Baking & Snack - May 2018 - 116
nents of the production line. "The key benefit we can offer
is our ability to provide a seamless system solution to meet
each customer's individual needs," said Brian Barr, sales
manager, packaging systems, Heat and Control. "We have
the unique ability to handle baking and snack needs from
ingredients to processing all the way through packaging."
Getting the production line off to the right start when
it's commissioned requires a lot of upfront communication
about the product requirements as well as the equipment
itself. "Open communication between customers and vendors is super valuable" Mr. Gunnell said. "Equipment can
only do so much. Project managers and engineers have experience, but we have to talk about it"
The key is getting enough people involved in the
commissioning process and suppliers talking not just
to the customer but also to one another to bridge gaps
between equipment. "It starts up front with the project,
asking those right questions, getting not just one or two
people involved but getting quite a few people involved,"
Mr. Kehrli said. "We stress on our people from sales all
the way through service to make sure they're asking the
right questions and don't take everything as status quo."
For production lines that can't be sourced from a single
supplier, the Internet of Things (IoT) might be the future.
IoT enables equipment from different suppliers to communicate with each other, sharing data and directions. "If
your equipment notifies you of an impending component
failure, for example, and you, therefore, can avoid unscheduled downtime, that would be more important than
how many more bags per minute you can gain," Mr. Hart
said. He suggested the industry move in this direction or
at least create a more symbiotic relationships between different parts of the production line.
"For example, if the bagger manufacturer clearly understood the functional needs of the bag closer and vice
versa, and these criteria were clearly relayed to the line
operator, improvements and quality of the end package
is sure to be the result," Mr. Hart said.
Going with the flow
Automation works best with consistency, not just in
product sizes and shapes but also in production flow.
BAKING THE PERFECT PRODUCTS
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