Tool-Temp Group strengthens global collaboration at successful corporate conference in Starnberg

Tool-Temp Group strengthens global collaboration at successful corporate conference in Starnberg

Last week, the entire Tool-Temp Group and its 16 international subsidiaries gathered in Starnberg near Munich to report on developments, share experiences, discuss new projects and set common goals. The conference provided an excellent opportunity for an intensive exchange of ideas, in particular about the innovative MATIC product line and its wide range of applications in various industries.

During this event, best practices were shared and valuable insights were gained to further strengthen the company’s global strategy. Various branches reported on their market, their challenges and their successes. The wide range of perspectives and ideas brought in by teams from the various regions and specialist areas inspired all participants.

“The corporate conference was a great success and further strengthened our drive for excellent work and innovation,” said Jasmine Koller, CEO of Tool-Temp AG. Another important topic was the integration of new team members into the existing structure of the Tool-Temp Group. The support of the newly established branch in the United Arab Emirates and the new international sales staff by experienced colleagues was considered invaluable.

“We look forward to incorporating the insights gained into our daily operations and continuing to provide our customers with first-class solutions,” added Marco Pellegrino, CSO of Tool-Temp AG.

Jasmine Koller welcomes all participants

Serge Koller updates

The conference was crowned with an exclusive tour of the iconic Allianz Arena, the football stadium of FC Bayern Munich. Afterwards, the participants enjoyed a Bavarian dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Munich’s city, which provided the perfect venue for a successful conclusion.

The successful corporate conference strengthened co-operation within the Tool-Temp Group and supported the company on its path to further growth and success.

Team Tool-Temp

Casual dining in an authentic Munich restaurant


Tool-Temp temperature control units contribute to the delicious taste of Swiss chocolate

Tool-Temp temperature control units contribute to the delicious taste of Swiss chocolate

Tool-Temp AG spoke with Mr Robin Auer, Head of Marketing at Chocolat Stella Bernrain, about the production of chocolate – from the grains of cocoa beans to the crucial temperature control of the chocolate, as well as about developments and innovations in chocolate production.

The Swiss manufacturer of premium chocolate, Chocolat Stella Bernrain, produces high-quality chocolate specialities for corporate customers around the world. Tool-Temp temperature control units are used to simplify the manufacturing process and help improve production quality. Founded in 1932 and based in Kreuzlingen and Giubiasco, Switzerland, Chocolat Stella Bernrain is committed to sustainability in both the sourcing of raw materials and production, and is dedicated to genuine Swiss quality in its chocolate specialties.

 

1. How has Chocolat Stella Bernrain developed over the more than 90 years of its existence?

Chocolat Bernrain AG was founded in 1932 as a manufacturing company and progressively expanded into an industrial production company. In 1980, Chocolat Stella SA, located in Giubiasco, was taken over by Chocolat Bernrain AG. Since then, the two companies have been working together under the name Chocolat Stella Bernrain. The third-generation family member, Monica Müller, has been leading the company since 2007. Under her leadership, the new factory in Giubiasco was built in 2013 and an enlargement in Kreuzlingen followed in 2021, thereby doubling the previous production area. Today, the company counts around approximately 200 employees in both locations.

2. How has your product range changed over time, and what innovative chocolate products do you offer today?

Starting with just a few chocolate products, the company has expanded its range over the years. During this time, Stella Bernrain has proven its innovative strength once again. In 1991, the company committed itself to sustainable production and launched the first organic and Fairtrade certified chocolates. In the last few years, a range of vegan chocolates has been launched and continues to be sold successfully. Today, sustainable packaging solutions are increasingly in demand. This is why Chocolat Bernrain offers compostable films. The company also aims to reduce the amount of packaging material by using single-layer packaging for products that are traditionally packaged in two layers. The used paper-based packaging material offers the same essential sealing properties as conventional products.

 

3. Why is maintenance of the optimum chocolate temperature crucial for the end product?

The maintenance of the optimum temperature is essential in the production of chocolate. The right temperature influences the texture, shine and flavor of the finished product. Precise temperature control ensures the perfect consistency and shine of the chocolate. Moreover, the right temperature allows the chocolate to develop its full flavor, ensuring a delicious taste. In short, temperature control is crucial for producing the best possible chocolate which everyone wants to enjoy.

 

4. What role do Tool-Temp temperature control units play in your daily process or product quality requirements?

We use the temperature control unit to heat some of our conches and to melt blocks of cocoa mass. The precise temperature control as explained above is very important to ensure the high quality of our products.

Production of chocolate bars at Chocolat Bernrain AG.

Chocolate production at Chocolat Bernrain AG.

5. How long does it take approximately take from the cocoa harvest until the finished chocolate arrives to a consumer?

It can take almost a year from the time the cocoa is harvested to the time the chocolate reaches the customer. Harvesting usually takes place twice a year. After the harvest, it can take several weeks to months for the cocoa to reach the factory for processing, depending on transport options and demand. The actual chocolate production takes between 24 and 72 hours, depending on how long the chocolate is being conched. The final moulding process into bars or pralines takes a very short time as we can mould over 1,500 kg of chocolate per hour into bars.

 

6. How many hours per day are the Tool-Temp temperature control units in operation?

The conching devices operate around the clock. The temperature control unit for the melter automatically switches off when the job is finished. This was very easy to implement as the units have remote start/stop.

 

7. Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience with Tool-Temp temperature control units?

“We are very happy with the temperature control units. The customer service is excellent and we receive very detailed information when any questions arise. In the event of a repair, a technician is quickly on site,” says Mr. Roger Näf, Head of Technology, about the use of Tool-Temp temperature control units in their production.


A look behind the scenes of development

A look behind the scenes of development

Last year, Tool-Temp presented the MATIC product line at various international trade fairs – a smart and intelligent range of temperature control units that meet all the requirements of automated production environments.

Our entire development team, led by Jonas Asprion, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has done an outstanding job. In this interview, we offer the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of our development department. Roger Loriol and GianAndrea Müller are two of our creative minds behind the MATIC product line. They talk about the technical challenges and the development process of the MATIC product line and give an insight into the dedicated work of our development staff, who work day in and day out to get the best out of temperature control technology.

Roger Loriol has been responsible for the development of the user interface (UI) for the new MATIC series since 2022 and is also intensively involved with the user experience (UX). In addition to the programming itself, he also takes care of the operating concept.

GianAndrea Müller has worked on the control of temperature control units since joining the company. This includes a fundamental physical understanding of how all types of equipment work. This is the basis for the development of the operating logic and control algorithms for the new MATIC line and the actual implementation on the IRIS controller.

What exactly are user interface (UI) and user experience (UX)? How do they affect the usability of the device?
Roger Loriol: UI means “user interface”. The UI is the interface through which the user interacts with a machine or a website. In the case of our machines, this used to be the entire cabinet door with the controller and all the switches and lights. Now there is a touch screen that can be used to control all the functions of the machine. UX can be translated as “user experience”. UX refers to the totality of impressions a user has when interacting with a product. The UI plays a crucial role in this. UX design aims to make the user experience as positive, efficient and satisfying as possible.

We have always received positive feedback about the operation of our units – simple and straightforward. We wanted to keep it that way with the new IRIS controller in the MATIC range. That’s why, when developing the user interface, we always focused on simple and intuitive operation to create a positive UX.

How did the process of developing the UI work?
Roger Loriol: We started by interviewing some long-standing customers. The interviews revealed exciting opportunities to fill gaps in existing functionality. Customers responded very positively to this experience.

The second step was to develop the foundations for the new UI. This generated a lot of ideas on how to make the advanced features of the MATIC units and the new controller easy to use.

How was the user-friendliness/usability of the UI tested?
Roger Loriol: Once the design phase was complete, we presented an initial version of the UI to various test users and incorporated their valuable feedback into the further development. In collaboration with the management, we also did this online with our branches. Last but not least, the demo version of the UI was also presented to our customers at various trade fairs.

Two examples of the new controller’s user interface

 

How is the new IRIS controller different?
GianAndrea Müller: The main difference lies in the centralised intelligence. This means that all sensor information flows together and is combined. The frequency converter installed as standard in the MATIC models is also fully integrated into our control system. This enables us to continuously monitor and better control the appliance. As the entire controller is modular in design and has reserves of computing power, we are prepared for any new requirements that may arise in the future.

What was required to achieve this?
GianAndrea Müller: On the control technology side, we first needed a clear understanding of our devices. To do this, I derived the current operating logic from our electrical schematics, created fluidic schematics for all devices in the MATIC series and defined a comprehensive measurement campaign, which we were able to implement with the active support of Jonas Asprion (CTO) and production. We used this measurement data and the physical correlations to create a mathematical simulation model of our appliances and potential consumers. This “digital twin” now allows us to test different operating conditions within seconds, which would otherwise take days and weeks with a test setup.

GianAndrea Müller and Roger Loriol brainstorming

GianAndrea and Jonas Meier in front of the first test setup for MATIC


Tool-Temp AG is delivers positive results after Euroguss 2024

Tool-Temp AG is delivers positive results after Euroguss 2024

A total of 634 exhibitors from 33 countries showcased the latest technological trends, innovative processes, and product innovations across the entire value chain of die casting to approximately 14,341 industry professionals at Euroguss 2024.

At the exhibition, Tool-Temp AG once again presented their latest product line, MATIC, specifically tailored to the needs of a digitally connected production environment. This innovation generated significant interest among attendees, as precise temperature control and uniform temperature distribution throughout the entire die casting process play a crucial role.

In addition to precise temperature control, Tool-Temp AG’s temperature control units offer future owners a range of other benefits. These include a durable magnetically coupled pump developed in-house, accurate temperature measurements at the tool, clear digital flow measurement, and pressure indication on the device. The robust industrial design also ensures reliable operation under the demanding conditions of the die casting industry, guaranteeing long-lasting use for customers.

Interested trade show visitors were introduced to the temperature control units through exhibition displays and detailed explanations. “We are delighted with the outcome of the event and the positive feedback from our customers. The high number of visitors to our booth confirms the strong interest in comprehensive temperature control solutions in the die casting sector. Particularly, the new MATIC temperature control unit line with the innovative IRIS controller garnered significant attention from industry professionals. Valuable new connections were established, and existing customer relationships were deepened during the three days of the exhibition. The extremely positive response from trade show attendees has once again exceeded our expectations. We thank everyone for the valuable discussions and the lively exchange of experiences,” concludes Luca Pellegrino, Director of Global Sales.


New management at Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd

New management at Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd

On 1 January 2024, the Swiss Headquarters Tool-Temp AG will acquire 100% of the shares of Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd, based in Singapore. Dereck Tan will take over the operational management of the successful Asian branch as the new General Manager.

The long-time shareholder, Hubert Nerlich, has transferred his shares to the Headquarters in Switzerland. However, he will continue to support Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd as a Director (Member of the Board).

We are delighted to announce that Dereck Tan, who has been with Tool-Temp for many years in Business Development and Sales, has joined Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd as General Manager. In his new role he will be responsible for the business development of Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd with its subsidiaries in China and Taiwan. “We wish Dereck Tan every success in his new role and look forward to working with him,” says Marco Pellegrino, Chief Sales Officer of Tool-Temp AG.

With this step, Tool-Temp AG is investing in an important and promising market and is looking forward to the further development and expansion of its business in Asia. Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd maintains a central warehouse with new equipment to serve customers in ASEAN as well as China, Taiwan and India. Cooperation with local distributors will be intensified and expanded.

Dereck Tan, General Manager Tool-Temp Asia Pte Ltd / Jasmine Koller, CEO Tool-Temp AG (Headquarter) / Marco Pellegrino, CSO Tool-Temp AG (Headquarter)