Closing machines on a bread bagging line are a reliable workhorse in bakeries, but they must be well maintained with constant checks and maintenance.
“Bakeries have streamlined to such an extent that they now have minimal downtime for preventative maintenance,” said Mitch Lindsey, senior sales manager at Burford Corp., a Middleby Bakery company. “And with little time, it is spent on large equipment such as ovens, proofers, coolers, etc.”
He said that many bakeries have dedicated technology for packaging lines, which helps them run optimally.
“It can help them become familiar with that equipment and feel comfortable with the equipment that they’re responsible for,” Lindsey said.
Making precise adjustments for each product also helps keep the line running smoothly.
“It becomes important when you switch products,” said Ron Cardey, senior vice president, customer engagement, Kwik Lok. “Is the length of the product different? Is the weight different? Is it sliced or unsliced? Is there a different mill thickness from the packaging? All of these things start to come into the interplay between the slicer, the bagger, the closed head to the end of the line.
With ongoing supply chain issues, bakeries need to keep vital spare parts on hand for every piece of equipment.
“We know what the wear parts are on this machine and we provide that information to our customers,” Cardey said. “They can order these parts and have them in stock. So while they’re doing their preventative maintenance, they can just walk into their parts room, get that part, replace it, and keep everything moving.
Kwik Lok needs 4 inches of neck on the bag to properly gather and close it. The company offers many varieties of closure sizes. It also has traditional and greener Eco-Loks, which are made with a bio-based starch polymer that will break down in a few years compared to the traditional product which takes hundreds of years.
“We have a variety of more sustainable Lok options for customers in different parts of the world,” Cardey said. “The one overriding thing from our side is that whatever we produce from a hardware perspective, it has to work in the machines. We already have tens of thousands of them in the field, so the functionality has to be there.
This article is an excerpt from the March 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on packaging sliced bread, click here.