Pro Tip: Follow these suggestions that require new equipment to meet specific performance criteria that are based on the latest safety and sanitation standards and reflect today’s demanding, 24/7 bakery operations.


While my last Pro Tip focused on submitting a capital requisition and upping your chances for approval, this one centers on writing proper asset performance criteria and performance expectations.

What does success with your asset look like to you? This is a question that should be considered based on the entire life expectancy of the asset — not just the upfront purchase price.

Opting to save some money now can end up costing you more overall if the asset is always needing repairs or downtime thanks to cheap construction. However, the most expensive machine won’t always be the best bet.

For example, imagine you purchase a new batching system for your plant. You need to specify things, such as number of ingredient majors and minors, accuracy, delivery rate, sifting, dust control, lot tracking, hands on, weigh then discharge or metered, and more.

Often important elements are overlooked, and you can end up with a system that doesn’t allow for cost-effective accuracy and quality. You could potentially have a system that won’t keep up with your future needs as it relates to rate, allocations, accuracy or life expectancy.

Other areas to consider are serviceability and cleanability. I’m a huge fan of the American National Standards for Baking Equipment, which are comprised of two specific standards: the ANSI Z50.1 standard of equipment safety and ANSI Z50.2 standard for baking sanitation.

These standards have evolved over many years and are something I would always recommend you require compliance with and reference when writing your specifications. The committee governing the BISSC Standard is made up of industry, academia and users/bakers — each providing one-third of the members — yielding the perfect balance.

Lastly is the issue of uptime. In today’s food manufacturing, assets get leveraged like never before. Extended periods between maintenance and sanitation require that more forethought be placed on critical design elements that complement this model.

Things like high-quality “sealed for life” bearings, direct drives, plastic modular belting, toolless belt changes and teardowns are prime examples.

Equipment manufacturers also focus on sanitary designs to give today’s baker the edge they need. Races cannot be won from the pits.

Before you write that next purchase order for your manufacturing equipment just remember to consider what it needs to do well.

For your asset to be a fantastic addition to your line, put those characteristics into quantifiable performance expectations and require BISSC compliance for the design and installation.

You’ll be glad you did later.

Rowdy Brixey is founder and president of Brixey Engineering Inc.

You can connect with him at LinkedIn.