Following the challenging times created by the unprecedented COVID-19 virus, MacIntyre Chocolate Systems has introduced its NEXT Generation of MacIntyre Refiner/Conche.

2020 has been an unprecedented year; the world had to pause and then move ahead in a different way. Video calls have replaced plane journeys and personal visits to customer sites and virtual exhibitions have taken the place of Interpack or The London Chocolate Forum. 

In the food industry, business was never busier and challenges in food production halls immense, with equipment working flat out. Ironically, there’s been no time to pause in the food industry, while much of the world has been at a standstill. 

The work, which was already underway at MacIntyre Chocolate Systems Ltd in early 2020, was never more relevant. Yet, when the concept began, the level of the NEXT upgrades to MacIntyre’s Refiner/Conches focused on saving customers time and money. The frequent use of remote diagnostics and the benefit of specific maintenance elimination through redesign has been fundamental.

All MacIntyre Refiner/Conches are fitted with Siemens PLC control, incorporating enhanced software for flexible running and include remote administration diagnostics, which is crucial for this new normal world. 

First on the list of enhancements was to remove all traditional glands and packing material from the MacIntyre Refiner/Conches. While they had already replaced the glands at the gearbox end with an air pressure seal, when launching the New Generation model onto the market in 2018, the challenge remained to implement the same air pressure seal at the delivery end – in the 3000Kg and 5000Kg models where the shaft protrudes. 

It was critical to the MacIntyre team that a solution be found. The company had visited many factories where product was continually lost through seepage from the rotational shaft, which is normal, of course with the nature of this arrangement, and common in production equipment all over the world where rotational shafts are integral to the design. 

To the customer though, the small seepage is a continual loss of product and money.  The incorporation of air pressure seals at delivery end and gearbox end mean that the time and energy used to make every batch result in zero loss of product because of gland seepage. 

The added advantage is that the maintenance of the gland area, which has been a challenge for customers with old style Refiner/Conches, is history.  The long-life air pressure seals remove the need for regular maintenance in this area, so trouble free operation and down time are eliminated.

The design change journey to replace the gland arrangement on the delivery end with the air pressure seal has resulted in a slightly new appearance, but the new spherical bearing incorporated into the design, combined with IE3 energy efficient motors, mean more efficient running and enhanced surface contact.

With the importance of cost-effective production with minimum downtime, the significance of low maintenance may only previously have sparked the interest of the maintenance engineers. However, in times of travel restrictions, remote commissioning and remote service support are not the way of the future. They are the here and now. It is how MacIntyre have continued to support its customers to deliver on time to the supermarkets through 2020, feeding consumers all over the world. 

The NEXT Generation of MacIntyre Refiner/Conche equates to:

  • Maximum capacity with minimum energy consumption and zero unnecessary waste
  • Elimination of six-monthly down time for maintenance means customers can spend time producing, not maintaining.

All MacIntyre Refiner/Conches are fitted with Siemens PLC control incorporating enhanced software for flexible running and include remote administration diagnostics, which is crucial for this new normal world. 

All new models benefit from the easy to install cable harnesses, hygienic cable trays and include safety features for easy installation.

The Next Generation features a convenient removable, easy clean, stainless steel hopper.  Steel end plates replace the old cast ends of the Refiner/Conches. Feed pipes are included for intake of liquid cocoa liquor, cocoa butter or fat, allowing customers to easily connect from their liquid raw material Tanks to the Refiner/Conche. Complete systems inclusive of Block Melting through to final Storage can also be supplied inclusive of full automation.

MacIntyre has been supplying Refiner/Conches across the world for decades. The company is proud to have partners in all continents, in urban and also more isolated areas.  The NEXT Generation will put a new meaning on ‘remote’ support with customers in countries such as Madagascar – widely known for its exquisite vanilla, unique cocoa and some of the finest chocolate in the world.

MacIntyre look forward to supporting its customers worldwide and Madagascar is just one of the more remote areas where their NEXT Generation MacIntyre Refiner/Conches will be invaluable in terms of reliability and flexibility.

 At present, Nate Engle of Beyond Good in Madagascar has been producing chocolate working from nibs almost since the beginning. The NEXT Generation MacIntyre Refiner/Conche will bring customers like Nate so much closer to MacIntyre on a daily basis.

Nate uses a MacIntyre Refiner/Conche to produce Beyond Good’s fine chocolates and says: “In short, we love the machine. Love it. It’s the right machine for manufacturing our chocolate in terms of flavour development, fineness, etc.”

Not only can the MacIntyre Refiner/Conche be used for pure chocolate production, it will also make chocolate spreads, cremes, compounds, nut and seed pastes. 

Also, with the mindfulness needed in today’s climate to eliminate unnecessary waste, do remember that the MacIntyre Refiner/Conche can be used for a variety of work. 

Meanwhile, if you are wondering what will come NEXT from MacIntyre, following the launch of the NEXT Generation, keep reading Kennedy’s and follow MacIntyre Chocolate Systems on LinkedIn.

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