The nature of snack and bakery operations poses challenges to manufacturers of robotics equipment. Space is an issue. Also, the equipment must be able to handle a wide range of products of different shapes and sizes at high speeds while not damaging the goods.
Snack and bakery customers in the market for dough-handling equipment like dividers, depositors, and rounders are looking for versatility, greater precision, higher capacity, longer maintenance intervals, adjustability of qualities like width and weight, and machines that can handle natural, clean-label, and gluten-free products.
A desire for sustainability is one of the key factors driving the latest packaging innovations in baggers, closing equipment, twist ties, clips, zippers, resealable materials, heat sealing, and ultrasonic sealing.
Manufacturers and researchers worldwide are striving to develop new ways to keep snack and bakery products safe and fresh over the course of their intended shelf life.
Flexibility, greater sanitation, gentle handling of ingredients, quicker changeovers, more precise weight control, and the ability to make products with healthier ingredients are top of mind features and benefits for snack and bakery customers of extrusion equipment and technology.
Customers of ingredient handling equipment are focused on a wide mix of factors to come up with their optimal formulation. These include accuracy, traceability, food safety, automation, cleanability, efficiency, flexibility, batch quality and fire safety, manufacturers say.
The latest product handling equipment, cartoners, case erectors and packers, loaders and palletizers, features maximum flexibility in terms of product handling and packaging styles, which is good news for bakery and snack producers.
Snack and bakery industry customers want belts and conveyors that are fast and easy to clean, maximize energy efficiency, offer strength and durability, require as few tools as possible, and provide flexibility to either switch out products and/or run multiple products at once.
X-ray, metal detection, checkweighing and vision systems continue to advance, offering bakery and snack producers many ways to improve their quality control programs.
Different shapes, quicker changeovers, better sanitation, a smaller footprint, more automation, and a balance of speed and safety are among the top-of-mind criteria for customers of slicing and cutting machines in the snack and bakery industry, according to machine manufacturers.