Creative use of space

With such a sweeping agenda, Turano Florida Bun, as the Orlando operation is called within the company, faced a significant hurdle: space inside the building. The original high-speed line took up 65% of the square footage in the facility. Back in 2009, Turano Baking anticipated it might install a hearth line. However, as customer priorities and market demands shifted, the biggest challenge eventually became how to add as much bun and premium roll capacity — combined with flexibility — in a limited area.

“When we designed the facility, we accommodated enough space for a second line,” noted Anthony Turano, director of administration. “We didn’t know exactly what type of second line we’d install. We mocked up some thoughts at that time and said, ‘We’ll make it fit. No problem whatsoever,’ and sure enough, we made it fit.”

Or as Joe Turano joked, “We shoehorned it in.”

Again, the management team turned to its contractors and equipment suppliers for help in resolving this Rubik’s Cube. Monthly meetings soon accelerated into twice-a-month gatherings.

“We’d walk through the plant and through the line — piece by piece — and everyone got to put their two cents in,” Mr. Kozloski said. “We debated the pluses and minuses of everyone’s ideas until we came up with a design we liked.”

In all, it took 24 drafts before Turano Baking settled on the final option. Initially, the goals were modest, but as new ideas came forth, scope creep took over. At one point to maximize vertical space, the project team toyed with building a huge mezzanine to house all of the production equipment — much in the way old-time bakeries operated in multi-story buildings.

“Somewhere between drafts 10 and 14, we saw some practicality of the operation set in,” Mr. Kozloski recalled.

To make the most of space available, the bakery tore down its original production office.

“We now have a modular office,” Mr. Mitchell said. “We had to be quite creative.”

That creativity extends to the practical use of vertical space, Anthony Turano said. The new line’s spiral cooler sits on a mezzanine platform. The facility now has six HVAC units, which are vitally important for maintaining product quality and workplace comfort in hot, humid Florida. The new units rest on a platform over the Workhorse Automation pan storage-and-retrieval system, which serves both lines.

“It was definitely a jigsaw puzzle,” Mr. Mitchell observed.

In most cases, he noted, Turano Baking kept with the same vendors it used for the original line. That allowed it to add redundancy as a part of its contingency plan and streamline its spare parts inventory by having more interchangeable replacement parts for both lines. Some components, such as its Shick USA liquid brew, Laramore flour recovery and Stewart Systems bulk packaging systems, can serve either production line.

Another benefit involved skilled labor. Historically, Mr. Mitchell said, Turano Baking had always done a good job cross training. When starting up the second line, the company assigned three “general helpers” who were thoroughly knowledgeable about operating everything from mixers and dividers to packaging — and put them in charge of training the first, second and, soon, third shifts.

Moreover, the company upgraded its human machine interface (HMI) systems on both lines to provide better quality control and reduce downtime.

“The HMI is all top-of-the-line,” Mr. Kozloski said. “They’re all networked with one another. If one fails, we can control that system from any other HMI terminal in the plant.”