Dehum Sucks the Moisture Out of Sweets – in Record Time
September 27, 2017
Swizzels is a major sweet brand. dehum innovated its manufacturing process, halving drying time with its unique approach, creating a 140% increase in production.
Swizzels’ sweets have been loved by children since 1928. The £70m company mainly operates in the UK but ships its confectionery worldwide. Swizzels products are created in a mould filled with starch, then dried at 40° C. This used to take 36-48 hours, with additional preparation and unloading time. dehum applied a new approach, using an innovative technological solution, and cut that down to 20 hours.
Swizzels – the Challenge – Processing Confectionery – a Slow Process
Swizzels Ltd has been creating sweets for nearly 90 years, including Love Hearts, Fizzers, Parma Violets and Refreshers – names most people will remember with pleasure. Their production process was limited by the long drying time. Jelly and foam sweets are made by putting the liquid mixture into moulding trays which are filled with starch and stacked up. The trays then go into stoving ovens for drying at 40° C. The drying time is the major limiting factor for production – and with the additional time taken for loading and unloading the mould trays – only two production runs were possible per week.
Mark Rhodes, CEO of dehum, who was already working with Swizzels, investigated the problem. They proposed an innovative, cutting-edge solution. Mark says, “After the initial planning process, we then installed a trial unit to an existing stove; all designs were confirmed with the trial and improvements were realised straight away. Following the trials a completely new production facility was proposed; has now been installed and this enhancement allows the business to keep up with growing new product demands.”
The design was an all-new product development. Pioneering mechanical functions and stove layout were created, and it also has a unique control system, which allows specific product conditioning at the touch of a button.
The Results: Greatly Increased Production
The actual drying-time went down to 20 hours. With the loading and unloading time adding around 4 hours, the production process went down to the magic 24 hours, allowing five runs per week instead of two, an increase of 140%.
Also, product quality has improved with more efficient use of the starch, and lower starch moisture content has reduced loads on associated starch drying equipment.
Overall, the new system represents two-thirds of production on the site. Its overall efficiency has significantly boosted production.
“dehum have played a significant role in the development of our processes and have become a trusted partner. They have invested a significant amount of resource and expertise in providing and implementing innovative, bespoke solutions for our business. The inevitable challenges have been met head on delivering high quality, reliable systems. As individuals, they demonstrate pride in what they deliver and integrity in how they conduct business.”