More than 1,000 baking companies convened on 30 acres of hall space at the 2009 iba exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany, last month. The now 60-year-old event retained its international flair, with more than half of exhibitors hailing from countries outside of Germany. An overwhelming 79,500 attendees viewed the latest innovations for the baking industry. The overall effect and sheer size of the displays was impressive.
“Before the fair, the initial forecasts were somewhat subdued, but the quantity and quality of the visitors far exceeded all our expectations. All through the event there was a definite air of confidence and a willingness to invest — iba 2009 reflected the unlimited dynamism that there is in the baking trades,” said Peter Becker, president of the German Bakers' Confederation. “It is the most important innovations powerhouse for the next three years, and one that will drive the market forward.”
The newer, greener generation of ovens, production systems and machinery were of primary interest at iba 2009. European Union bakers are under intense scrutiny from consumers to work towards greener solutions, both for altruistic and cost-saving purposes. They also operate with greater governmental incentive to work towards greener manufacturing than their U.S. counterparts. Small baking businesses and larger ones alike can learn from some of the forward-thinking, green systems that Europe is currently producing. Energy-saving products help reduce costs significantly in baking, refrigeration, freezing and fermenting operations regardless of size.
Another common theme among the equipment manufacturers exhibiting at iba was a push to create easily scalable systems that allow for growth. Large-scale bakery systems tend to be modular, and manufacturers are looking into ways to work towards more uniform industry equipment standards, allowing individual modules to more easily interface with one another.
One manufacturer pointed out that systems that can't easily evolve with a growing bakery will actually hinder growth — hence the focus on scalability and a simpler modular interface. The idea is to have pieces within a single system “speak the same language,” both in hardware and software applications. This becomes more important as the United States begins to emerge from an economic winter and bakeries are again seeing the signs of growth potential.
A long-term equipment trend that continues to be evident at large equipment shows, such as iba, is a push to reduce or eliminate equipment downtime due to sanitation and maintenance. Manufacturers are focusing on the tiniest cogs and wheels to build in efficiencies. Some examples are obvious, such as using rounded bolts heads that accumulate less extraneous flour instead of angular hexagonal bolt heads. Manufacturers also are machining larger and more complex parts out of single pieces of stainless steel to ease cleaning. The next iba show will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 3, 2012 in Munich, Germany.
In-store bakery theater
WP Bakery Group debuted a push-through version of its Matador® Store oven designed for in-store baking applications. The push-through ovens allow bakers to load bread into the oven from a back room or production room, but unload the finished loaves on peels in the front of the store. This creates a sense of theater and delivers aromas directly to consumers. Also, the high performance steam generator creates abundant, wet steam that is optimally distributed in the baking chamber. This delivers delicious pastries, crusty bread, bright shine and excellent bloom. Call Kemper Bakery Systems, North American subsidiary of the WP Bakery Group, at 203/929-6530. www.wpbakerygroupusa.com
High hydration dough capability
A major trend in the worldwide bread market is the use of sheeting lines, such as Rademaker's Crusto® concept for high water dough and/or slack dough products, that produce high quality breads with more flavor. Sheeting has tremendous benefits for these doughs even with high capacity outputs. Sheeting lines can be easily equipped to reach capacities of 6,000 kg of dough per hour. With Rademaker's Weighing Module® and De-Gassing Unit®, bakers can obtain a high accuracy and perfect fine crumb structure for sandwich loaves. Call Rademaker at 330/650-2345.
Modular plastic belting
- For conveying bakery products in each stage of processing, Intralox offers the widest range of modular plastic belting (MPB) products on the market. Other than the standard benefits of MPB, Intralox solutions help bakers take the best care of their delicate products by reducing transfers and combining as many straights, inclines, declines and turns within the same conveyor. Call Intralox at 888/680-2358.
- JAC offers improved self-service bread slicers. Updated features include wrap-around bumpers to protect the machines from carts and displays; more stylish design; easier to use, lighted displays; crumb drawers for crumb collection and better viewing through Plexiglas. At iba 2009, JAC introduced the Self 600, the most advanced, hygienic and safe to operate unit of its current self-service line. Call JAC Machines at 978/694-4069. www.jac-machines.com
New range of ciabatta lines
- Sottoriva introduced its new range of ciabatta lines. The Tecna Ciabatta Divider features a full range of moulding devices, new tray loading systems, maximum modularity, new and innovative work stations, easy connection to different work stations and easy layout for the different options. The primary aim of the new design is to maximumize standardization, ensuring trouble-free installation and operation. Contact Sottoriva at 800/878-4070. www.sottoriva.com
- Featuring the patent-pending MassFlow metering and independent scaling system, the new Peerless Precision depositor is the most precise and consistently accurate depositor available, the company says. Depending on the application, deposit variances can be improved tenfold when compared to piston-type depositors and fillers. The waste elimination means that the Precision depositor can quickly generate a payback by improving portion control and reducing deposit variances. Call The Peerless Group at 800/999-3327. www.peerlessprecisiondepositor.com
- Engineered with 70 percent open surface area, Wire Belt's CompactGrid conveyor belt provides optimal performance in processes where product coating, drainage and liquid or air circulation are factors. CompactGrid's flow-through capabilities will reduce the time required to heat or cool a product, therefore reducing energy costs. Increased open area of the CompactGrid belt combined with its superior flow-through characteristics will enable easier and more thorough cleaning and sanitation of conveyor systems. Call Wire Belt at 603/644-2500. www.wirebelt.com
Deposit fillings and doughs
- Reiser's Vemag dough dividing, portioning, depositing and sheeting equipment can be used as a dough divider to produce breads, rolls and buns. It easily adjusts to produce a range of exact-weight dough portions, dough absorptions and crumb structures. The Vemag also can be used as a depositor to accurately portion fillings and batters onto moving or stationary lines. In addition, it also is ideal for extruding sheets of fats or dough with consistent thickness and width. Call Reiser at 781/821-1290. www.reiser.com
Retain flexibility for future growth
Rheon's Flexible Module System, from the basic model to an entire line, can be completely customized to fit a bakery's production requirements. For automatic production of artisan breads, Rheon offers options to add units for rounded bread or moulded products, such as baguettes. Due to the mobility of the connecting machines, the line can be easily changed to meet all the bakery's needs and expectations. All Rheon equipment is designed with these concepts in mind. Rheon's goal is to continuously improve its equipment design to meet its customers needs and expectations. Call Rheon U.S.A. at 949/768-1900. www.rheon.com
- Capway Systems debuted its stackable baking tray at iba 2009. The Teflon® Cruco®-4 is a strapped bread pan that is suitable for automatic stacking in industrial bakeries, but also for semi-industrial or craft bakeries. The special coating offers cost savings of up to 50 percent compared to baking pans without a coating, because no lubrication is required. This eliminates the cost of the industrial lubricant, labor involved in lubricating pans, danger of contamination by lubrication overspray and danger of contamination due to burning lubricant. Call Capway Systems Inc. at 717/843-0003.
Gentle heat transfer
- MIWE's thermo-static oven, designed for two to three racks, ensures gentle heat transfer without affecting throughput or flexibility. Optimal crusts, improved rising and excellent crumb, coupled with low evaporation and long-lasting freshness are trademark features of this sophisticated technology. It also reduces energy costs, as thermal oil is currently the most efficient energy source and the thermo-static is designed for optimal energy consumption. Call MIWE at 908-904-0221. www.miwe.com