|Graham cracker topping is a common crust for pies and cheesecakes. Rotary motion depositors, such as this one shown, are ideal to deposit products on moving conveyor lines.|
Depositors handle many different foods in bakeries. These machines deposit nuts, fruit fillings, pie crusts, cream toppings, pastes and many other toppings. Depositors are required to accommodate multiple changeovers to produce a range of bakery foods. Because of these demands, it is important for bakers to ensure that their depositors are equipped to handle many functions, with less downtime and at reduced expenses.
Many manufacturers offer depositors with servo-driven motors to ensure depositing efficiency. Servo motors feature an encoding system, which determines depositing placement during production. Bakers who have pneumatically driven depositors can retrofit this equipment with servo motors that offer encoding control.
One manufacturer predicts that bakers who exchange their pneumatically driven depositors to servo-driven depositors will save 20 minutes in changeover downtime.
Another option for bakers is depositors with stepper-driven motors. These motors do not move continuously, but move in pulses. This is beneficial for motor programming and making adjustments and volume settings.
One manufacturer offers a depositor with a stepper-driven motor that features sensors that identify and modify depositing volume. This reduces setup time and allows bakers to quickly change production, the manufacturer says.
|Bakers must ensure that their depositors undergo scheduled maintenance. Damage may occur because of the rubber components, air compressor and depositor lubrication. Photo courtesy of Raque Food Systems Inc.|
Maintaining your depositor
Just like other equipment in bakeries, depositors must be handled gently to avoid costly breakdowns or unscheduled maintenance. Many depositors are equipped with features that maintain the life of these machines.
Some depositors offer rubber components such as bearing seals and o-rings. If these depositors operate beyond their parameters or are not regularly sanitized, these components may become damaged. To avoid damaging the depositor in this way, bakers should look for cracks or flatness on the seals and o-rings, and if present, immediately replace them.
Air pressure is another area that may cause damage to depositors. When bakers add equipment to production lines, more air is required from the bakery’s compression system. When this system draws more air, this reduces the amount of air that is available to the depositor, causing breakdowns. Bakers can avoid damage in this way by purchasing and using air regulators. These monitor the air pressure that reaches the area where depositors are in the plant.
One manufacturer recommends that bakers, when expanding their plants, expand their air compressor capabilities.
Another concern for bakers is depositor lubrication. It is not uncommon for lubricants to drop from the depositor onto the conveyor. Bakers should monitor the lubricant drops per minute and ensure that number is within the depositors’ specifications. Bakers also may use food-safe lubricants.
Production downtime hurts bakers’ bottom lines. One way for bakers to ensure less downtime is to purchase and maintain depositors with servo- or stepper-driven motors. If bakers regularly check their depositors, including the rubber components, air regulators and lubricants, that is one step toward increased profits.