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Top Concerns in Bakery & Confections Processing

February 8, 2021

Top Concerns in Bakery & Confections Processing

Gary Seiffer

Bakery and confections processing is a dusty, messy, elegant, and automated world. People have been baking bread for 30,000 years and no two recipes are alike. We understand the pride our customers take in crafting the perfect loaf, the tastiest donut, or the smoothest icing, glaze, or chocolate ganache. We work with our customers on the biggest issues in the industry to help ensure their product stays true to the texture and flavor their community knows and loves. Read on for top concerns in bakery and confections processing and the solutions we provide to help keep you running so you can keep America fed.

Bakery Issues & Solutions

There may be no other industry as sensitive to consistency issues than bakery. Because bread products involve a living organism, the room for error is almost nonexistent. Failure to repeat your unique recipe processes—especially on a large scale—can result in wasted ingredients, time, and money. EnSight Solutions provides equipment that can efficiently mix, move, and chunk material with minimal maintenance requirements.

When investing in new equipment, our customers want confidence that the machines they select are durable, safe, and require minimal maintenance and downtime. We make lifts that can lift up to 6,000 pounds and incorporate safety devices to help avoid catastrophic failure. For example, our single column lifts have an electronic brake system. If the cart isn’t perfectly seated, this electronic safety switch prevents the cart from lifting so it doesn’t fall off the carriage. We also offer safety cages so even if it does fall off, it stays within a confined area.

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We provide conveyors that transfer dough between processes, such as moving raw dough in bulk from a mixer to a divider or moving product to and away from the oven. We also specialize in spreading conveyors, sometimes called shuttle or reciprocating conveyors. These servo-controlled conveyors transfer your product from a narrow belt and evenly spread it across a wider belt for optimal coverage. They’re built to consistently and reliably space the product for the next processing step. We work with each customer to customize equipment that meets their unique requirements. For example, we can make conveyors that suspend from the ceiling to help with floorspace.

When processing dough in bulk, a high-quality hopper and chunker is a necessity. Hoppers and chunkers help preserve the dough’s consistency by dividing the dough into manageable pieces before it gets dropped into a divider. We also offer an automatic oiling system that sprays oil on three sides of the hopper, preventing the dough from sticking as it passes through the equipment.

Hygienic design is also very important. As with all of our equipment, our conveyors, hoppers, and chunkers are made with stainless steel and feature parts that are easy to remove, clean, and reassemble. Our conveyors also feature side guides that can be easily hinged back so you can efficiently clean all surface areas.

EnSight is sensitive to the maintenance needs of our customers—we continually seek new and innovative ways to keep our machines well maintained yet easy to clean to avoid the harbours where bacteria can build.

Confectionary Issues & Solutions

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Those who specialize in icing and glazes know that factors like temperature and blending are critical. Variations in your formulation can result in fish eyes—balls of thickeners or starches that develop when improperly blended with water—or an inconsistent, unappetizing texture. Our Likwifier division is the industry leader in bottom drive high-shear blending and is designed to dissolve solids or semi-solids where time, temperature, and complete hydration are important.

This high-shear tank blending system destroys any globules of solid starch and allows the product to hydrate properly, resulting in a creamy, smooth, consistent product. The batch then moves to a holding tank that keeps the temperature at the perfect degree until it’s ready to move to the next process.

Every high-quality blending system requires upkeep and eventually repairs. However, our high-shear blenders are built to last and repairs are quick and easy. We carry spare housing with the seals, shafts, and bearings already assembled so your maintenance personnel can quickly install them and prevent costly and lengthy downtime.

Automation & Robotics

Implementing automation and robotics into your facility can save you time and money, as well as help relieve labor constraints. For example, EnSight partnered with a cookie facility with multiple employees on the line removing cookies that didn’t meet specifications. We developed a machine that could automatically eject bad products. We implemented cameras and robots that picked and ejected 100 or more bad cookies a minute. This solution enabled the customer to transfer employees to more value-added roles on the floor.

Case Study

In another example, EnSight partnered with a bagel company whose owner had a very high level of quality—the bagels had to be perfectly round, have a hole in the middle, etc. This resulted in the company throwing away 35,000 pounds of bagels a week. The company would either sell the unusable product to a pig farm or pay someone to dispose of it.

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We researched the problem and determined that we could recycle the unwanted bagels using our Likwifier system. We dumped 100 pounds of bagels and 40 pounds of water into our machine, and in two and a half minutes, we formed a slurry. We incorporated the slurry back into the raw dough. Through this innovation, the owner saved on ingredients, reduced waste, and made money with that machine. Another example of how EnSight technology can help improve your bottom line.

We pride ourselves in coming up with creative solutions for your most complex issues. If you’re looking for equipment that can stand the test of your robust blending processes, then contact us today at info@ensightsolutions.us to find out how we can help.

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