For German baker, third is the charm

by Dan Malovany
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Wback GmbH's facility now produces more than 830 buns a minute or 50,000 buns an hour.

For Wback GmbH, one of Europe’s leading industrial baking companies, the third time was the charm when in 2014 it started up its newest high-speed bun operation at its 60,000-square-foot facility in Bonen, Germany. Although the company commissioned the line more than a year ago, Norbert Kugler, chief engineer, can remember it as if it happened yesterday. Why wouldn’t he?

“The first day on April 13, we ran test doughs,” Mr. Kugler recalled recently. “On April 14, we were selling product.” He paused for a second, maybe to add a little emphasis, and then uttered just three words: “Just one day,” along with a big grin.

Such a smooth start-up didn’t happen by chance, although any engineer will admit that it takes a little luck — and a lot of coordination — to get such an automated line up and running, especially one that now produces more than 830 buns a minute or 50,000 buns an hour.

According to Mr. Kugler, experience from lessons learned paved the smooth trail. As the company’s brochure states, “Once you’ve learned something, you don’t forget it.”

Find out more about Wback in Baking & Snack’s July issue as the latest in a series of features about some of the best bakeries in Europe leading up to the iba 2015 show, which runs Sept. 12-17 in Munich. For the latest registration and information on this year’s big bakery show, go to
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