Every decorated product has its challenges. Consider cereal, granola, nutrition and sports bars. Many popular styles feature chocolate coatings on their bottoms and up their sides.

Topping and bottom systems do these jobs, and the chief problems they must address are tailing and rippling.

“When a bar enters the coating bath, it can act like a snowplow,” said Neil Anderson, director of business development, Axis Automation. That action produces undesirable ripples in the coating.

Tailing occurs when excess coating is pulled along after the bar leaves the coating bath. “Tailing wastes ingredients,” he noted. “And when tails harden, they create problems at the wrapper during packaging.”