I need to add either an enrober or a panner to do chocolate coat nuts. I would like to do 500 plus pounds per day. Would love to hear some pros and cons and suggestions.
If you are going to coat nuts, you are going to want either a conventional steel pan or what's called a horizontal belt coater. You cannot coat individual nuts using an enrober belt for several reasons, a) it does not work for round nuts; b) many nuts are too small; c) every piece will have flat bottoms and feet. Enrobing would be good for nut clusters – items that can't be engrossed using a pan.
Your daily production will depend on a couple of factors. The obvious variable is the size of the pan. The less obvious variable is the ratio of center to chocolate. The more chocolate, you want or need, the longer each batch will take. You should need to consider how many different items you will want to produce which will have an impact on how you schedule production. Once the chocolate step is done you need to add time for polishing and glazing covering in cocoa powder or sugar or whatever. It may make sense to get two pans, one for engrossing in chocolate and another for polishing/glazing/finishing.
Batches can take anywhere between 1 and 2 hours on average not including any time required for cleaning up between batches. If you are interested, there are now some vegan and gluten-, lactose-, and sugar-free glazes and polishes that are very good.
I'd surely stick with panning. Fast and a nice job when you learn to do it. There are 1.5M pans out there - don't even think of getting a small one! The bigger ones are easiest to use.
I have owned 600mm, 800mm, 1M and 1.25M pans and the 1.25M ones were my favourite ones. A 1.25M pan generally gave me 120Kg at a time for nuts and coffee beans.
The spelling and weight is what we use "down under" (I'm in Australia).