With the installation of Russell Eco Self-Cleaning Filters® and Compact Sieves®, Russell Finex have helped Godiva reach the highest quality standards, delivering maximum customer satisfaction every time.
Godiva Chocolatier was founded 80 years ago in Brussels, Belgium, and supplies its range of high-quality ‘luxury’ chocolates in over 80 countries. Using only the finest chocolate and highest-quality ingredients, Godiva chocolates are found in some of the most prestigious stores around the world, from Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store in central Tokyo.
Godiva uses both enrobing and shell moulding processes to manufacture the various sizes and shapes of chocolates. As with many chocolate processes, foil is commonly used to wrap chocolate because of its decorative / luxury appearance and ease of wrapping varying shapes. However, this complicates rework processes, since the foil must be removed beforehand and as a result it is not uncommon for pieces of foil to contaminate the chocolate.
To prevent this or any other foreign body contamination from entering the moulding process, Godiva have relied on two large sieves installed just before the chocolate depositors. Although they have been reasonably effective, metal detectors would frequently alarm due to small fragments passing through the units, causing costly rework. With the popularity of their chocolate increasing and with growing demand, Godiva recognised the need to review its process with the aim of gaining zero tolerance on contamination while improving production efficiency.
At the early stages of the project, Godiva identified two areas where foreign bodies could enter the chocolate. Firstly, from the rework chocolate as it is returned to the storage tanks where it is mixed with virgin chocolate. Secondly, due to the nature of chocolate processing, contamination can be introduced due to large amounts of pipework and pumps being used to transport chocolate throughout the process.
As a starting point, Godiva made contact with their chocolate supplier since every batch of virgin chocolate entering the Godiva plant is certified as contamination free. This resulted in a visit to one of the plants to learn how it was achieved. The systems used were fully enclosed self-cleaning in-line filter units supplied by Russell Finex.
Peter Van Ingelghem, engineering and maintenance manager of Godiva, explains, “As soon as we saw the installation it was clear that this was the solution we had been looking for. With these systems installed there have been no reports of contaminated chocolate being delivered to our factory.”
Without hesitation, Godiva made contact with Russell Finex to discuss the project in more detail. Consequently, an in-depth risk assessment of the process was developed and, combined with Godiva’s research and Russell Finex’s experience, a design was finalised meeting all their objectives.
The chosen solution utilised a combination of both liquid in-line filters and round vibratory sieves covering two critical control points within the system. This provided Godiva complete control on contamination while increasing production flexibility required to meet market demands.
The liquid in-line filters installed were self-cleaning Russell Eco filters, one after each storage tank. These would remove any contaminant from within the tanks that could have been introduced through rework. The in-line filters were selected due to their high flow rates and innovative self-cleaning design meaning operator involvement is kept to a minimum.
The second control point was just before the depositors. A bank of Russell compact sieves replaced the two existing sieves, working in tandem with the in-line filters. “The Compact 400 sieves were chosen as they fitted neatly into our existing process without losing the cleanability of the depositors,” states Van Ingelghem.
The installation provided Godiva with a process that ensured contamination of foreign bodies was effectively eliminated. “Having a global recall is something that we are unable to quantify in terms of costs. However, with the new Russell systems in place we have complete peace of mind that our product is being supplied to the highest standards,” Van Ingelghem concludes. “In fact, it has actually made our metal detectors virtually redundant since we rarely ever hear them activated.”