Orlando Baking invested in a new 1,600-lb mixer to boost capacity and enhance front-end quality control on one of its roll lines.
An orchestra of complexity

Orlando Baking’s 200,000-sq-ft facility houses a labyrinth of nine lines, including three for bread and four for buns and rolls. Additionally, the workhorse is a twin line that includes a Rheon V4 stress-free makeup system alongside a Mecatherm string line supplied by a VMI 1,000-lb-an-hour carousel mixing system. Both makeup lines feed a Mecatherm proofer and three-deck mesh tunnel oven. This oven was engineered to simulate the stone-hearth baking process to turn out its Pane Nicola and other ciabatta, baguettes and string items.

The facility also has an extensive garlic, butter and cheese topping operation for creating frozen breadsticks, knot rolls and Texas toast. Some 350 people, including 25 family members, work in various departments. Typically, operations run five to six days a week, depending on the production line and seasonal fluctuations.

“There’s a lot going on in this bakery,” John C. Orlando Jr., observed. “When we get these national accounts, we can operate more efficiently because we have longer runs and fewer changeovers. When you have a local restaurant chain with 10 units, it’s only about an hour’s worth of production before you have to changeover again.”

The bakery receives multiple flour deliveries a day from its local miller. White flour is stored in a Fred D. Pfening 180,000-lb silo; whole wheat in a 110,000-lb system. Because it turns out so many varieties, most minors and micros are manually pre-scaled with batches logged into a traceability system.

Typically, the older lines produce the short-run items. Meanwhile, Orlando Baking is investing in updating higher-speed lines to strategically drive efficiencies and bolster throughput. The operation relies on nine mixers, ranging from a Peerless 1,200-lb horizontal system to a new Shaffer, a Bundy Baking Solution, 1,600-lb horizontal mixer to drive capacity.

Over the years, Orlando Baking has made strategic investments to enhance quality and provide versatility as well. The company, for instance, added a Reiser Vemag 8-pocket divider to improve quality and drive much-needed capacity for subs, rolls and buns. Specifically, the custom-designed double-screw and two pairs of rounder bars — the latter for producing specialty products as well as conventional buns and rolls — increased volume by more than 60% to 496 pieces a minute from 304 pieces, according to John Anthony Orlando.

Such a step-by-step approach to capital investments remains an ongoing process. “We wanted to keep the texture and quality of our products,” he said. “It took a lot of work and trial-and-error.”

With future automation, the bakery also considers ease of maintenance and sanitation, then speed and output. “We then ask, ‘How is it going to work for us today, and how will it help us in the future?’ ” he added.

Versatility can be seen on Line No. 6. A Winkler divider can be converted to four pockets for 9-oz or larger dough pieces and switched to eight pockets for 1.2- to 5-oz items at up to 52 cuts a minute, noted Mike Reese, production manager. After an 11-minute intermediate proof, dough pieces can pass through a moulder or Kaiser stamper to create different roll styles.

A roller bar aligns the rolls as they march to a retractable conveyor and onto pans. Filled pans dwell in a tray proofer for 50 to 75 minutes at a low 58 to 62% humidity with temperatures varying from 105 to 112°F, depending on the product.

Many of its breads typically receive up to 90 minutes of proofing in an MCS (now part of the Kaak Group) tray proofer. Items such as rustic rye bread and other European-style products pass through Perfect Score systems. Several items also receive toppings from Burford seeders prior to baking.

On the Winkler roll line, items bake for 15 to 18 minutes in a Thermotron indirect-fired oven, one of four such tunnel ovens that range from 60 to 100 ft long. In addition to the Mecatherm three-deck oven, the bakery also operates a Baker Perkins direct-fired oven. The facility houses seven IJ White spiral coolers, including rest-and-proof intermediate systems and multiple spirals for ambient cooling after baking. Products also cool on a G&F spiral system while Capway and Perfect Score supply conveyor technology throughout much of the operation.


Learn all about Orlando Baking's packaging lines in the next segment.