Automation, ease of operation, simple cleanability, hygienic design, operator safety, and the ability to process nontraditional and healthier ingredients are among the top of mind requests for snack and bakery operators looking to buy or upgrade laminators or sheeters.
The latest advances in convenience packaging options, single-serve, re-sealable, portion-controlled, on-the-go, offer retailers and consumers greater convenience, reliable containment, and sustained freshness. Increased recyclability and sustainability are other features. This is good news for bakery and snack producers who are striving to meet consumer demand.
Consumer trends are driving bakery/snack production in the areas that form/fill/seal (FFS) systems accommodate. The types of packaging formats being requested by retailers and consumers is a major factor. As a result, the latest FFS systems can produce single-serve, portion-controlled packs at high speeds while offering quick changeover.
Advances in packaging materials continue to extend shelf life, while adding convenience and freshness to bakery and snack goods. Innovations in modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP), microbial-inhibiting film, and the use of cellulose nanocrystals are helping to push the envelope.
Bakeries and snack makers in the market for ovens, proofers, fryers, and dryers have a healthy list of features and benefits in mind. These include capabilities for customization and flexibility, reliability and consistency, temperature control, faster processing times and continuous production, and automation that operators can control and monitor remotely.
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.
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