Baking & Snack - May 2018 - 119
from one recipe to another, every minute a baker can save is critical," said
Bobby Martin, executive product manager, AMF Bakery Systems. "Each minute saved between two different recipes
is an additional minute of productivity."
Managing the human element
The major challenge changeovers bring
to a production line is the human element. "Production line quality comes
down to the effectiveness of the operators running the line," Mr. Fucetola
said. "The availability of people with
the right technical skills is becoming a
big issue in all industries, not just baking and snack."
With that in mind, BPA made its
mission to build machines that require
no operators, training or maintenance.
While the company doesn't always
achieve its goal, Mr. Fucetola said, it
gets close keeping that at the forefront.
"When we can't, we'll make everything
as easy as possible so whatever is left for
the operators to do or think about is as
easy as possible," he said.
This has led to an HMI that walks
operators through changeovers with
pictures and a mandatory checklist. The
checklist prevents operators from skipping important steps. BPA also enabled
its equipment to detect whether operators
have put the right parts in the machine.
An adjustable forming box gives operators more control
to adapt to inconsistent product sizes.
Sealstrip has built its applicators to
be easy-to-use, so there isn't a steep
learning curve for operators. "With our
innovative designs of retrofit applicators, there is no costly downtime, little
to no maintenance and incremental
energy usage," said Heather Chandler,
Other companies also have made
labor reduction a focus of their innovation. The Ishida ACP Case Packer introduced at SNAXPO18 is a fully automatic case packaging system developed
to not only increase the speed of snack
food packaging but also reduce the labor required.
Bettendorf Stanford focuses on
keeping machinery operator friendly because operators must keep the
equipment running properly every
day. "If they don't understand the
machine and how, why and when to
make adjustments, your scrap rate
will increase dramatically as your
speeds increase," said Justin Atkins,
director of sales.
Open communication, easy-touse equipment as well as consistent
baked goods and production can keep
things moving even through the end
of the line.