Automated pan bread processing lines can collect a wealth of data that can be extremely useful to optimizing production. It can reveal the truth about where issues lie and how the production line can be improved. It enables baking companies to make data-informed decisions. 

“We have seen many myths about efficiency crumble when presented with information about downtime, rejects and the second-by-second uptime/downtime facts,” said Tony Ciminelli, Handtmann Digital Solutions (HDS) product specialist, Handtmann. “Often the reasons for a routine difference in productivity between personnel groupings and shifts provide real clarity around performance improvement efforts.”

He said that companies see the greatest impact of data on their operations when management gets on board and is intentional with the data. 

“In our experience, the most rapid and effective use occurs when management consciously shifts to a data-first approach to their operational management,” he said.

While this data can be empowering, it can also be overwhelming. It’s critical that baking companies collect data intentionally and strategically. That will be more useful than collecting every data point possible.  

“Having a clear set of goals for what you want to achieve is the first step,” said Ryan Costello, director of engineering, Gemini Bakery Equipment/KB Systems. “From here, regularly monitoring and analyzing the data provided can provide valuable insights into production processes, identifying areas for improvement and opportunities for optimization.”    

With this information, bakeries can prioritize their operational initiatives and evaluate the changes as they’re made. Mr. Costello, however, pointed out that digital tools are a collaborative effort. 

“Operators, engineers, supervisors, maintenance, etc. can help identify the root cause of issues and optimize process,” he said. “By working together to interpret and act upon data insights, companies can achieve better results. A true team effort.”

This article is an excerpt from the May 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Pan Bread Processing, click here.