The Hershey Company opened a new interactive attraction at its HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD attraction in Hersey, Pa. Called HERSHEY’S Create Your Own Candy Bar, this hands-on attraction gives visitors the ability to create a customized candy bar with up to three inclusions, operate authentic factory equipment, and design individualized packaging for the candy bar. To make a candy bar, a visitor uses a touchscreen to select the ingredients and starts the production process by pulling a lever. A food-grade belt conveyor then moves a HERSHEY’S milk chocolate base bar under a series of feeders that fill the selected ingredients into the base bar’s recessed cavity. After the filled base bar moves through an enrobing and cooling process that seals in the ingredients, it’s transferred to the attraction’s packaging area, where the visitor selects a custom overwrap sleeve for the completed product. The candy bar is then placed in a carton that’s put into a souvenir tin, and the selected overwrap sleeve is placed around the tin, which is given to the visitor at the end of the process. When designing this attraction, the company needed to ensure a perfectly made candy bar for every visitor, so it selected volumetric feeders to consistently fill the various ingredients into the base bars.
Each base bar is about 133 millimeters long by 67 millimeters wide, and its recessing cavity is about 5 millimeters deep and has a volume of approximately 38 cubic centimeters. Since the company planned to allow visitors to choose up to three ingredients, the feeders in the attraction’s production line had to be able to accurately dispense each chosen ingredient to fill approximately one-third of the cavity’s volume without overfilling it. To maintain efficiency, the fill time for each ingredient had to be less than 5 seconds.