Co-extruded products in new and attractive forms

The co-extruded products meant for direct consumption have classically had a crispy outer shell made of a conventionally extruded extrudate in the form of a pillow (= „Pipes“ with ends pressed close) and a filling of a creamy mass in the centre.

The filling mass can be a choco-cream or any other sweet or savoury cream (e.g. cheese etc.). Co-extruded snacks are high calorie products, whose main advantage is their dual texture.

The manufacturing process till now permitted only pillows with various lengths as variation of their visual form. Additionally, the possibility of using only creams within a certain viscosity range, was a limiting factor. In the case of usage of very soft creams, a closure of the pillow ends could not be ensured reliably.

In the above situation, the newly developed embossing machine from Schaaf, sets new standards.

Unlike the conventional pillow former, the embossing machine is not only in a position to produce/form square or rectangular pillows but also complex forms like triangles, heart shapes, mini-sticks, almond shapes and many others, which have not been practically realised till now.

The process in general:
Schaaf offers extrusion plants, where 2, 3, 4 or 6 filled strands are produced depending on the capacity of the extruder. The size (no. of strands that can be simultaneously handled) of the embossing machine is decided by the capacity of the extruder. The strands coming from the extruder are fed into the embossing machine and formed as per the shaping set installed there.

The pre-formed products come in a continuous string, attached to each other or partly separated, and are fed into a rotary horizontal drum. By this time the extrudate strand has lost so much elasticity, that the individual formed pieces are separated from each other by the rotation of the drum to attain their final targeted shape i.e. the strands break at the pre-decided lines depending on the shape. Fines could be sieved off. Now the products can be either coated with a sweet or savoury flavour or transported directly to the packaging systems.

The new shaping tools of the embossing machine offer the advantage, that extrudate strands with various textures can be handled with it, as very high pressure is created between the forming rollers in the machine. This prevents the bursting open of a co-extruded product and the consequent leakage of the filling material.

In case it is planned to manufacture a new product on an existing embossing machine, it must be noted, that not individual rollers but only complete shaping roller sets must be changed i.e. the complete frame with the rollers must be taken out of the machine and replaced with an exchange frame with the forming rollers of the new shaping set installed on it.

Further, it is possible to equip a embossing machine‘s forming roller set with different shaping sets :

In this way it is possible to directly produce a product mix using an extruder, which produces 4 strands and a embossing machine, fitted with a forming roller set with 4 different shape sets.

It is also possible to imagine the combination of an extruder which produces 2 strands with a 6 strand embossing machine. If the shaping rollers are with different shape sets, it becomes possible to change from one shape to another, without stopping the extruder at all (shift the filled strands from one shaping set to another) and thus avoid the production loss which such a stop would otherwise entail.

Summarising some of the technical details of the embossing machine :

- Drive : 5.5 KW Spur-Geared 3-Phase Motor
- Including fan, for prevention of condensate formation inside the machine
- The speed of the rollers can be varied continuously
- The switching and control panel is installed on the machine
- The machine can be fitted with various forming rollers

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