Automated tortilla systems are working faster, better and even
Tortilla equipment continues to grow more automated and efficient. With the ever increasing cost for manual labor, and risk of product contamination that can come with manual packaging, many tortilla producers have turned to automated systems to improve hygiene and increase production. Hot presses are moving faster, allowing for greater throughput of stronger and more consistent tortillas. Inspection systems are being used to detect a product's toast points, overlaps, misshapes, size, pin holes, off-color and so on, to ensure only high quality products arrive in every bag. Touch screen interface and operative software is making operating tortilla equipment more efficient than ever before. Graphic images are easy to interpret and allow operators to changeover from one formula to another with the touch of a button.
Systems are growing quieter and more durable. Manufacturers continue to meet the demand for sanitary equipment that is easy to clean and can perform heavy-duty operations continuously with little downtime. Maintenance-friendly designs include easy access to equipment parts. Baking Management takes a look at a sampling of tortilla equipment from ovens and proofers to baggers and counter-stackers.
HIGH SPEED PRESS
How times have changed since AM Manufacturing Co. introduced hot pressing methods to the tortilla industry in the 1960s. The AM Continuous Tortilla Press produces flour tortillas at the highest speeds in the industry today. The reciprocating press increases product volume dramatically compared to indexing presses. The machine has been designed to operate at any desired speed, up to 21 strokes per minute. Depending on size, this translates to production levels of about 30,240 pieces per hour.
AM Manufacturing Co. 708 841 0959 ww.ammfg.com
FLOUR TORTILLA PRESS
The TP-4242 programmable flour tortilla press from CasaHerrera offers 42-in. by 42-in. platens with 18 heaters per platen, a 20 hp hydraulic power unit, all stainless-steel frame, conveyor and belt tracking system. It offers three zone temperature controls for both the top and bottom platens. Platen temperature is controlled from a touchscreen. A 3-in. front drive roller for the Teflon belt allows for high speed transfer. Teflon belt indexing is controlled using a fiber optic sensor.
CasaHerrera 800 624 3916 www.casaherrera.com
BAG CORN TORTILLAS EFFICIENTLY
United Bakery Equipment Co.'s Model 67-T4 corn tortilla bagger automatically indexes hand-fed stacks of corn tortillas to an automated bagging station. The machine features three directional bag scoop movement, dual bag magazines for quick bag changes; air-lifted bag tables with level control and an empty bag sensor. It offers flighted infeed with product repositioner; a controlled heater that removes moisture from the bottom of tortillas; and an electro zinc plated frame with locking aluminum guards. The Model 67-T4 features a simplified design for reliability and maintenance, including visible and accessible indexing and bag loading functions.
United Bakery Equipment Co.
310 635 8121
IMPROVE FLOW, THROUGHPUT
Arr-Tech's Inline Bag Sealer seals and trims up to 60 bags per minute. Package sizes range from 5 in. to 14 in., and package height is available up to 4 in. Top package foam compression removes excess air from each package, the bags are sealed and trimmed, and scraps are removed in one motion. The newest update to the bag sealer is the no-seal function, which allows the machine to run almost completely trouble-free. If the photo eye sees that a product is too tall, short or long, it will not send a signal to fire the seal bars. This keeps the seal bars clean of any foreign material. With this feature you will not have to stop the machine and clean the seal bars. The product passes down the line to be pulled off and sent to another location for packaging. This bag sealer uses a servo-controlled continuous bag sealing motion and a precision sealing head with temperature control. Built for heavy-duty, continuous, 24/7 operations, this equipment offers FDA-approved food contact surfaces and a clean, white powder-coated frame.
866 852 2442
INCREASE PRESS ACCURACY
Lawrence Equipment Co. offers the Mega 52 press with a servo pneumatic nine-ball loader program for tortillas up to 15 in. in diameter. The 52-in. wide and 52-in. long platen is hydraulically actuated. It is accurate, electronic, offers dual-direct drive, dual-drive Teflon belt rollers and a belt-indexing system. The system features repeatable digital speed control to allow easy timing with Lawrence's Overhead Proofer/Automatic Loader system. The main conveyor design and air assist prevents cripples at the discharge roller. An auto-tracking system eliminates the need for repeated adjustment of the Teflon belt. An optional camera system for the press provides automatic diameter control.
Lawrence Equipment Co.
800 423 4500
PORTION- CONTROLLED PACKAGING
Packaging Progressions manufactures stainless-steel interleavers and a full line of modular counter stackers for tortillas, empanadas, pitas and other portion-controlled bakery products. The PPI-200 places a pre-programmed sheet of film, foil or paper under dough portions at speeds of 1,100 dozen per lane. PPI interleavers and stackers maximize the speed of the production line and improve product presentation.
Packaging Progressions Inc.
610 489 8601
Heat and Control's three-pass tortilla toaster oven controls toasting conditions for the most uniform tortilla chips and tortillas. Heat is delivered consistently on all three conveyor passes with a full pre-mix low intensity ribbon burner system. Optimal toasting and fuel efficiency are assured by controlled draft. The double insulated stainless-steel casing ensures the lowest heat loss. Sticking is eliminated from the top to the second pass with standard powered transfer belt. Uniform heat distribution, superior belt tracking, high fuel efficiency and reliability are all combined in this versatile toaster oven. It can produce 750 lb. to 2,500 lb. per hour of finished tortilla chips and up to 6,000 dozen per hour of corn tortillas depending on product size.
Heat & Control
800 227 5980
EXPERTLY WEAVED BELTS
Ashworth, the inventor of the original CB5 Baking Band®, offers Tortilla Baking Bands, engineered to track over small diameter terminal rolls commonly found in tortilla ovens. Ashworth craftsmen weave and weld every belt by hand and perform 22 quality checks to ensure a perfect belt.
Ashworth Bros. Inc.
800 682 4594