Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 98

featured technical expert Q&A
Dominick Fortuna
Volkmann
Dominick Fortuna's fascination with baking goes all the way back
to making ciabatta bread with his grandmother and pizzelles, a
traditional Italian cookie, with his aunt. But it wasn't the bread or
cookies that caught his attention.
" I remember being much more interested in sifting the flour
and figuring out how the oven worked, " Mr. Fortuna said. " They
never used a recipe; they just knew how to mix the ingredients
and knead the dough just right, and everything we baked came
out perfectly every time. I'm not sure how they'd feel about baking
almost anything automatically at the press of a button today,
but looking back at these early experiences with my family, it's
clear that I was meant to be involved in engineering. "
Mr. Fortuna attended New York-based Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute and graduated in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical
engineering, taking a position at a small bulk material
handling company soon after. He then served as project engineer
and project manager with a global machinery manufacturer.
Mr. Fortuna's role in the company eventually expanded, and
he moved from his engineering position in the United States to
a managerial role in Singapore and then Shanghai, where he received
a master's degree in international business strategy from
Rutgers University.
" As much as I naturally enjoyed designing and building machinery,
I found taking on exceptionally large projects and putHow
can you avoid combustible dust explosions? What
are some of the most common combustible dust hazards?
For an explosion to occur, an ignitable fuel source, oxygen and an
ignition source must all be present. In a bakery, grain dust, milk
powder or sugar in the air, on surfaces and/or on the floor may
provide the fuel source. The most common ignition source is an
electrostatic charge. These charges can develop any time a worker
manually empties a powder from a bag or bin into a mixer or hopper.
Sparks and hot surfaces like ovens or other equipment can also
ignite a dust cloud.
Keeping powders from escaping into the plant environment and
keeping the plant clean at all times are key practices for avoiding
explosions. Specific to conveying ingredients, open conveyors like
belt conveyors and bucket elevators allow powders and other dust
particles to collect on equipment and cloud the air. Besides the potential
for contamination, this creates a constant combustible dust
hazard that needs constant attention to cleaning.
Our conveying systems are fully contained so materials cannot
spill out or enter the plant environment, which removes the fuel
source from the equation. It also eliminates the ignition source so
that an explosion or deflagration simply cannot happen.
98 Baking & Snack May 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
ting together just the right team
of experts to get them done especially
rewarding, " Mr. Fortuna
said. " We would design and build
entire plants from scratch, for example,
from feasibility studies to engineering,
machinery specification, manufacturing,
installation, commissioning and
maintenance services. "
Mr. Fortuna continued to serve in engineering management
over the next decade until he was recruited to serve as president
of Volkmann's North America division. He jumped at the
opportunity.
" I was already familiar with their pneumatic vacuum conveying
systems and knew their technology was as good or better than
any conveying system in the market, " Mr. Fortuna explained.
As president, Mr. Fortuna gets to combine his passion for engineering
and his managerial expertise.
" As an engineer, I enjoy when a well-designed concept becomes
a reality in the plant. Seeing the equipment we discussed,
designed, manufactured and installed out in the field operating
as planned, and helping our customers gives me a great feeling
of satisfaction. As a manager, I enjoy seeing our people grow in
their positions as they take on new and bigger challenges. "
What are the benefits of using a pneumatic
vacuum conveying system?
Pneumatic vacuum conveying systems automatically and gently
transfer powders, seeds, nuts, mixtures and other products and
ingredients from one point in the process to another in a sealed,
contained system. This safeguards the ingredients from contamination,
safeguards workers from exposure to dust and promotes a
hygienic workplace.
As an automated system, it eliminates manual bag handling
along with its ergonomic issues and its explosive issues already
covered.
Instead of a worker carrying heavy sacks up to a mixer inlet and
emptying it in a cloud of dust, or using a lift truck to haul bulk
bags through the bakery to the mixer (or other equipment), the
bags can be automatically emptied from a bulk bag unloader directly
into the conveying system and transferred into the mixer at
the press of a button without exposing the ingredients to the plant
environment and without anyone lifting anything.
Production moves faster with consistent product quality, workers
are safer from dust and ergonomic hazards, and management gets
some protection against staffing issues.
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Baking & Snack - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - May 2022

Baking & Snack - May 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 3
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