Automation  in bakery operations

Bakeries world over are now opting to automate their operations due to shortage s in labour , to
increase productivity , save time and safety .This trend is more pronounced in Europe , Middle
eastern countries where labour is a problem.But for many countries bakery manufacturers prefer
manual operations as labour cost is low in comparison to their European counter part hence they
prefer to have workers performing all the operations . Automation is also very cost intensive hence
bakery owners avoid putting money in the automation projects plus the skills to operates these system
has a cost .Spares and Inventory is also a problem for these small to medium plants .Even with these
disadvantage automation has benefits for large or big bakery plants which results in better
productivity and cost savingsAreas in bakeries operation where Automation can be doneMaterial
handlingConveyors can be used to load or unload matrials from vehicles to the stores or production
hall with minimum requirement of labor .

Pneumatic conveying for Bulk handling and storage of raw material . These can be done with PLC
based pneumatic system.Pre -Mixing and Mixing Raw material addition and transfer of liquid s for
mixing can be automated with help of Plc based system along with weighing and batching done with
automated system . Weighing is done through load cells and electro pneumatic valves which then are
integrated with plc s.Mixers with helps of timers and software can adjust mixing timing as per dough
consistency .Forming and LaminatingTipping of dough can be done through tipping elevators
.Change overs in Dividers for bread as well as Cutter and moulders can be done to reduce change
over time s.Speed of Webs for gauge roller can be increased or decreased as per requirement or
baking time for biscuit , cookies and cracker lines in a group .( as speed of each web and gauge
rollers are linked to each other ) .OvenBurner controls are now fully automated where burners starts
and stop as per the requirement of heat inside the baking zones .These are done with installation
automated system with help of temperature controllers .

Biscuit lines have multiple burners installed and can be controlled with one command through plc
.Tracking of wire bands in biscuit lines are done through sensors installed .Loading of ovens in bread
lines can be automated with mechanical conveyors with timing adjusted through plc based programs
.Prooving and baking trays are loaded and loaded with help of automated mechanisms.Baked breads
are taken out from moulds by putting up Depanners hence eliminating manual labor to depan
.PackagingMost of the automation which have been installed in bakeries is in the packaging section
.Feeding system - feeding of biscuits to packing machine or bread loaves to slicer are automated
through chutes/ guidelines for biscuit lines or conveyors for bread plants.Biscuit Packaging is than
done through horizontal wrapping machine with operations like packs , prints and seals .Automatic
Bagger machine are used for bagging or packaging of bread slices .Horizontal flow wrap machines
are also used in bread plants for packaging .Here we can automate forming of cbbs by installing cbbs
forming machine .

Most the bakery manufacturers prefers preformed cartons to the automated forming of cbbsOnce the
packets are placed then entire system of cartoning , palletizing can be done through robotics most of
the western countries have installed robotics to handle post packing machine operations till loading.

Automation of any operation uses sensors , controllers , pressure switches , Ac based servodrives
,HMI , pneumatic s or hydraulic, photocells , scanners , AC Drives,PCB cards with their integration to
PLC based software .Various companies gives complete package of plc systems such as Allen
Bradley , Siemens , Telemechanique ,Schnieder ,Omron , Okuma , Mitsubishi,GEfanuc ,ABB .

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