Baking & Snack - July 2021 - 96

featured technical expert Q&A
LOU SCHWARTZ
GEMINI BAKERY EQUIPMENT/KB SYSTEMS
After receiving his degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh
University in 1989, Lou Schwartz started his career in the field of
bulk solids handling with Fuller Co. (FLSmidth Inc.).
" During the interview process, I was shown a Fuller Airslide
test unit, and actually seeing the concept of fluidization of solids
in action really piqued my interest, " Mr. Schwartz said. " The rest
is history. "
His first position was as a project engineer in the R&D facility,
where Mr. Schwartz performed testing of a variety of bulk solids
for pneumatic conveying and blending properties. Testing of
these materials was done in either pilot or full-scale systems.
Over time, Mr. Schwartz said he was fortunate to gain experience
in many different industries, including cement, minerals,
power, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical.
" I gained a system-level perspective on the processes that
were joined to the bulk solids handling systems, and therefore
developed an appreciation that
the design of the conveying or
blending system needed to also
consider these adjacent connected
systems, " he said.
After 30 years with FLSmidth, Mr.
Schwartz accepted an offer to run the
Ingredients Handling Systems group for KB
Systems Inc. and Gemini Bakery Equipment Inc. He said it was a
challenge he readily accepted.
" I learned quite a lot since then about the bakery industry and
have found it to be an interesting career move, " Mr. Schwartz
said. " While pneumatic conveying and solids handling are certainly
a large part of the ingredients handling world, bakery, like
each of the other industries in which I have worked, has its own
unique aspects and challenges. "
What are the Top 3 challenges bakers bring to you?
First, retrofits or add-ons to existing systems are common requests.
The key issues when working with an existing system are often
maintaining the performance of the existing equipment and integration
of new equipment into existing control architecture. Many
bulk systems are designed with the equipment originally supplied
as the only design basis. The conveying system must be evaluated
carefully so that the added equipment will function as required,
but also that the existing equipment performance is unaffected. As
part of the overall scope of supply, installation and startup, coordination
is also very important because a bakery often must continue
to operate while installing and commissioning the upgraded
equipment. This means that close cooperation between the client
and our people is essential.
Second, controls upgrades are another common request. With
ever-changing and advancing control equipment such as PLCs
and HMIs, it seems that control systems become outdated more
quickly than ever. Further, with upgraded controls, clients often
want much more information than previously required for a variety
of reasons, including food safety, batch tracking and inventory
control. As with the mechanical equipment retrofits, minimum
downtime is usually a consideration, and therefore some of the
same issues apply. Perhaps this is even more important in a control
system upgrade.
Third, we are seeing a marked increase in requests for retrofitting
systems with safety equipment related to National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) standards. This can be a significant
challenge, since there are many different AHJ (Authority Having
96 Baking & Snack July 2021 / www.bakingbusiness.com
Jurisdiction) entities depending upon company and location. Also,
while the NFPA standards are very thorough documents, in any
given situation there can be some interpretation of what will apply
or be exempt. An example is how an area is classified related to the
National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). Depending on interpretation
of the conditions of an area, it may be deemed a Class II, Division 1
or Division 2; these two divisions have some significantly different
requirements in terms of the type of electrical equipment that may
be used. Therefore, there is usually a fair amount of investigation
required prior to supplying a solution.
How are the needs for artisan and specialty bakers
different from high-volume operations?
From an ingredient handling perspective, artisan and specialty
bakers typically do not require the storage capacity or volume of
ingredients that a high-volume producer would require. For example,
a specialty bakery may only require a single truck delivery
of flour per week, while larger high-volume producers may require
more than one truck per day. Often the capital equipment budgets
are significantly different as well, so this is obviously a consideration
in selecting suitable components for a system. All these factors
must be considered in determining the design of the best system
for the customer.
What tools do bakers have to provide food safety and
quality control during the ingredient handling stage?
Many options are available to track ingredients, both bulk and
minor, as they work their way through a baking operation. From
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Baking & Snack - July 2021

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Baking & Snack - July 2021 - Intro
Baking & Snack - July 2021 - 1
Baking & Snack - July 2021 - 2
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