Baking & Snack - May 2020 - 85

EQUIPMENT
Ingredient Handling

SPACE
in the margins

Unexpected growth can be a boon to a bakery's
business but only if growing pains are mitigated.

by Charlotte Atchley

W

When people panic, they buy bread. As the baking industry has seen with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, persistently declining bread sales were reversed
overnight as the industry worked around the clock to
keep store shelves stocked with bread and buns. This
boom in business on the retail side may have had some
bakeries looking at extra capacity well before they anticipated needing it.
As bakers expand their operations, they often will
look to add a new mixer or oven. However, if ingredient
handling isn't sized up when bakers need extra capacity,
it can lead to production slowdowns. The flexibility of
these systems makes them well-suited to work within a
bakery's limitations if a facility must expand storage capacity sooner than planned.

Starting at square one
As a bakery grows, the ingredient handling system has
to be expanded to keep up with the demands for more
ingredients, whether that means larger quantities or
more variety of ingredients.

"A lot of times the bakery has either added mixers or,
over time, has changed the product offering, and that
puts pressure on the ingredient delivery streams not
designed for that product's needs," said Eric Kartlick,
regional sales manager for North and Southeastern regions, Zeppelin Systems USA.
The pain point could be the minor ingredients, constantly changing to accommodate new products. These
are often specialty ingredients that are handled manually, and that slows the entire process down, actually reducing throughput. Or maybe if the bakery has added
mixers to accommodate more batches, the bulk delivery
system can't keep up. Whatever ingredient is holding up
the mixer is a good indicator of which system needs to
be upgraded first, Mr. Kartlick explained.
Before jumping into investing in new equipment,
there are things that bakers can try to squeeze more capacity out of their existing systems.
"Don't reinvent the wheel," Mr. Kartlick said. "See if a
number of small tweaks can get what the bakery needs.
Examples would be speeding up blowers, changing the

Bulk storage systems
can be placed outdoors,
which gives bakers the
advantage of flexibility
to expand capacity.
Shick Esteve

www.bakingbusiness.com / May 2020 Baking & Snack 85


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Baking & Snack - May 2020

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