According to research by Accenture Strategy, a full 80 percent of companies surveyed still use an outdated approach to innovation: gated innovation processes (with lean innovation and development) dominated by engineering and R&D. And while that may be good enough for incremental tweaking, it’s not an approach that can produce real breakthroughs, says the global consulting company. 

As a result, it urges companies to “…adopt a total solution mindset that creates a specific customer experience driven through an ecosystem of partners.”

As the authors of “Stepping off the Crazy Train,” an Accenture Strategy publication, note, “Before the rise of digital, larger companies were able to grow profit margins by tweaking their existing portfolios.…Until digital came along and customer expectations changed…Now the rate of innovation has skyrocketed so far and so fast that many companies can’t move fast enough to realize new sources of value.”

In that spirit, Candy Industry’s Leaders in Innovation section provides insights on the subject from leading confectionery processing and packaging equipment suppliers. Fostering an environment that begets innovation requires a combination of open-mindedness and discipline, incubation and inspiration. Given today’s marketplace, where manufacturers must continuously deliver sweets that are indulgent and evocative, fun and filling, better-for-you and blissful, suppliers are taken to task to help create these products. The cycle is unending. And yet, despite these challenges, so are the innovations.


Mads Hedstrøm

Mads Hedstrøm, board member & owner, Aasted

2017 is a very exciting year

It is a very exciting year here at Aasted. This year we are celebrating our centennial anniversary — 100 years of innovation — and constantly pushing the boundaries with more than 500 patents to our name.

Since 1917 we have been on a continuous journey to provide our customers with innovation and high-quality, tailor-made solutions within the chocolate, bakery and confectionery industries.

In 1946, Kaj Aasted invented the world’s first patented continuous chocolate plate temperer. That breakthrough led us to have what we dare say are some of the world’s best tempering machines delivering undisputed quality.

In 1992, the world’s first patented cold pressing method — FrozenCone — was invented, which today is in its 5th generation. The company leads the market with its high-quality cold pressing technology that still inspires innovation and meets the most challenging R&D requirements.

The patented Alice extruder and depositor was launched in 2004. This groundbreaking and dynamically engineered machine allows for diverse production applications while doing so in a very gentle manner. 

In 2011 the SuperNova Energy tempering machine debuted, a concept allowing one to have a tempered chocolate with the majority crystals consisting of Beta V crystals.

By combining the SuperNova Energy with the Energy Enrober, which was invented in 2013, it is possible to realize a two-thirds drop in energy costs. Roughly three years after the operation, savings from lower variable costs equals the initial capital investment.

2017 marks the year where our R&D department releases another revolutionary tempering machine for the plastifying and aeration of masses – regardless of the density. The SuperNova Orbit has capabilities like no other and we believe it will shake the industry on many levels.

This year we have strengthened our bakery initiatives with the newly appointed bakery expert Claus Abrahamsen, sales director for bakery for the Americas. Furthermore, we have introduced Andy Maetzler as international sales manager for Compact Solutions. With Aasted’s Compact Solutions, you can reduce machine footprints up to two-thirds with the same dynamic production possibilities.

We have always been and still are very focused on driving Aasted towards new heights against our next centennial. We look forward to many more years of long-lasting customer relations by delivering innovative solutions of the highest quality possible.


Fritz Kipfer

Fritz Kipfer, ceo, Schubert North America
Simple mechanics drives sophisticated automation

We believe in the strategy of “simple mechanics.” Today, the most important element in any kind of robotics is software. Hence, the advent of Industry 4.0 ties in well with the company’s goals.

To fully capitalize on machine networking and the benefits of Industry 4.0, Schubert has developed the digital platform, which the company presented for the first time at interpack. In German, “grips” means brains.

With, a web-based platform has been created, which raises internal communication as well as communication with customers to an all-new level of performance.

The main objective of is to further optimize production and maintain overall machine efficiency at a high level over its entire service life. This is achieved by using status and performance data transmitted by the machine, for example, to quickly derive measures for preventive maintenance. In the future, all Schubert Group employees, as well as customers, suppliers and TLM machines, will be able to access the platform. Access will be available through any web browser – via PCs as well as tablets and smartphones. not only integrates preventative maintenance into production, it detects problems so that there are no unplanned stoppages.

And yes, while there’s still plenty of learning that needs to go on with digitalization, the benefits associated with reduced downtime, improved servicing of maintenance parts, preventative troubleshooting and operator training will enable great strides in processing.

It’s all about providing simpler, not “overengineered” solutions. We’re talking improved efficiency, flexibility and simplicity.


Tom Verburg

Tom Verburg, area sales manager, Tanis Confectionery

Innovative T-Gel Moulding line fits traditional footprint

Our range of innovative T-Gel Moulding lines encompasses various models suitable for different types of operation, capacities and plant lay-outs.

The flagship depositor is the T-Gel Moulding 800x40 executed with two four-axis robots for the offloading and loading of 800x400mm standard tray stacks onto the pallets.

Tanis Confectionery also has introduced two new models to the innovative T-Gel Moulding line to fill the demand for the middle-range capacities and the interest heard from companies planning replacement projects. The model 800x25R is equipped with two four-axis robot and pallet transports next to the machine (and all advantages offered by the famous 800x40), with the exception that only it runs at 25 standard trays per minute.

Even though there are numerous advantages of this machine and its process layout, Tanis Confectionery had an open ear to the fact that some factories have limitations on height and footprint, especially concerning replacement of traditional moguls in an existing layout. We have a solution for this, too.

For that, the model 800x25G has been developed. It has the identical capacity as the 800x25R model but instead of the four-axis robots, this model is equipped with a gantry robot and empty pallets transport underneath the machine. Both 800x25 models are executed with one pump and can be extended to a two-pump system.

Game-changing features in the 800x25G T-Gel Moulding line:

  • Guaranteed overall efficiency.
  • Stacking with gantry robots controls acceleration and deceleration speeds.
  • Hygienic stainless-steel design, no painting.
  • Complete control with servos providing optimal synchronization of all motions, e.g. gentle tray handling without shaking or jerking motions, for higher efficiency and product quality.
  • Product/starch separation sieve can be taken out of the machine facilitating easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • Lightweight, high-flow mould boards.
  • Full tray pumps for standard 800x400mm trays, with improvements for higher deposit accuracy.
  • Optional space for extension with a second pump and tray inspection system.


Alf Taylor

Alf Taylor, co-founder and ceo, tna

Rethinking the conventional

At tna, we recognized early on that the key to long-term commercial success is to rethink the conventional and invest in technology that sets new benchmarks and doesn’t just meet current industry expectations. Back in 1984, when tna released the original robag 1 VFFS packaging system with continuous rotary motion jaws, the industry saw packaging speeds leap from 50 bags per minute to an incredible 100 bags per minute overnight.

Over the years, our passion for disruptive innovation, as opposed to “me-too solutions,” has enabled us to develop forward-thinking solutions that keep both us and our customers one step ahead of the competition.

In fact, approximately 80 percent of the time, we initiate the development of new products as opposed to customers driving our product development. In this respect, we bring new concepts and ideas to our customers rather than reacting to their demands. That way, their equipment won’t just meet the requirements of today, but will also easily adapt to their future needs.

But it’s not all about innovation. It’s about finding the right balance between developing new technology in house and recognizing that another leading innovator is the right fit for our portfolio of brands. Our acquisition of NID is a great example of this.

Both tna and NID started out with a passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and the determination to design equipment that could “do better” and go that one step further than anything that’s been before.

Just like our first prototype the tna robag, NID’s first starch mogul designs were groundbreaking at the time and not only challenged industry standards, but also played a key role in developing the confectionery industry. Today, the latest generation of the high-speed M3000 starch mogul is the result of more than six decades of innovation and offers customers some of the highest levels of performance, product versatility and operational reliability.

 In the future, we’re looking to further maximize the innovation potential and natural synergies of tna and NID, so that we continue to deliver the confectionery industry with some truly revolutionary designs.


Rainer Runkel

Rainer Runkel, managing director, Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen

The power of innovation triggers solutions

Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen GmbH (WDS) has a record of more than 100 years in engineering confectionery machines known for their quality and flexible modular design. Thanks to our Product Innovation Center we are today a solution partner, providing all services to transform a product idea into a successful product launch

Most projects start at the Innovation Center, where our team of food scientists test new product concepts using the WDS lab depositors. If the new product idea challenges our standard equipment, our in-house engineering team is keen to find new technical solutions.

With its comprehensive machinery and production portfolio, WDS has the capability to cover the whole spectrum of deposited confectionery products. We are experienced in the production of jellies and gums, as well as licorice, fondants, creams, marshmallow foam and similar masses.

For most customers, WDS mogul lines for the production of jellies, fondant and toffee are the first choice. For those of you looking to leave the complexity of a starch-based process behind, the WDS starchless line is the alternative.

When it comes to the production of standard hard-candy products, our company offers the line type 165 using aluminum moulds. In addition, when it comes to chocolate, the company services small to large-sized businesses with capacities from 200 kg/h to 7,000 kg/h. The machines can even combine two fillings in one shell with a one-stroke deposit thanks to their Triple-Shot technology.

A core WDS expertise is the traditional orbital shell moulding or stamping of fine, thin chocolate shells using their FSC Flash Shell Cooling station. The ConfecECO is the start-up line for the production of plain, center-filled bars, pralines and masses with inclusions as well as pectin-, toffee- and fondant-products.

With the Mogul Type 660, WDS is introducing the newest family member in their fleet of machines. More than ever, the development of the new type has been based on standardization as well as consistent modular design. The result is a highly efficient, long-lasting quality machine, which nevertheless can be offered cost effectively due to its construction and design features.

Based on decades of experience as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of confectionery machines, WDS knows the requirements of its customers but also the market mechanisms with which they are dealing. The company’s well known power of innovation always results in new solutions for confectionery production’s day-to-day needs.