Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 94

Left: Robotics and other
forms of automation
reduce labor and
logjams in the
packaging department.
BluePrint Automation

Right: The pandemic
taught snack producers
about the need to
"future proof" operations
and meet changing
market dynamics.
TNA

"We had a number of folks saying, 'I've got to have it
tomorrow,' and that's been the biggest bottleneck for us,"
said Dennis Gunnell, president, Formost Fuji. "Our production schedule was already busy, and to try to accommodate the new requests while dealing with COVID was a
big challenge. Most of our customers are doing individually
wrapped because that's what our machines are perfect for.
Some wanted to do more, but normally, that means adding
more people. I've been impressed with how flexible companies have been because we're all in a tough situation with
COVID. We're going to have delays and challenges that we
have never had before in production, with us as well as with
our customers."

Needing a short-term fix
Perhaps the biggest Catch-22 during the early stages of the
pandemic involved adding more labor with new requirements for physical separation and greater operating expenses to ensure workers' safety.
"Many short-run efficiencies were lost from labor shortages and scrambling to implement social distancing protocols, thus requiring more real estate to pack products,"
Mr. Hogue said.
Mr. Kehrli pointed out that single-plant bakeries catering to the restaurant industry struggled to place products in
clamshells and other packaging.
"They're scrambling, probably buying used or less-automated equipment, which is the right thing to do at this time
but probably not for the long run," he said.
Mr. Gunnell said others tried to repurpose equipment that had been designed for one product and use it
for another.
"Companies are buying machines that were not ideal
for their products," he said. "We have had requests for new
applications with our existing machines or requests for
used machines. A lot of times, that's not the best solution,
though, because while they can get the equipment they

94 Baking & Snack September 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

want more quickly, what they often get instead is a bunch
of headaches until they automate their line or purchase new
equipment that better fits what they need."
Mr. Schildknecht said band sealers and other systems
may offer a short-term solution.
"The first hurdle of individual packaging can be overcome by using pre-made bags," he said. "Hand-fed flowwrappers are another packaging option for individually
packaged portions during the ongoing pandemic."
In some bakeries, Mr. Kehrli observed, bottlenecks include a combination of complications.
"The first bottleneck is literally the space of the building,
and the second is the short runs and changeovers that the
smaller bakers need," he said.
Cavanna offers the Twin Slim wrapper, which puts two
wrappers in the footprint of one. However, Mr. Kehrli said
space-saving equipment is most effective when it's part of a
larger, turnkey solution.
"They don't have the resources and the time now, and
they underestimate the value of a true-engineered start-tofinish solution," he said. "In most instances, smaller bakeries are less competitive because of all the labor that they
have to put into packaging, their products end up costing
more than factory-made products."
Mr. McConnell said Matrix offers a "stock" machine
program that has helped snack manufacturers ramp up
production on their vertical form/fill/seal lines. Moreover,
ProMach's TYJ automatic pouch units also offer a quick alternative by relying on premade packaging to fill pretzels,
trail mixes and other types of snacks.

'Future-proofing' an operation
Creating a versatile packaging department requires extensive preparation, especially for bread or snack operations
with dozens of SKUs.
"The challenge with focusing on efficiency and automation is that you lose some of your flexibility unless you


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - September 2020

editorial - When 'unprecedented' becomes the status quo
newsfront
In brief/people
trends snapshot news
Special report: Incubators -- A brand-new beginning
Operations: Muffin Town -- New rules for schools
Trends: Pretzels -- back in the spotlight
Formulation: Fats & oils -- Dialing into functionality
Formulation: Sourcing & Supply Chain -- Global web of ingredients
Equipment: Pizza tech -- Piling it on
Equipment: Mixing -- Keep your cool
Equipment: Finishing -- Seeking the perfect touch
Operations: Augmented & virtual reality -- Playing pretend
Equipment: Bottlenecks -- Breaking the bottleneck
Events
Innovations
Featured technical expert
Ingredients & formulating
Equipment & packaging
Patents
New on the shelf
New product spotlight -- A change of pace
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 2
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 3
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 4
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 5
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 6
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 7
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 8
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 9
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - editorial - When 'unprecedented' becomes the status quo
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 11
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - newsfront
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 13
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 14
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 15
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - In brief/people
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - trends snapshot news
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Special report: Incubators -- A brand-new beginning
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 19
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 20
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 21
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 22
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 23
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Operations: Muffin Town -- New rules for schools
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 25
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 26
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 27
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 28
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 29
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 30
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 31
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 32
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 33
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 34
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Trends: Pretzels -- back in the spotlight
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 36
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 37
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 38
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 39
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 40
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 41
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 42
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Formulation: Fats & oils -- Dialing into functionality
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 44
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 45
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 46
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 47
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 48
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 49
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 50
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Formulation: Sourcing & Supply Chain -- Global web of ingredients
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 52
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 53
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 54
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 55
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 56
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 57
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 58
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Equipment: Pizza tech -- Piling it on
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 60
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 61
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 62
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 63
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 64
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 65
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 66
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 67
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 68
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Equipment: Mixing -- Keep your cool
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 70
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 71
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 72
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 73
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 74
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 75
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 76
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 77
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 78
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Equipment: Finishing -- Seeking the perfect touch
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 80
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 81
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 82
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 83
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 84
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 85
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 86
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Operations: Augmented & virtual reality -- Playing pretend
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 88
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 89
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 90
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Equipment: Bottlenecks -- Breaking the bottleneck
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 92
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 93
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 94
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 95
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Events
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 97
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 98
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Innovations
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Featured technical expert
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 101
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Ingredients & formulating
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 103
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Equipment & packaging
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 105
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 106
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 107
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 108
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - Patents
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - New on the shelf
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 111
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 112
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 113
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 114
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 115
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 116
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 117
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 118
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 119
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 120
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 121
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - New product spotlight -- A change of pace
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 123
Baking & Snack - September 2020 - 124
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