Baking & Snack - May 2020 - 36

TIPPIN'S PIES

Left: Fruit pies are filled,
topped with crust and
crimped before baking.
Right: One of the biggest
changes is the tunnel
oven ... a far cry from
manually loading pies
onto a carousel oven.

and construction, Mr. Boyer was faced with a difficult
decision: Disrupt production in the height of pie season
or hold off on the move until after the first of the year. He
took the safe bet and went with the latter.
"There's an expression, 'You don't build a church for
Easter Sunday,' " Mr. Boyer said. "Well, you don't build a
pie factory for the fourth quarter, either."
Tippin's teammates moved into their new home on
March 2, and as they ramp up production of nearly 100
SKUs, or roughly 30 varieties in multiple sizes, it won't
be long before pie season is upon them once again.
On one hand, some might see waiting to move as suffering a setback.
"It's one of those things you can't help but secondguess yourself," Mr. Boyer said. " 'Should we have done
it? Should we not?' It did cost money to have two bakeries for six months, but it was the right thing to do."
Ultimately, the bakery took advantage of the time to
stage the move and train teammates on the new equipment before startup.
"We did a lot of training to get to know the equipment,"
Ms. Mangiaracino said. After she identified Rita Lopez as
a team lead, she and Sonia Irigoyen, production supervisor, built a core team to learn the new process first by taking them to the new bakery every day for training.
"Sonja's been really receptive about wanting to learn,
and that's been nice," Ms. Mangiaracino said. "We got familiar with the equipment and new process, and then we
were able to pass that knowledge on to everyone else. It
was scary for everyone - the unknown - but once they
got to know it, they did great."
One of the most impactful changes was going from
the carousel ovens to a Baker Thermal 85-foot gas-fired
tunnel oven with 60 burners.
"The hardest part for them was taking what they had
been doing for so long and learning how to do it in a
new kind of oven," Ms. Mangiaracino said. "They had to
learn how to adjust the zones, temperatures and burners
to get the same result as the old one."
Getting to know that technology not only took time,

36 Baking & Snack May 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

but it also required a lot of hands-on practice.
"We test ran shells, fruit pies and French silk pies,"
Ms. Mangiaracino said. "I don't want to be the only
one who knows how to run the equipment. They have
to know how to run it without me. And how great is it
to see somebody pick up what you're training them on
and then watch them take over and own it? The training
time also gave us time to work out kinks or mechanical
problems before we moved in."

A new era of automation
Anything unknown is naturally a scary thing, and
Tippin's teammates didn't know what to expect from
the upgrades that also included a Colborne pie line,
Topos Mondial dough handling equipment and a
Unifiller depositing system that incorporated Apex
robotics for finishing cream pies.

"OUR CRUST IS ONE OF
THE GREATEST THINGS
ABOUT TIPPIN'S PIES ...
WE GO TO GREAT PAINS
TO TAKE CARE OF OUR
DOUGH, AND IT PAYS OFF."
Mark Boyer, Tippin's
It's not just the intimidation of learning something
new, but it's also the fear of what automation will do to a
mostly manual workforce. However, Mr. Boyer's plan to
increase efficiency did not mean he wanted to shrink the
number of teammates. He did, however, intend to make
life easier for them.
"We did everything by hand," he said. "If we were
making cream shells, we loaded them by hand and took
them out the same way. The decorators creamed the pies


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - May 2020

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