Downtime and changeovers are the biggest challenges to continuous production and impossible to eliminate altogether. Bakers can take steps either through equipment choices or operational strategies to minimize interruptions.

“High-speed lines are designed to run continuously, in some cases for days or weeks at a time,” said Bruce Campbell, vice president, dough processing technologies, AMF. “Therefore, any time a high-speed line is stopped, there is some loss in efficiency, and product quality may be inconsistent on start-up with a new product.”

He recommended smaller batch sizes and equipment designs that can improve efficiency. AMF dividers minimize dough waste at the changeover, and the Accupan is designed to automatically run out the system before shutting down for a new product. Hoists and mounting for moulder boards, splitters and imprinters can also optimize changeovers when designed properly. And the power of the HMI recipe management system cannot be overstated.

“Easy HMI recipe management setting all parameters on a line means a single operator can easily make the changeovers efficient,” Mr. Campbell said.

Minipan eliminated downtime by designing the Raffinatore to mount one or two moulding devices and a rounder. With this setup, bakers can produce moulded bread and rolls as well as buns without downtime for changeovers.

Gemini’s variety of production lines are designed to require minimal tools or technicians for changeovers. This simplifies changeovers between products and reduces the time it takes to execute them.

Reiser’s Vemag double-screw is designed so that a baker can switch from a soft tight-crumb hamburger bun to a stiff open-crumb pub-style bun in just a few minutes.

To provide bakers the flexibility they need, Sottoriva offers its Athena Large plus model divider/rounder, which can convert from a six pocket divider to a one pocket divider. The company’s equipment is versatile enough to handle a wide range of dinner rolls, buns, Kaiser rolls or baguettes at capacities between 2,000 and 16,000 pieces per hour.

When it comes to keeping up with capacity demands while also turning out quality product, bakers must consider the entire line — every piece of equipment. With every machine optimized and production moving continuously, bakers find the perfect balance between high speeds and high quality.    

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