Although its current dividers run at such high speeds in continuous 3-shift operation that they seldom cause bottlenecks, Bruce Campbell, vice-president, dough processing technologies, AMF Bakery Systems, Richmond, VA, said operating rate is so important that AMF is looking at ways to push speeds over an ever-higher threshold.

He also predicted that AMF will continually seek ways to improve sanitation and maintenance of dividers as well as to integrate them with continuous mix systems because these are the “logical future step for high-speed lines.” However, he noted that continuous mixers also will reduce product mix flexibility.

To meet bakers’ expectations, John McIsaac, vice-president of business development, Reiser, Inc., Canton, MA, said equipment manufacturers will continue to advance divider technology to meet customers’ values. “Weight control is going to continue to get tighter, and product quality from the dividers will continue to improve,” he said. “Sanitation standards will continue to rise.”

Belshaw-Adamatic Bakery Group, Auburn, WA, is developing dividers to handle softer doughs. “We are working on that engineering, and it may change the way we handle the dough,” said Merle Cooper, Adamatic Midwest sales manager.

Bakers will continue to need easier-to-clean dividers, according to Mark Rosenberg, CEO of Gemini Bakery Equipment Co./KB Systems, Philadelphia, PA. “Even large industrial bakeries are now producing a much wider range of products and dough types,” he said. “Every bakery has its core high-volume products but is being required, more and more, by its customers to also offer a much wider range of dough types that must be produced in smaller batches. Reducing a bakery’s product changeover and sanitation time is every manufacturer’s ongoing challenge that would bring substantial benefits to our clients.”