Chocolate maker uses ABB drive care contract to keep production running

The Italian subsidiary of the Swiss premium chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli produced about 21,000 metric tons of finished chocolate products in its Northern Italian factory in 2011 using ABB's motors and drives.

At the factory 8 ABB motors regulated by 8 ABB drives operate continuously, mixing and refining to create Lindt & Sprüngli’s luxury chocolate.

To ensure uninterrupted production, Lindt & Sprüngli has signed a one year contract covering the maintenance, repair and fast response call-out for all of the ABB drives used throughout the production process at its Italian subsidiary.

"We wanted the security provided by the best drive support in the market," says Mr. Andrea Boggio, Plant Maintenance and Repair Manager at Lindt & Sprüngli. "While we have had no failures, having the reassurance of a solid care plan in place is invaluable to our business. That is what ABB drive care contract delivers: security, reliability and efficiency."

The drives and motors are particularly important during the conching process. Once the chocolate has been refined to less than 16 micron thickness, special mixers, called conches are used to continuously knead the chocolate. The process also helps to develop particular flavors as well as to eliminate undesirable components such as acetic acid.

During one phase of the conching process, particles are coated with the fats from cocoa. Here the ABB motors need to run with increased power at a constant speed, as defined in the recipe. It is the drives that adjust the speed of the motors accordingly.

Conches at Lindt are driven by ABB drives and motors.
For Lindt and Sprüngli, ABB drive care ontract includes technical support, preventive maintenance, drive repairs and access to a field service specialist within 48 hours. Included within this contract at a fixed price are materials, labor and travel expenses.

"Lindt’s chocolate making process is a critical business," says Boggio. "Any downtime will badly affect production, which runs across three shifts. The ultimate objective of Lindt’s maintenance team is to reduce the risk of unexpected failures and production shutdowns."

Lindt & Sprüngli signed the contract shortly after ABB drive care contract was released for sale in Italy. Lindt is planning to extend the contract and continue the cooperation with ABB.

"Lindt started a predictive maintenance program for motors, gears and bearings many years ago," says Boggio. "The ABB drive care contract is a further guarantee for the entire system’s operational efficiency. We will certainly continue working together with ABB in the future."

This is not the first time Lindt & Sprüngli production facilities have relied on ABB’s equipment to create their chocolate. Motors, drives and robots can be found at their facilities across Europe and in the United States working tirelessly to deliver their confectionaries.

To find out how an ABB drive care contract can help your production or process remain operational, please contact your local ABB office or visit www.abb.com/drives.

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