Automation provides a plethora of ways to enhance a bread and bun line: improved product quality, greater production efficiency and less reliance on labor.

“Automation is saving people from mundane tasks; it also allows managers to keep tabs without being onsite,” said John McIsaac, vice president, strategic business development, Reiser. “It gives visibility to efficiency and allows the plant to see where their inefficiencies lie and correct them. It also allows speed and accuracy of dividing that older systems cannot match.”

Not only do bakers gain speed and accuracy at the divider, but automated monitoring of dough quality results in less waste and more consistent product.

“Consistent product from makeup means a more consistent bake and more consistent packaging because the product is more uniform,” Mr. McIsaac said. “In the end, it means the end customer gets a consistent top-quality product, and the plant gets efficiency in their operation.”

Today’s controls and computer systems take much of the skill and guesswork out of dividing accurately, which is a big deal in today’s labor market.

“Automation is enabling bakers to improve equipment utilization, reach consistent quality standards, safely reduce giveaway and effectively utilize what is becoming a less-skilled labor force,” said Cesar Zelaya, bakery technology manager, Handtmann.

While servo controls aren’t new, they continue to advance, like all technology.

“Servo drives are one of the highest technologies we have because of their accuracy,” said Anthony Mora, electrical controls engineer, AMF Bakery Systems. “Computers are smaller, and their capability is far greater than anything they used to be in the past.”

This article is an excerpt from the December 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Dividing, click here.