When dealing with the food industry, the level of attention and the need to care for every detail inevitably increase. This case study describes a recently executed project by Granzotto that combines high-performance, industrial automation, and personalized training and support services.
THE CUSTOMER AND ITS REQUIREMENTS
The customer is a leading company in the confectionery sector, both in Italy and internationally. The production plant involved in this project, one of seven worldwide belonging to the group in Italian territory.
Before collaborating with Granzotto, the company used a semi-automatic system for preparing one of its flagship products, which required continuous manual intervention by operators. The aim of this project was to automate processes within the department and, consequently, enhance production capacity. This significant investment represented a technological leap for the company, necessitating a reliable, qualified, and competent partner.
Granzotto brilliantly completed this undoubtedly challenging project, resulting in a one-of-a-kind, personalized system for the client.
To meet the client’s needs, developing a tailor-made plant with high technical quality standards was crucial, along with a specific focus on training activities. Granzotto was responsible for the design, assembly, and installation (completed in 2022) of a solution for transferring palm and coconut oils, dosing oils and other ingredients like soy lecithin and invert sugar, and conveying these components to the dough preparation area.
Granzotto’s operational flexibility allowed for ongoing adjustments due to changes in raw materials, enabling technology adaptation even after work had commenced, to optimize it according to the new food product’s characteristics.
CHALLENGES AND INNOVATIONS
The customer’s process presents two critical points: the need to maintain palm oil at a temperature ranging between 45°C to 55°C, and the dosage and mixing of soy lecithin. This additive, widely used in the confectionery industry, tends to thicken and form lumps. It is essential to gradually and automatically incorporate lecithin into palm oil while maintaining a constant fluid temperature to avoid forming precipitates that would compromise quality.
For this reason, Granzotto developed an automatic lecithin dosing system that includes a mass flow meter and a dynamic mixer. By integrating these technologies, lecithin is dosed and mixed before reaching the dough, directly in-line, preventing the formation of deposits.
The intervention marked a turning point for the client: it eliminated the root causes of problems and production slowdowns, achieved qualitative standardization, reduced human intervention, and increased operational performance.
TRAINING ACTIVITIES AND REMOTE SUPPORT
While the plant already contained other machinery, introducing this innovative technology required structured training to support staff transitioning from semi-automatic to state-of-the-art systems. A team of five customer operators was paired with a Granzotto technician who demonstrated the machine’s complete functioning on-site. A tailored training program equipped the staff with cross-functional skills, ranging from mechanical settings and recipe interpretation to programming individual ingredient dosages and managing new components.
Investment in training enables staff to autonomously identify anomalies, reducing time and increasing process efficiency. For more complex issues, operators can remotely contact Granzotto’s technical support, which can diagnose problems in real time through tele-service.
This partnership adds to Granzotto’s numerous successful projects in the food and beverage sector. Granzotto supports the client through all stages, including crucial training activities, demonstrating the importance of effective management in highly automated setups, as illustrated in this case study.
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