Machinery and
Production

Maskiner og produktion
Maskiner og Produktion
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New technology and the development of machinery have been defining for the entire confectionery industry. Toms Group has played a vital role.

From Cooking Chocolate to Eating Chocolate

In 1924, the techniques used to produce eating chocolate, as we know it today, were still in development. Chocolate was primarily consumed as a beverage at home, made from packages with cooking chocolate purchased from the local store. With Toms’ first factory construction on Prags Boulevard in Amager, a clear vision emerged: Toms aimed to deliver high-quality eating chocolates.
The factory needed machines and skilled employees capable of handling the process involving cocoa beans, cocoa mass, and cocoa butter – blending, refining, conching, and tempering to achieve the desired structure of eating chocolate.
The result was chocolate renowned for its distinctive ”snap” and a texture that melted on the tongue. Soon, Danes could purchase Tommelise eating chocolate and many other exciting varieties from Toms Fabrikker.
Fra kogechokolade til spisechokolade
Tommelise-koge-spise-chokolade
Medarbejder-ved-valse

From Manual Labour...

In the 1920s and 30s, Toms employees had to use their physical strength many times a day.
Even though the steam boilers were running at high pressure, there was only engine power for a few stages in the production of sweets and chocolate, resulting in tireless lifting, turning, filling, and packaging.
Fyldning af chokolade med håndkraft

... to Modern Production

Moderne-NowaSol-medarbejder
Moderne-choko-bånd-sensor
Since then, the processes have gradually been automated, and today, most of the production and packaging is done using machines and robots, all structured on the assembly line principle.
There are many small steps in production, and a production line consists of various machine parts placed close to each other. Each machine part performs one task, and the product is shaped, molded, and packaged as it passes through the different parts.

The Pretzel Twister

In the first half of the 20th century, manual labor was a crucial part of the chocolate production. Among other things, Toms’s employees would knock the chocolates out of the molds by hand and shape chocolate pretzels with craftsmanship.
Kringler-50erne
Kringlemaskine
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The era of industrialisation brought a significant change by introducing the use of machines for production, intending to reduce human involvement in the processes. Especially following World War II, Toms invented and built several machines and production lines, including the ‘Pretzel Twister.’ An employee could handcraft 15 kg of chocolate pretzels in a single workday, but the new ´Pretzel Twister´ could produce four tons of chocolate pretzels in eight hours.
And as the name suggests, it could also twist the pretzels, not just mold them like competitors did. With technical creativity, the hand-crafted quality could be maintained.

Production Lines for Future Products

Already during World War II, machine development at Toms accelerated. Director Neergaard had a clear vision: After the war, Toms should provide new high-quality chocolate products at a low price, making them widely accessible.
This resulted in a busy period in Toms’ laboratory, where technical and product development went hand in hand. The outcomes were impressive, and with the new production lines, much larger quantities could be produced at the same time. This was evident on the moulding-line, where moulds could run continuously for hours, producing thousands of ’Skildpadder’ to the consumers.
From flat to tall turtles

The first ’Skildpadder’ from 1948 were flat and filled with rum cream. In 1967, caramel was also added to the ’Skildpadder’, and they became taller to accommodate both types of filling.

Skildpaddemaskinen
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Flade-Skildpadder

Three Factories for the Latest Technology

“Toms Factories needs a fully modern technical setup”. This was the argument from the original owners, Trojel and Meyer when they decided to build new factory buildings on Amager in the 1920s.
Optimate framework for new production technology and high product quality were also the drivers behind the next two factory constructions in the history of Toms Group.
Toms-Fabrik-Amager

1926 – Amager

Toms-Fabrik-Ballerup

1962 – Ballerup

Toms-Fabrik-Nowa-Sol

2019 – Nowa Sol

World famous architecture in Ballerup

During the 1960s and 70s companies moved their production sites outside the city centres to achieve room for machinery and streamlined production. The architect Arne Jacobsen made Toms’ new factory a breakthrough for Danish industrial construction. The white surfaces and strict expression of the production area has since garnered recognition from all over the world.

The transformation from open fields to chocolate factory in Ballerup was remarkable. Arne Jacobsen articulated: “All buildings may be called ‘architecture’ – if they are created properly. I am thinking of – if you are driving out of Copenhagen and seeing the factory building out there… – it’s generally nice.”

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