Highly automated pan bread systems invert pans and operate more efficiently.
Pan bread systems manufacturers agree major advancements have improved technology during the past few years. One advancement is noticed as soon as you walk into the bakery: the sound level of machinery has decreased significantly. “Panners in the market work at 85 decibels or below, so the sound level is much quieter than it used to be. At one point in time, you couldn't stand next to the panners because of the noise they were making,” says Jim Diver, vice president, operations, Dunbar Systems, Lemont, Ill.
In addition to decreasing noise pollution, automation also has improved the overall efficiency of the panning process. Entire systems now can be menu driven to optimize pan flow. “When switching products, operators can use the menu on the PLC's human machine interface (HMI) to select the product and all speeds will change accordingly,” says Todd Frandsen, operations manager, Benda Manufacturing, Tinley Park, Ill.
Pan bread systems have evolved in the last few years to use extrusion on a wider variety of products. “By using multiple metering pumps on the ADD Divider, AMF has been able to increase extrusion line speeds while reducing the work on the dough,” says Larry Gore, AMF Automation Technologies, Richmond, Va. “This has broadened the range of bread styles that can be made using extrusion, and further reduced the cost of production by increasing scaling accuracy and minimizing maintenance.” For those breads that still require volumetric dividing, AMF's new servotech divider and Cycone rounder package uses precise feedback from the servo controls on the ram and knife to accurately scale with minimal pressure.
Extending pan life
One way to ensure pans last longer is to store and move them in an inverted or upside-down position, Diver says. By inverting the pans any debris falls from the pan, and reduces the risk of dust or debris ending up in a finished product. “The pans are now stored on the strongest part of the pan, which is the strap or rim of the pan. This saves pan life by not crushing the moulds or cups of the pan,” he adds. “The pan inverters usually are magnetic and can handle pans at rates of more than 40 pans per minute. They turn the pans upside down and also right side up after they are unstacked. Being magnetic, the operation also moves quietly and is very dependable.”
Many companies today design pan systems with pans that travel along the conveyor with their long side leading. This reduces conveyor speeds and results in longer belt and conveyor life. Pan greasers also have advanced and now have targeted grease applications, minimizing the use of grease in the pan and greasing area; and they are very cleanable, Diver adds.
Frandsen predicts future changes to pan bread systems may include using preprogramming on the PLC to remove gaps between pans, which could eventually eliminate the need for accumulators. “You would have a continuous flow through the system based on speeding up and slowing down the conveyors, instead of banging the pans into an accumulator before sending them out. Any gaps on the line would close based on PLC input.” This would decrease maintenance, he says, due to less damage caused by pans colliding. Other benefits include increased efficiency and improved flow.
“Brand new pans are always best to run through the system because the pans are not bent and have no broken seams,” Frandsen adds. “The longer you can prolong the quality of the pan, the more effective the entire system is going to perform. In addition, you can sense the pan more easily, so there are no hang-ups. Once you eliminate the stops and clamps that go with the accumulator, the system is going to be far more cost effective.” The following pages feature some of the current advancements in pan bread systems.
Stack and unstack pans efficiently
The Capway Robocap pan system is a completely self-contained robotic storage and retrieval system, which can be used for pans and lids. The advantage of this system is that the pans are stacked (on the bar band and not on the bottom of the pans) and unstacked gently and vertically, thus preventing pan and coating damage. The patented gripper can pick up as many as 30 pans at once, thus reducing the cycle time of the robot. Because the pans are stacked within the enclosed system, carts or shuttles are not needed to remove the pans. The enclosed system allows for stacks up to 94 in. high, reducing floor space. The Robocap is available in a variety of sizes and configurations to fit the required application.
Capway System Inc.
Choose custom-made machines
The Perfect Score Co. designs, manufactures and integrates pan bread systems; including conveying, indexing, lidding, final proofers, control panel integration, make up and more, depending upon the unique requirements of the particular baking facility. Each system is built to the customer's facility specifications. The goal of The Perfect Score Co. is to provide each customer with lower maintenance costs, higher efficiency in product handling, increased output, reduced labor costs, less downtime and maximized equipment life.
The Perfect Score Co.
Rheon stress-free loaf bread line
Rheon's stress-free technology allows the production of the finest quality loaf breads from a continuous sheet of undamaged dough. Because the dough has not been damaged, rounding and overhead proofers are not required. With Rheon's unique weighing system (Gravimetric method), dough weighing and dividing functions are performed under stress-free conditions. Rheon's stress-free loaf bread line can handle the widest range of dough types and formulas in the industry.
For use with multiple pan systems
The Advanced Dough Divider Multi-Metering Pump by AMF is designed for high-speed bread lines with multiple sheeter/moulder/panners. The divider offers reliability and scaling accuracy through advanced extrusion technology. It increases product yield, reduces waste and improves product uniformity. The Multi-Metering Pump features multiple metering pumps that reduce the impeller rpm requirement per pump while maintaining throughput requirements. The result is reduced metering pump dough work at higher throughputs. No divider oil is required with the ADD, which reduces operating and sanitation costs. It offers an efficient design with few moving parts for reduced maintenance costs, and a rotary drive design provides a service life three to four times longer than conventional dividers. The ADD also offers increased productivity, flexibility and improved automation. The operator interface-based formula management system is provided for automated divider setup and downstream equipment setup.
PLC controls and dashboard
PLC controls are taking a larger role in today's bakery pan handling and management. Automatic speed settings for multiple pan types picked from menus that are product specific offer greater flexibility. A “dashboard” main screen indicates the product being processed as well as important system parameters. Other screens include maintenance mode, cleaning mode and speed adjustments as well as sensor states. Password protection can be added to any screen for different operator levels of use. BMI equipment is available through Dunbar Systems.
Benda Manufacturing Inc.
The PanVerter™ Automated Pan Turner by Weldon Solutions takes empty bakery pans and inverts them to clean out debris. Upside-down pans are ideal for conveying across the bakery or for long-term storage. Pans normally are stored on their bottoms, which can cause damage because of their weight. When pans are stacked upside down, they rest on their band and no weight is on the actual pan. The equipment is designed for the gentle handing of pans, which results in longer pan life. PanVerter™ also turns pans right side up prior to filling. A conveyor side clamp ensures continuous, trouble-free operation. The system offers easy adjustment for a range of bread and roll pans. It allows for the accumulation of pans for non-stop production on the bakery line.