Freshly baked sweet goods can be diverted to either a clamshell packaging line or cartoning. For the bulk of in-store bakery accounts, the Danish travel single-file are automatically placed in the clamshell packaging before closing and labeling. The Kliklok cartoner primarily serves the co-manufacturing customers. Because the sweet goods are baked in metallic foils, the bakery uses a Loma X-ray system to examine sweet goods as they flow off the line.
A Wexxar/BEL case erector streamlines the operation, but the sweet goods are still manually casepacked before palletizing.
“Because our products are freshly baked and delicate, we did a lot of research on finding the best packaging to protect the products during shipping,” George Caparos said.
For quality assurance, croissants and sweet goods throughout the bakery are pulled off the line every 15 minutes for scoring and testing. On the Danish line, operators routinely weigh the products to check for the proper application of fillings, icing, toppings and other components
To prepare for an orderly start-up of the new Pleasant Prairie bakery, several supervisors received training for a few months.
“We want them fully integrated into Gold Standard Baking and what we’re all about so that there is a smooth transition at the new facility,” Mr. Shelley said.
The key to a smooth start-up involves relying on those best practices that made the company successful in the first place.
“The plan is to take those good things that we are doing and transfer them to the new location,” Mr. Dearduff explained. “And this new location is going to take us to a different level, whether it’s better efficiency, quality, manpower, production or whatever the case may be. We need to keep doing what we’re best at, and then improve on it once the new plant is in place. Eventually, we can take what we’re doing best in the new Pleasant Prairie bakery and then transfer this back to the Chicago plant. We’re improving our operations at both plants at some point.”
In many ways, the new bakery is the start of a new era for Gold Standard Baking. As Yianny Caparos likes to say, “It’s all about having that ‘can do’ attitude.”