Hershey’s built a free-standing automatic Reeses Pieces distributing door last year to share candy bars with socially distancing trick or treaters. Sensors recognized a knock or “trick or treat” and dispensed full-size candy bars.
That was last year. The CDC had advised most communities to skip trick or treat last year. This year, the CDC is telling kids to feel free to trick or treat, and American consumers are going all out for the holidays. The National Retail Federation says Americans are poised to spend a record $10 billion on Halloween this year, including $3 billion on candy alone.
But last year’s robotic door was not the big news about automation and Halloween candy. After all, most of the candy doled out to costumed kids is made with industrial automation.
In 1847, long before trick or treating became popular, Oliver R. Chase invented and patented a machine that cut out what would become NECCO wafers. His brother came up with a machine that printed the words on conversation hearts in 1866. The brothers joined with a couple of other candy makers in 1901 to form the NECCO candy company and in 1927 they owned the largest candy factory in the world.
In 1964, author Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. At the factory in the book, the candy was “untouched by human hands.” This is more and more frequently true of the candy we pass out for Halloween. While about half the tasks for the creation of See’s Chocolates are still performed by human beings, mass-produced candy like M&Ms and candy corn are made entirely by machine.
Rexroth and candy
Rexroth drive and control solutions are widely used in candy manufacturing. Picking, packing, flow wrapping, and more take advantage of Rexroth’s exceptional blend of power and precision — and all with wash down capability.
When you need service and support for Rexroth motion control systems, think of us first. We can facilitate factory repair and reman, as well as upgrades when you need them.