The Buhler Chocolate & Cocoa business unit will once again surprise the international chocolate industry at the Interpack 2008. There, Buhler will present its "FlexiShot" - a new, trend-setting chocolate molding system that copies the working principle of the human heart.
"Sometimes, you have to completely set aside everything that has ever existed so far in order to find an innovation," explains Boris Ouriev. "And sometimes all you need to do is to observe Nature a bit closer to find ingeniously simple solutions," he adds. Ouriev is a 37-year-old electrical engineer by training who moved from Moscow to Switzerland 14 years ago. He additionally graduated in physics from the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, where the subject of his doctoral thesis was "Non-distractive Online Measurement Methods for Foods."
Core modules like "heart valves"
Inspired by the way the human heart works, Ouriev and his development team abandoned the principle of chocolate molding in the form that has existed up to now. The new "FlexiShot" molding system does not use any rigid distribution channels and fixed nozzles. Instead, the most important components of the new molding unit adjust automatically to the viscosity and flow rate of the chocolate processed. The core module of the new Buhler "FlexiShot" molding system consists of adjustable nozzles which are attached to the inlet of the metering piston and to the outlet. "The heart of our new design works just like a heart valve," says Boris Ouriev. "The secret of this heart valve lies in the food-grade material that it is made of and in its sophisticated geometry."
The new "FlexiShot" chocolate molding process eliminates numerous problems that have been vexing chocolate equipment manufacturers and chocolate producers for years. Thus, its new, adjustable nozzles allow absolutely drip-free molding of the chocolate, regardless of its consistency. Also so-called thread rupturing is a thing of the past. Moreover, the new molding concept allows the required pressure to be massively reduced, which has a direct impact on the design of the line. Last, not least, it will be possible with a given nozzle and a given setting to mold chocolates of different viscosities.
Demonstration at the Interpack
Buhler Bindler has demonstrated its new "FlexiShot" system at the Interpack, the exhibition for pack-aging equipment, packaging materials, and confectionery equipment that is held every three years. Boris Ouriev: "In Düsseldorf, we have shown the details of the new operating principle using a working model." It is yet not possible to present the new molding machine. But the "FlexiShot" team manager is convinced that it will only be a matter of months before the Buhler Bindler molding system is launched. "We have already made considerable headway, thanks to collaboration with innovative customers."
Buhler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, especially technologies for producing foods and engineering materials. Buhler sells into over 140 countries and has some 6900 employees worldwide. In fiscal 2007, the Group generated sales of CHF 1770 million.