Orlando Baking overwraps its sliced 1-lb probiotic breads before bagging to maintain freshness of the premium products.
Providing packaging priorities

Frozen garlic toast continues to be a growing part of Orlando Baking’s business, especially as it transitions into co-manufacturing for other companies as well as producing private label products. In fact, the bakery has three makeup lines that create a wide variety of flavored toast, bread sticks and rolls.

Many of these frozen products enter one of two IJ White spiral blast freezers outfitted with Intralox DirectDrive systems that eliminate overdrive by using positive drive to engage the belt edge directly with the drum, even when butter or other coatings are present. Prior to installing the belt, the butter from the toast caused a series of problems, including slipping, surging and misalignment that resulted in significant downtime, especially as products entered the stackers, according to John Anthony Orlando. This freezer now operates with no drum-belt edge friction. “It has made a world of difference,” he said.

In a separate room, Orlando Baking creates its popular split and topped ciabatta rolls that are hand-fed into a proprietary system that spreads and aligns the individual pieces. They then pass through a waterfall of in-house-made garlic and butter with the option to top with grated parmesan cheese. The coated toast passes through Ilapak Carrera and Delta wrappers, then to an Adco cartoner, finally to a Combi case packing system.

Packaging remains the biggest frontier for driving future efficiencies. During the past six months, John Anthony Orlando pointed out, the bakery has realigned its packaging department to reduce bottlenecks and synchronize speeds with the often higher-volume production lines.

“The bulk of our investments have been in the back end to improve efficiencies,” he said. “We’re pretty efficient up front.”

The bakery relies on a battery of UBE bread slicer/baggers, Formost Fuji baggers and Kwik Lok closures. The packaging department also has a relatively new LeMatic bulk pillowpacker that allows it to better play in the QSR channel. Its line of probiotic breads and other premium sliced items are overwrapped then bagged to ensure freshness, John Anthony Orlando noted.

During the past few years, the company has added a battery of Combi case erectors as the business shifted to more frozen goods. Fresh products are placed in baskets or trays for delivery on about 60 local routes. Orlando Baking plans to further invest in automatic palletizing to reduce labor and congestion in the back end of the house. Meanwhile, a Toolbox warehouse management system provides automated inventory, storage, order-picking and route distribution capabilities for local deliveries throughout the region.

Tracking continuous improvement

In such a multifaceted operation with more than 250 varieties of baked goods, ensuring BRC compliance, lot tracking and the other vital components of quality control requires constant monitoring, according to Paul Storsin, quality assurance manager.

On the raw or par-baked side, the sequential protocol starts with lot tracking and batching of ingredients through mixing, followed by hourly monitoring of divider weights and sizes as well as the length and width of moulded pieces. Next comes the tracking of proofer and oven temperatures, humidity, times and other conditions. “If you meet all of these parameters, you should end up with a perfect bun or roll,” Mr. Storsin said, “but then you have all of these other parameters after the products bake in the oven.”

After packaging, the bakery scores the finished products three times an hour. “If the roll or bun is too wide, too long or too short, you may have an issue with the proof box,” he noted. “The more you check your products, the less you will have to discard, and that’s how the company makes a profit.”