Baking & Snack - March 2021 - 67

EQUIPMENT
Ingredient Handling

THE SILO MENTALITY
It takes just a little creative thinking to unravel the mysteries
behind maximizing the capacity of ingredient handling systems.
by Dan Malovany

S

Space is always considered the final frontier when it comes
to bolstering capacity in bakeries and snack operations.
That hurdle became especially apparent after the pandemic
resulted in a surge in demand for retail breads and other
packaged baked goods. Enterprising bakers immediately
ramped up production but soon discovered a slew of bottlenecks in their production lines.
As bakers shifted operations and added more mixing,
dividing and other systems, the capacity-boosting equipment worked perfectly well until these bakers identified an
unexpected choke point in the front of the process. That old
reliable ingredient handling system just couldn't keep up.
" This is a death sentence for your current batching process since being a major impediment to your company's
growth is not something you want to be accountable for, "
said Don Goshert, vice president and general manager,
Sterling Systems & Controls.
Ingredient handling systems in legacy bakeries face a
host of challenges. Some are safety issues, said Tom Leach,
national sales manager, pneumatic conveying systems,
Camcorp, a division of Scheuch GmbH.
" Many of these bakeries need new explosion protection,
whether it's an explosion panel, chemical isolation, abort
gates or some type of suppression equipment on the ingredient handling systems, " he explained. " Some of these bak-

eries are still operating with ingredient handling systems
from 10, 15 or 20 years ago that aren't in compliance now.
A motivating factor for a baker who wants to upgrade an
aging system would be concerns that they are not in compliance with OSHA regulations. "
There are many other signs of when a system
needs upgrading.
" Increased ingredient demands, loss of efficiency as
equipment nears end-of-life or changing process requirements are the most frequent reasons that we see upgrades
needed, " noted Jason Stricker, director of sales and marketing, Shick Esteve.
Another reason often involves cost control.
" Operationally, it can become more expensive to keep
an older system running than to purchase a new one, " said
Zach Turner, sales engineer, AZO Inc. " If the system is
very old and requires a great deal of maintenance attention, it can become a money pit eating away at valuable
time, costs and resources on each and every shift. This
alone eats away at profits, not to mention the extravagant
costs for obsolete spare parts. "
He added that an upgrade will very likely increase
throughput, improve energy efficiency, and decrease operational costs related to maintenance and controls.
Software updates also can enhance efficiency.

Bakers should think
three dimensionally to
creatively add capacity
in bakeries where there
might be restricted
space for expansion.
B├╝hler

www.bakingbusiness.com / March 2021 Baking & Snack 67


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Baking & Snack - March 2021

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Baking & Snack - March 2021 - Intro
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