Advances in cutting technology keep bakers on top of the latest consumer trends.
To the average person on the street, slicing hasn't changed since the French Revolution. Unbeknownst to Judy Consumer, however, cutting is now a state-of-the-art science. Neither one blade nor one technology fits all, and slicer manufacturers are going all out to provide bakers with the versatile tools they need.
Luc Imberechts, president of Bakon USA, Torrance, Calif., notes the rise of ultrasonic cutting as one of the most important recent advances in modern-day slicers.
“By vibrating a titanium blade at 19,000 vibrations a second, one creates a perfect cut, even through very fragile products,” he explains, “and one can reduce the number of time one needs to clean the blade, as there is less chance for fudge and other icings to stick. When combining the ultrasonic technology with servo drives, one can achieve very high cutting speeds and can rotate the blades in virtually any direction.”
Max Oehler, general manager for Erika Record, Clifton, N.J., singles out two other blade technologies for praise.
“The main advance I have seen over the last few years is the use of a blade oiling system, and also Teflonized blades, so that a slicer can be used for slicing sticky rye breads, heavy pumpernickel bread, raisin/nut breads, etc.,” he says.
Additionally, demand for machines that automate portioning has surged among bakers, says Paula Adkins Wernet, corporate marketing coordinator for Grote Co., Columbus, Ohio.
“The main goal is to increase consistency and decrease overhead costs of the baking facility,” explains Chris Clemens, marketing manager for FoodTools Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif. “By installing an inline system, the portioning process is automated and the products are portioned without the need for human handling. This reduces waste and inconsistent portions caused by human error and also lowers the employment costs by reducing the number of operators for the portioning process.”
Portioning is on a lot of bakers' minds, agrees Sandra Ryan, Ryan Technology, Hillsboro, Ore.
“I would have to say that the main change we have seen is more requests for slicing smaller products,” she says. “Things like slider buns and mini pita, in higher volumes.”
Imberechts says that current product trends can be easily handled by the capabilities of today's slicers.
“The demand for smaller portions match perfectly the possibilities offered by ultrasonic cutting technology.”
CHOOSE FULLY AUTOMATED SLICING
The JAC FULL bread slicer is a fully automatic model that can tackle up to 1,000 loaves per hour, depending on the size and consistency of the bread. A bag-opening blower system enables automatic opening of varying bag sizes, which speeds packing. Lateral guides establish proper placement of loaves on the entry belt, and a loaf pusher ensures that the last loaf moves through the blades as easily as the first. Slice thickness can be adjusted from 0.3 inches to 0.6 inches.
800 682 8203
TACKLE MULTIPLE PRODUCTS AT ONCE
Slice multiple products simultaneously with the CS-8AW-1 horizontal slicing machine from FoodTools. Its 18-in. conveyor belt carries extra product, speeding production, and the Teflon-coated reciprocating blade ensures a consistently clean cut. Belt and blade speeds can be adjusted independently, allowing for the optimum cut, no matter the product's consistency.
877 836 6386
COMBINE TASKS, SPEED PRODUCTION
Combine slicing and application with Grote Co.'s slicer/applicator. Tackle bulk slicing, stacking and portion shingling with production speeds of up to 176 strokes per minute per lane. Adjust slice arrangement, count and spacing via touch screen, and even change thickness during production. Multiple lane and head models are available, with the option of a right-hand or left-hand frame. The slicing zone is up to 40 inches wide with a maximum 6-in. slicing stroke.
614 868 8414
CLEANER, MORE ACCURATE CUTS
Handle a wide range of bakery products with the PTL ultrasonic guillotine from Franz Haas. The food-grade plated titanium blade's two servo actions ensure accurate timing and cut lengths, and these settings can be adjusted on the interface screen, even during production. A lack of contact between the blade and belt means less mess when handling sticky products. In addition, the machine reduces pressure at the cut point and also creates a gap between each portioned piece of product.
Franz Haas Machinery of America
804 222 6022
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OPT FOR A HIGH-SPEED ROTARY SLICER
Process more product using Ryan Technology's 793 rotary table utility slicer. The unit can handle up to 8,000 units per hour and can slice product of up to 12 inches long, 5.5 inches wide and 3 inches deep. The 1-horsepower slicer can be configured with either single or dual blades and features brakes that shut down slicing within one revolution. Cut height, depth and thickness can be adjusted, as can conveyor speed.
Ryan Technology Inc.
800 277 2290
SLICE RECTANGULAR CAKES IN-TRAY
Bakon USA's ultrasonic cutting machine for rectangular products is designed to slice cakes baked in a 600 mm by 400 mm baking tray. A conveyor belt moves the trays underneath the ultrasonic slicing blade and into the optimum position. Mounted on a servo-driven bridge, the blade can be positioned in any desired slicing position, allowing for multiple portion sizes. These portion sizes can be controlled via the unit's LCD touch screen.
800 TRY BAKON
CONTROL PRODUCT WITH A VACUUM SYSTEM
The 3600 bun slicer from The Henry Group features blade tracking, quick belt removal, easy blade replacement and quick, adjustable blade and bun guides. The slicer does not require a top conveyor and produces a high-quality slice without cupping. An air/vacuum system ensures bun control. Stainless steel construction and a crumb collection vacuum system make for easy cleaning and maintenance.
The Henry Group Inc.
800 356 7591