Pizza is one of the biggest opportunities for bakery manufacturers right now. The USDA recognizes pizza as a “high consumption food,” and their research shows that about 1 in 8 Americans (including more than 1 in 4 males aged 6-19) eats pizza on any given day. That’s a lotta pizza!
The pandemic has boosted the popularity of this already-popular food. Since people started eating more at home, frozen pizzas have been flying off the shelves, largely because they’re convenient and tasty meal options that appeal to just about everyone.
For pizza manufacturers, this situation has brought a new challenge: how to keep up with the increased demand. As a solution, many are turning to semi- or fully-automated pizza production lines.
A typical frozen pizza process follows these steps:
In a batch process, these steps are both time- and labor-consuming. And if you’re already running your line at maximum capacity, you might have the ability to increase your throughput. This is where automation comes in.
Here’s the main question to ask yourself:
Do you produce 1000 products or more per hour, per shift, at least five days a week?
If you answered “yes,” then a fully automated line can save you anywhere between 50% and 90% in labor while greatly enhancing your throughput. Automated pizza production lines can produce from 1200 to 15,000 pizzas an hour, taking the products through all of the steps above.
Even if you answered “no,” you can still benefit from adding some automation to your line. For example, it’s common to automate the dough ball dividing process to ensure consistent portions, as well as the rounding process, which both ensures consistency and minimizes the amount that the dough is worked. Adding automation at these steps is an efficient way to not only increase throughput and decrease labor costs, but also boost product quality and reduce waste.
Pizza will always be popular, and the consumer eating habits of the past several months will likely continue long after the pandemic is over. If you’d like to learn more about automating your pizza line, get in touch.