AMF Mixer
Mixers may need to be sanitized up to three times a day. Source: AMF Bakery Systems

Sanitation and maintenance contribute the most to mixer’s productivity — or lack of it. That’s why it’s so vital to take care of a mixer to ensure a production line keeps on humming.

“Depending on the products mixed and scheduling, the necessary downtime can greatly vary,” said Bobby Martin, executive product manager, AMF Bakery Systems. “As an example, in a situation of cross contamination, the sanitation process to clean mixers is not questionable. It is essential and could be necessary several times a day.”

On a dedicated, single-product line, he added, the amount of sanitation depends on its impact on product quality.

“Some bakers can go weeks without cleaning their mixers without having any impact on product quality,” Mr. Martin observed. “Operational processes may impact run times, but these can be controlled with fully automated systems when there is no variability to the systems’ function.”

It’s critical to design mixers for good sanitation access and to eliminate any internal harborage area, said John Hunter, sales account manager, bakery and ingredient handling, Bühler, Inc.

“This enables the operator to access the mixer for effective cleaning,” he said. “The sanitation procedures need to be focused on the particular issue to be addressed, for example, allergens or other risks.”

Koenig Bakery Systems offers its DW 240 Twin Twist Mixer in hygienic design. The mixer can be washed down using low-pressure water and features a machine head and frame in completely sealed and welded design.

“Koenig has worked out a revolutionary solution to realize a consistent hygienic design for various Koenig machines, which thus meets the highest international customer requirements for cleaning and maintenance,” said Richard Breeswine, president and chief executive officer, Koenig.

Zeppelin Systems USA developed a new wash-in-place method, which automatically cleans the mixer.

“However, the cleaning downtime really depends on internal quality assurance, and type of recipe determines if cleaning is required,” said Stephen Marquardt, sales director — food, Zeppelin Systems USA. “Otherwise recipe changeovers can be on the fly less than five minutes.”

VMI provides precise cleaning procedures to be performed daily between each production cycle.

“For more complex equipment, we offer a clean-in-place system,” said Terry Bartsch, president and c.e.o., VMI America, L.L.C. “Our experience in the demanding cosmetics industry allows us to provide the highest performance solutions in this respect. Our machines have been designed to eliminate any corners or crevices that would allow for any dough build up. At VMI, we carefully design and select our materials of construction based on how easy they are to clean and with food safety standards in mind.” 

Shaffer, a Bundy Baking Solution, was one of the first manufacturers to design mixers with open frames for improved sanitation. 

“Mixers designed with the open frame concept coupled with water tight enclosures for hydraulic and electrical components allow bakeries to spray down the mixer without risk to key components,” said Andrew McGhie, director of sales, Shaffer.  “The open frame design allows easy access for cleaning and eliminates hidden surfaces that can harbor bacteria.” 

According to Mr. McGhie, this allows customers to shorten sanitation time up to 75% and significantly reduce water usage. Additionally, Shaffer's bowl seal technology and retainable bowl hardware are easily cleaned and replaced. 

“Our rotary shaft seals are designed to be easily disassembled for sanitation and reassembled in minutes allowing frequent cleaning, reducing the risk of agitator shaft scoring, and assuring an effective seal,” Mr. McGhie added.

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