Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 55

EQUIPMENT
Snack Processing
Doing More With Less
Snack producers search for greater automation to boost capacity
and meet consumer demand in the face of today's labor shortage.
by Dan Malovany
It's the best and worst of times for snack producers. On
one hand, sales remain consistently strong as consumers
appear to have a hefty appetite for indulgent and
better-for-you snacks. At the same time, however, it's not
uncommon for some companies to report that they had
to defer some business or delay expansions because they
didn't want to get caught shorting their loyal customers.
Too much demand always sounds like a good problem
to have in the short run, but ramping up production
with widespread staffing shortages makes that difficult
for many snack makers - and those workforce issues
aren't going away anytime soon.
" In today's COVID-19 environment, most snack companies
are having difficulty hiring enough labor to effectively
run their businesses, " said Don Giles, processing
systems, Heat and Control. " As a result, snack processors
are looking for ways to reduce labor. "
Specifically, he added, they're looking for new technology
that's bigger, faster and better, such as a 3,000 lbs
an hour production line that requires roughly the same
amount of labor to run as a 2,000 lbs an hour line. For
raw materials, automated storage-and-retrieval systems
as well as automatic sizing and grading reduce workloads.
Other technology provides the flexibility to season
and package several different product flavors at the
same time while minimizing downtime associated with
flavor changeovers. Some popular quick fixes include
automated case packing or user-friendly PLC control
systems that are easier to learn for newer hires.
Snack makers also seek to create smart workplaces
through investments in technology that maximize
productivity while creating a less rigorous
work environment.
" Today's labor market has snack manufacturers looking
for ways to simplify their processes, " said Nico Roesler,
North American pretzel and snack equipment sales manager,
Reading Bakery Systems. " They are struggling to
staff production lines, so equipment must run with fewer
operators per shift. New automated systems can make
those operators' jobs easier and safer, and these systems
can help plant directors reallocate the limited human resources
they have to other parts of the operation. "
Potato chip and
other snack
makers are turning
to technology
to enhance line
efficiencies and
capacity.
©aleksandar andjic/EyeEm -
stock.adobe.com
www.bakingbusiness.com / December 2021 Baking & Snack 55
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Baking & Snack - December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - December 2021

Baking & Snack - December 2021 - Intro
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 2
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 3
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 4
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 5
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 6
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 7
Baking & Snack - December 2021 - 8
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