Made to measure: Modular vs. hybrid ovens

by Charlotte Atchley
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Koenig Oven
Modular and hybrid ovens give bakers flexibility precision as well as ease of installation and operation. Source: Koenig
 

Today’s technology gives bakers the ability to customize their ovens to a tee. Modular ovens help bakers get the exact length they need with easier installation and maintenance. Hybrid ovens help them achieve the perfect baking profile.

“Modular and hybrid ovens feature extreme flexibility,” said Richard Breeswine, president and chief executive officer, Koenig Bakery Systems. “Bakers decide what they need for their products in terms of baking temperature, baking time, baking surface, conveyor material, ratio of convection, radiant or contact heat and get exactly the right oven.”

Modular designs allow bakers to piece together an oven that delivers precise conditions instead of building it from the ground up in the bakery.

“When a customer demands a mix of cyclothermic and direct-fired baking conditions, it would be costly to develop a prototype from scratch for that particular oven,” said Ondrej Nikel, Ph.D., director of engineering, Topos Mondial Corp. “It is much more convenient to assemble the oven from modules dedicated to deliver those conditions. The result is a highly tailored baking technology.”

A custom solution

There’s a world of possibilities with modular ovens. Their nature allows bakers to get just the right length, burners and add-on easily in the future.

“All bakeries can benefit from a modular oven because it can grow as the company grows,” said Nathan Stockton, sales manager, Babbco.

Babbco OVen
Modular ovens make it easier to lengthen an oven at a later date if the bakery needs to grow to accommodate increasing production. Source: Babbco
 
Modular ovens come in pre-built sections of a determined length, such as 10, 30, 40 or even 60 feet. Bakers can take these sections and build their oven to the appropriate length for their space and bake time.

“Sometimes you’ll offer a baker a 120-foot oven, and they would love to have it, but they don’t have the room,” said Russell Garland, president, Advantech. “The next size down might be a 100-foot oven, but with 10-foot modules, we can give them a 110-foot oven and give them 10 more feet of baking. Every 10 feet is money in their pockets.”

This flexibility also gives bakers control over how long each zone is and how many burners are in each.

“With the old way of doing things, one section of the oven might have been 30 feet with one burner, but with some of the new modular stuff you can have multiple burner sections in the same space,” Mr. Garland said. Because of this flexibility and the ease with which modular ovens are manufactured and installed, they have become standard for Advantech.

Modularity also makes expansion easy.

“Modular tunnel ovens are usually easy to extend if production needs to increase,” said Dennis Kauffman, director of thermal technologies, AMF Bakery Systems.

This isn’t limited to just single-deck tunnel ovens, however. Multiple baking chambers can be added to modular deck ovens to increase scale. Koenig Bakery System’s MDI STRATOS indirectly heated multi-deck tunnel oven can feature up to six.

“Starting from one deck, the oven can be easily made higher and/or longer at any time by adding decks or modules to suit the needs and development plans of both small artisan bakeries and large industries,” Mr. Breeswine said.

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