Delcam software gives chocolate mould manufacturer a taste of success
Since 1999, Kaupert, a leading German manufacturer of chocolate moulds, has used Delcam software for the design of all its polycarbonate tooling. These moulds are produced using injection moulding or stamping tools, which are also developed with Delcam systems. Today Kaupert’s customers can expect delivery of their moulds in as little as six to eight weeks after confirmation of their chosen design – and so make an early start with the production of their own special chocolate creation.
Large-scale confectionery manufacturers like Lindt, Bahlsen, Storck, Kraft Foods and Master Foods are responsible for the greater part of Kaupert’s turnover. Its customers also include some traditional craft firms – confectioners, patisseries and chocolate-makers. For both sets of customers, particularly demanding standards of accuracy and surface quality must be met by those tool components that will later form the cavities in the chocolate moulds, and so have a decisive effect on the appearance of the chocolate wares that will be the end result.
Previously, the modellers created their artistic forms – Easter bunnies, Father Christmasses, hearts, flowers, animals, stars and a great variety of other designs – in the form of plaster models. Some 20,000 of these sculptures are stored as an archive resource. For most of them, injection moulding or stamping tools have already been created, making it possible for the designs to be reused.
When the tools are not available or when the design requires some modification, Kaupert’s designers and modellers use Delcam’s CopyCAD reverse engineering program to capture a computer model from the plaster original. The sculpting tools within the software then enable the user to add material to the CAD model or to pare it down to generate the final design.
The designers also use Delcam’s ArtCAM Pro engraving package to create new decorations for ornamental engraving and for writing on surfaces, usually for single-bar products. Data from CopyCAD and ArtCAM Pro can be combined with more engineering shapes developed with the PowerSHAPE CAD modeller through Delcam’s unique Total Modelling. With this unique approach, the user can process complicated 3-D reliefs, solid models and free-form surface models in a single system and on an equal footing.
PowerSHAPE also calculates both the shrinkage of the synthetic material and the effects of hardening on the chocolate shape, and so ensures that the confectionery that will be produced matches exactly to the designer’s intentions.
The toolmaker then generates programs for the company’s Micron and Röders milling machines with the PowerMILL CAM system. One of the strengths of the system is that it warns of possible sources of error in advance: collision checks, analyses of rest material, and machine tool simulations work together to ensure that in the subsequent machining process nothing is left to chance.