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In the rabbit factory, the Christmas season starts now

The Hans Brunner GmbH is one of the world's market leaders in chocolate molds. On a visit to Glonn quickly becomes clear: The Easter Bunny don't exist.

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He has become an icon of modern pop culture and is commercially exploited as hardly a second fantasy figure: the Easter Bunny, the mythical creature that carries a basket full of colorful eggs around the it is hidden every year, on Easter Sunday in the gardens. Where this custom comes from, is not clarified until today, finally - what does the business with the enterprising long-ears detract from that. The employees of a major German clubs in glonn company is happy. The Hans Brunner GmbH is one of the world's market leaders in chocolate molds. And in the case of a visit quickly becomes clear: The Easter Bunny don't exist.

Christoph Schwaiger, sitting at the huge wooden Desk in the conference room of the company headquarters in Glonn. The 30-Year-old recently as the General Manager of the Board of management of the company. When he talks about the chocolate forms, then he acts like an old hand. "Easter and Christmas is of course our main business," says Schwaiger, was able to record with his company last again a record year. Since 80 years, the company, for about 50 years, it is home to approximately 150 employees in the tranquil town of Glonn. From there, the company exports its plastic products in the world - from North America to India to Saudi Arabia. Is produced all in Glonn. "From the first drawing to the finished product, everything happens here in the house," says Schwaiger, visibly proud of. So the Easter Bunny does not look the same from year to year, it needs creative minds.

The company Brunner brings the Easter Bunny in the Form and this is to be understood literally. Authorized signatory Christioph Schwaiger is a small selection of chocolate figures shows that owe their appearance to the creativity of the employees in Glonn.

(photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

One of them is Anton Asanger. On his Desk in the design Department of the company about 800 designs for new chocolate each year forms - most of them are produced at the end. A new Easter Bunny to develop, this is sometimes difficult, says Asanger. "There's only one requirement, such as: 'Easter Bunny, 60 grams is often a'. And then you have to look at what you're doing." The first draft of the design chief is a classic with a pencil on paper. Then, the figure with the help of Clay is formed - a kind of plasticine, which is also used in the car industry -. This serves as the Basis for the primary forms, from which later the real Chocolate.

The whole process takes place in close cooperation with the customer - of which there are at the Brunner GmbH three different types, such as authorized signatory, explains Schwaiger. The little pie maker from search mostly the standard models from the catalogue, while medium would order large companies, especially custom Designs. Large companies have their own development Department. "We then go over it all again and see if the designs are actually feasible," says Schwaiger.

This requires not only a steady Hand, but also the correct view. Both Thomas Lebetz. He stands in front of his movable Desk in the office premises of the product development and pulls the rabbit in the truest sense of the word the ears. On the screen of his computer, the gold-colored model of one of the Easter bunnies to see. With a digital pen, the product developer can change the figure as you like. "A bit of sense you have to have," says Lebetz while he snips carefully at the rabbits.

With the Software, which is used also by dental technicians, able to respond Lebetz and his colleagues precisely to the customer's wishes. "Once you wanted to have a rabbit with bigger eyes, so that he can color them correctly. Then we have modeled it." The rough draft with Clay, the PC is not a substitute for program. In order to work more precisely, with the help of clay it is but significantly faster.

Like an Egg the other? Because, even here there are differences.

(photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

speed is in the chocolate business, in part, a major factor. While some customers would order a year in advance, are other, often quite late. "We try of course to help even at the last second," says Christoph Schwaiger. In principle, the 30-Year-old is a long-term planning but rather. "For us, the Christmas season begins at Easter, actually," he says with a grin.

rabbits But back to Easter: During these periods in the upper floors of the company as plasticine or virtual model of a rather abstract existence, it is in the production hall on the ground floor, seriously. There is the smell of machined metal is in the air. In the Interior of large machinery, the printing plates are to be pressed are cut out, which in the next step, the plastic forms. Christoph Schwaiger remains one of the six milling machines and looks through one of the panes of glass. Behind it is a plate with a silver rabbit-shiny Easter to see, which is processed by a Burr automatically. "This is an order for next year."

Christoph Schwaiger with its 30 years, although still quite young in the business with the chocolate shapes he knows. His father, Rudolf Schwaiger, is a long-standing managing Director of the Hans Brunner GmbH, the Junior has already worked during his studies of business Informatics in the company. "The Trend is that products are getting smaller and smaller, and manufacturers, more and more of each other, want to stand out," explains Schwaiger. Just in the Easter business, however, there are also clear geographical differences. The rabbit was a typical Central European phenomenon. "Internationally, the Egg has the greatest importance."

just like with the hares, which a product developer Thomas Lebetz pulls on the 3-D model of the ears.

(photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

But whether it's Bunny or Egg, both of you get your appearance in Glonn. However, before the plastic molds in the world can be sent, you need to only be produced once. And that happens to either one of the seven injection molding machines or in the thermo press. Largely automatically, the forms of the huge machines out of the rattle, a robot checks it for errors. People need to take action here. However, stresses Schwaiger, you have to deleted no jobs. "We have not replaced the human by technicality, but the output is increased."

And even modern devices do not do without human support, proves a process mechanic Maik Thieroff. Standing next to a kind of furnace, in which he pre-heating the plastic sheet at about 250 degrees. Then he puts them in the so-called thermal press, in the from the top a heavy weight shuts down and the forms in the soft plastic presses. After about 80 seconds Thieroff takes the now cooled plate of the press and holds a ready-made Easter Bunny shape in the Hand.

it is the first pencil drawing to the extent that much time and still more steps were necessary. If Christoph is thinking Schwaiger about it, he has to laugh. Yes there's a lot behind it, what the end user can't see a stick. "Takes the chocolate and bites."

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