Robotics at work

In the flatbread room, set at 80°F, two Sancassiano spiral batch mixers supply a Fritsch laminating line that’s identical to the one on the frozen dough bread line. To provide production flexibility, the bakery purchased an ample number of mixing bowls so that the dough can rest for anywhere from six to 45 minutes.

Following sheeting and cutting, the rectangular dough pieces continue to travel along a Fritsch cascading conveyor that’s inside a Fred D. Pfening proofer for 60 seconds or up to 13 minutes, depending on the product. After baking in a Babbco direct-fired tunnel oven, the freshly baked flatbreads head to a GEA enclosed spiral cooler.

From there, the flatbreads travel along four conveyors to a JLS Automation stacker where a seamless series of ABB robots neatly pick and place them. The stacks then return along two conveyors and eventually enter a Formost Fuji bagger and Kwik Lok closing system before metal detection and casepacking.

In the 45°F palletizing department, cases roll down Ryson spiral conveyors to one of two Fanuc robotic systems to be palletized and then to a holding freezer for eventual distribution via third-party carriers. As production ramps up even further, the room has ample space to add a third robotic palletizer.