Despite all the advances in robotics, digital controls and other forms of technology, the broad-based initiative toward sanitary design is perceived as one of the most brilliant moves by the industry when it comes to improving food safety and the overall baking process.

“The greatest advancements over the years relate to hygiene,” noted Hans Besems, executive product manager for AMF Tromp, an AMF Bakery Systems brand. “Specifically, the components are easier to access for cleaning but are also designed to minimize buildup of debris. Tools are easily changed by trolley to avoid lifting by hand, which can often result in damage to components.”

On sheeting and laminating systems, Rademaker USA offers Unique Fit Tooling to ensure that operators put the tools back in the proper place after sanitation or a changeover occurs.

“This reduces loss of time and material, which are two of the most important resources in bakeries,” said Nick Magistrelli, vice president of sales, Rademaker USA.

Likewise, Rondo offers tooling that’s marked with codes to ensure the right tool is used. Coen Nikkels, manager of marketing and business development, Rondo Industrial Solutions, observed that the control system checks the mounted tooling after a product change and notifies operators when incorrect tools are mounted.

From a maintenance perspective, Rheon’s systems can be controlled and monitored remotely with a tablet.

“We can also provide remote service and troubleshooting as long as the bakery enables its internet connection,” said John Giacoio, vice president of sales, Rheon USA. “Engineering is usually looking for the most trouble-free line, but other departments are looking at product quality, ease of operation and fast changeover times.”

To protect workers, almost all equipment comes with safety interlocks. The problem appears when one of those safeties fails on a production line that contains hundreds of them.

“We have a safety PLC that pinpoints where the faulty safety is geographically on the interface to tell you if a switch is bad or if something else is wrong like a failed component,” said David Moline, vice president of sales and marketing, Moline Machinery. “Many times, it would take several hours of downtime to figure that out, and we can tell the operator what’s wrong right away, and maintenance can change the switch within minutes to get the line back up and running.”

This article is an excerpt from the  August 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on sheeting and laminating, click here.