape of the product, the cutting of the wafer sandwiches is carried out by means of a cutting machine in case of rectangular or square surfaces or by means of a punching machine which tools are either round or executed in accordance with the product shape.

 

© 2014 Hebenstreit GmbH
© 2014 Hebenstreit GmbH
© 2014 Hebenstreit GmbH

Description of the process of an snack production plant
 

Layout of an automated HEBENSTREIT snack production plant

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Description of the process
Initially the components for the selected recipe are mixed homogeneously in a batch raw material mixer (1) and then water is added according to the required moisture content. The raw materials used for the production of extruded snacks or breakfast cereals include ground cereal products such as maize/corn, rice and wheat grits, as well as potato flakes or granules. These raw materials, which contain starch, are the main components and they can be combined with other ingredients such as common salt, sugar, cocoa or vegetable powder as well as with flavourings and emulsifiers. This mixture is then fed to an intermediate container (3) by a screw conveyor (2), from which the mixture is then conveyed by another screw conveyor (4) continuously to the hopper of the extruder dosing unit. The dosing unit is equipped with a level sensor. The constant fill level ensures that the mixture is dosed into the extruder very consistently.

The core component of the snack production plant is what is known as the cooking extruder. The key components of the single screw cooking extruder (5) are the dosing unit, the sleeve, the rotating screw, the pressure and die plates and the cutting and temperature control units. In the cooking extrusion process itself, also known as HTST (High Temperature Short Time) extrusion, raw materials containing starches and proteins are plastified at certain moisture contents and undergo structural modifications by the influence of temperature, pressure and shear forces in the barrel of the extruder. Plastification has the effect of thoroughly cooking and gelatinization of the starch in the mixure. Here the pressure and die plates generate very high pressure.

When the plastified mass emerges from the die plate, the moisture in the mixture escapes in the form of vapour, which is what leads to the typical structure of the products. At the same time the mass also expands as a result of the sudden drop in pressure to the ambient pressure level. The extruded products are then given the desired shape and texture by being cut by a rotating knife or a special cutting and moulding device.The entire cooking extrusion process is characterized through adjustable process parameters such as dosing levels, screw speeds, barrel temperatures and cutting speeds.

The pressure and temperature is permanently monitored during the process itself. The temperature in the in-feed zone can be controlled by using a water cooling unit.

The extruded products are then fed to a continuously rotating drum drier (7) via a conveyor belt (6) or pneumatic conveyor system. Drying is necessary, because the products still have a moisture content of 6 – 8% after leaving the die plate. The drying time is only a few minutes, depending on the desired texture, after which the residual moisture content is approx. 1.5 – 3%. The residence time in the drier depends on the selected drum speed and the drying temperature.

The continuously rotating drum drier can be equipped with both a hot air and an infrared drying system. The higher temperatures in infrared drying lead to a roasted taste of the kind required for breakfast cereals. The dried products are then conveyed to a continuously rotating cylindrical flavour drum (9) via a conveyor belt (8) or pneumatic conveyor system, and this drum is equipped with a system comprised of a seasoning preparation system and a dosing unit. Here the dried products are coated with a liquid mixture of seasonings and vegetable oil. Following temporary storage the flavoured products are fed to the downstream packing machines via conveyor systems (10).

 

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