Because mixers can last for decades, durability should be a key consideration for bakers looking to upgrade machinery.

“As with any capital investment, I recommend bakers understand the options on the market and select robust equipment that will stand up to long-term use, offer them flexibility as their product offerings evolve in the future, and are supported by a team that can help them make their best products every day,” said Joe Cross, engineering and process manager, Zeppelin Systems USA.

Bobby Martin, executive product manager, AMF Bakery Systems, noted the DuraBowl mixer bowl design is engineered to support the heavy impact of bagel dough production, typically made with a triple roller bar agitator. The DuraBowl also comes standard with the sigma blade agitator for cookies, pretzels and bar dough blending processes.

Shaffer has made several advances to make its systems more robust. In addition to its VerTech jacket, which provides efficient cooling with greater bowl strength and longevity, Marc Ferree, sales engineer, Shaffer, a Bundy Baking Solution, noted that the company has focused on continually improving its frame design for its mixers to make them more durable.

To handle the stiffer doughs, Peerless Food Equipment strengthened all components from agitators, shafts, frames, drive systems and bowls to increase the rigidity, reliability and performance of its mixers. The Peerless KleanVue mixer comes with a stainless-steel frame composed of round, precision, laser-cut tubes with a slot-and-tab design to interlock the pieces into a strong, structural matrix.

“To distribute the physical loads from the drive components, the frame is designed to directly transmit all drive forces into the floor rather than through the vertical supports of the bowl,” said Rick Kesig, business unit technical advisor, Peerless. “This configuration significantly strengthens the frame, which reduces deflection and material stresses.”

Mr. Kesig added that the KleanVue mixer also isolates the drive forces from the mixer shaft with a misalignment coupling that extends the life of the gearbox, main mixer shaft, bearings and seals. The coupling also acts as a thermal insulator to eliminate heat transfer down the shaft into the dough.

In addition to outfitting its depositors and injectors with servo-driven motors that use less energy and offer more versatility and greater repeatability, E.T. Oakes switched to an air-purge shaft seal from a compression seal to enhance its slurry mixers’ long-term performance and prevent leakage out of the bottom of the tank.

“The air-purge shaft allows us to meter in a small amount of air resulting in a positive pressure in the seal gland,” explained Bob Peck, vice-president of engineering. “By having positive air pressure, the batter cannot enter the seal area because there’s a higher pressure keeping the batter out and eliminating any leakages altogether.”

Oakes also offers a new top-cover seal design for this mixer. The new seal prevents leaks when using high-velocity spray balls during a clean-in-place procedure.

“CIP is a very aggressive form of cleaning, sort of like a hurricane or tornado of water, so if you have any leak paths on that seal, it will find its way out,” Mr. Peck said. “Our new seal prevents any of that during sanitation.”

This article is an excerpt from the September 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on mixing, click here.