Earlier this month, we published an interview with Frank Brakenhoff, sales director at the Kaak Group, about current global bakery trends. In the interview, Frank touched on some of the ways bakery equipment is changing to meet the needs of today’s manufacturers. Here, we’ll look at five of the latest innovations from the Kaak Group.
Wet cleanable equipment for breadmaking
In the past, wet cleaning was commonly used in some bakery segments, like confectionery, but generally not in breadmaking. However, with today’s stricter food safety requirements, bread manufacturers need the same level of sanitary design found in other food industry applications. That’s why the Kaak Group now has wet cleanable machines for breadmaking.
More automation for easier operation
In a 2016 survey by the American Society for Baking, almost 8 in 10 baking companies said they had a shortage of engineering employees. Since then, this shortage has only gotten worse, and it’s expected to get worse still.
The #1 way bakery processors are tackling this shortage is via automation. The Kaak Group has been proactively automating their equipment to reduce the number of operators needed, as well as to make the equipment easier to operate and to prevent human errors.
Here are some examples:
- User-friendly integrated PLCs mean that all components of a line can be easily monitored from a single location.
- Video cameras along the line check every piece of dough to make sure it’s correct. If there’s a problem, the system emits a light and sound alarm to alert the operator that manual interference is required.
- Automatic depanning units with a video control system can sense if there’s a product remaining in the pan.
Larger strapped baking forms
Besides the labor savings, a major advantage of automation is that it allows processors to increase their throughput. In the United States, many processors are still using small strapped baking forms, i.e., baking forms with only three or four pans in a line. If something goes wrong, a person typically manually removes the straps that need attention. This not only limits the throughput manufacturers can achieve, but also it’s a safety risk for the operators.
The Kaak Group makes baking forms that allow you to have 10, 20, or even 25 straps in a line with an automated control system. The result is both increased throughput and a safer process.
Increased safety measures
Every operator on a line presents a potential safety risk — equipment-related injuries and musculoskeletal disorders are common among manufacturing workers. Safety features such as quick releases on belts, easy access for cleaning, and ergonomic tool-free changeover help keep workers safe and lines running.
Finally, the Kaak Group continues to be known for its industry-leading focus on efficiency. Their equipment can achieve efficiency rates of as high as 98%, compared with the 85% that’s common among their competitors. They achieve this by designing low-maintenance equipment that minimizes the need for spare parts. Frank said it best in the interview: “Our equipment can run 24/7, and if we say it can run 6,000 units an hour, we mean it.”
Naegele Bakery Systems is the exclusive representative of the Kaak Group in North America. If you’d like to learn more about any of these innovations, or have any questions about their equipment, get in touch.