An Overview of the International Association of Plant Bakers

There are several organizations within industrial baking, and these groups often work to bring together business leaders, researchers and academics, and sometimes political or regulatory groups. The aim of this cross-industry collaboration is usually to align efforts on important and emerging topics within the industrial baking industry and to promote the industry as a whole. The efforts of these organizations have far reaching impacts – from farmers producing raw materials to purveyors of used industrial ovens. The International Association of Plant Bakers (AIBI) is one of the largest of the industry organizations, with a long history and a broad membership.

History

AIBI is based out of Brussels and is formed by the national bakery associations of 16 countries, which in total represents over 2,200 large bakeries in Europe and beyond. AIBI is the abbreviation of the french title Association Internationale de la Boulangerie Industrielle, which translates in English to International Association of Plant Bakers. It was founded in 1956 in Paris and has stated its mission as representing its members’ interests, especially within European and international institutions such as the EU Commission, European Council, and European Parliament. This representation has taken many forms in the past, from founding initiatives that span the continent to disseminating information regarding new regulations such as food labeling to holding an annual Congress where members and industry leaders can convene.

Current objectives and membership

One of the current objectives of AIBI is to determine strategies for promoting bread in Europe. To that end, members of AIBI attended a joint symposium with the Federation of European Union Manufacturers and Suppliers of Ingredients to the Bakery, Confectionery, and Patisserie Industries (FEDIMA) that provided its content in three parts: “Part 1 – Perspectives on Bread and its Promotion Opportunities,” “Part 2 – The Different Bread Campaigns in Europe,” “Part 3 – Setting up Your Bread Promotion Campaign.” There are many well-known industrial baking industry businesses on their membership rolls, including Lesaffre, the world’s largest producer of baking yeast, and industrial baking equipment titans like Fritsch and Mecatherm. With member businesses such as these, the work and progress of AIBI in its mission resonates across the industry, in bakeries big and small, and in multiple layers of their business, whether that is how to label their products or when it’s time to scale and purchase used Mecatherm industrial bakery equipment.  

 

Artisan Capital Partners tailors solutions and services designed to create liquidity from industrial bakery assets while consistently managing transaction risk. Artisan Capital Partners helps bakeries manage assessing equipment, dismantling, and transportation, as well as design, installation, and testing to provide bakeries with a liquidity event that meets their goals.

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Maintaining Value In Industrial Baking Equipment

Industrial bakery equipment is one of the highest costs and most vital purchases for a bakery. While industrial baking equipment enables the creation of a bakery’s core products, they are also valuable assets that can provide liquid resources to the company when needed. Proper care of bakery equipment is vital to realizing a good return on your investment when selling or exchanging products. Here are a few strategies to keep your equipment in demand.

Established Brands

As industrial baking equipment has both a high capital costs and is vital to the success of an operation, bakeries in general are risk averse when purchasing equipment. An industrial  bakery seeking equipment needs to be as certain as possible of the performance a machine will provide, its maintenance costs, and its operation lifetime. This means most industrial bakeries want to work with top brands that have proven technology and an establish maintenance industry, which helps to minimize the risks of unexpected costs.

Consistent Maintenance

One of the best ways to keep value in industrial baking equipment is to ensure that maintenance schedules are consistently kept. While it can be a difficult choice to stop a production line for preventative maintenance or justify the expense of new parts as existing ones begin to wear, it is important for the long-term health of the equipment. Keeping equipment painted and clean is another component of maintenance that will help preserve its value. Overall, following recommended bakery equipment maintenance procedures and keeping the equipment clean, painted and well-kept can increase the value of the equipment in the secondary market and pay dividends on the past maintenance costs.

Record Keeping

Keeping records of your equipment’s history, from purchasing, to maintenance, to operation, will provide the secondary market more information to accurately value the equipment. Without records, it could be assumed that your equipment is less valuable or more risky. With a few processes in place, a bakery can ensure that the provenance of their equipment is documented and all records are accurately maintained, which in turn provides potential buyers more certainty of the value of these assets and confidence in their potential purchase.

Artisan Capital Partners tailors solutions and services designed to create liquidity from industrial bakery assets while consistently managing transaction risk. Artisan Capital Partners helps bakeries manage assessing equipment, dismantling, and transportation, as well as design, installation, and testing to provide bakeries with a liquidity event that meets their goals.

 

Industrial Bakery Production Line Sprays

Throughout the industrial baking production line, products are manipulated, have additional ingredients added, and are baked to create the final shape and composition of the bakery product. Each of these steps requires the accurate release and adhesion of the dough to the production line equipment and other ingredients. There are multiple ways to make sure that a dough releases properly or a topping sticks just right, including using sprays. Sprays can provide precision application in both location and quantity. Placing the right amount every time is beneficial for some industrial bakeries, as it can reduce waste, increase consistency, and simplify cleanup.

Coatings

Industrial bakery production sprays can be used in an industrial baking production line to place an even and consistent coating onto product. This can include applying liquid such as butter, oil, glazes, and chocolate. Water or oils can also be sprayed to assist seed or granular flavoring adhesion that will be applied to the dough down the production line. Incorporating uniform, precise spraying could reduce the waste of coatings, cleanup time, or quality issues that can sometimes arise in other coating strategies.

Production Lubricating

The reliable release of dough from belts or tins is essential for maintaining production goals. If a piece of dough sticks and requires manual separation, it could necessitate shutting down that segment or the entire production line, which, even for a few minutes, could have significant costs. Because of the importance of consistent dough release, sprays can offer improved consistency of lubricating agent application. The uniform application of the lubricating agent could reduce sticking and product rejection. Additionally, the accurate placement of lubricating agents can save costs by reducing the quantity of products used and the labor costs of manual application or rejection management.

Product Longevity

Spraying can also provide uniform application of preserving agents such as mold inhibitors or a preservative such as potassium sorbate. This regular application can provide a more predictable shelf life for the product. Properly applying these preserving agents can save costs by reducing waste and also improve the brand’s perception through product consistency.

Artisan Capital Partners tailors solutions and services designed to create liquidity from industrial bakery assets while consistently managing transaction risk. Artisan Capital Partners helps bakeries manage assessing equipment, dismantling, and transportation, as well as design, installation, and testing to provide bakeries with a liquidity event that meets their goals.

Creating artisan style breads in an industrial bakery

Artisanal breads offer a contrast to the pan-formed sliced bread loafs that have become ubiquitous since Otto Frederick Rohwedder first created a bread-slicing machine in 1912. With the development of the Chorleywood bread process in 1961, bread production lines have pushed the boundaries of production throughput by reducing the time it takes to prepare the dough. The resulting fluffy, lower nutrient bread allowed bread to become more accessible to more families across the globe, but eventually resulted in a consumer backlash that has led to a growing market for artisanal breads.

Customer expectations for Artisanal Bread

Consumers generally seek out artisan breads as a contrast to sliced breads commonly found in grocery stores. This includes looking for a different shape, consistency, and to some degree, taste. Some consumers may also look for organic or non-GMO breads.  However, the overall appeal of artisan breads is that they reflect consumers’ perception of “real” or handmade bread. The largest consumer signal that a bread is artisan is that it is freestanding – not shaped with a tin – and not sliced.  Before baking pans and long before sliced bread, there was freestanding bread production. Freestanding bread production over the centuries consisted of manually preparing and kneading dough, letting it rise in baskets or other covered spaces, and then placing the proofed dough in the oven. This handmade process and its associated taste and nutrition is what consumers associate with artisanal breads.

Freestanding breadlines

Introducing a freestanding breadline to create artisanal breads may require changes to recipes or to the makeup of your production line, but the industrial baking industry is developing technologies that mimic this process. For example, DrieM’s artisanal bread lines have high throughput capacities and efficiencies. The production line can accommodate many artisanal bread products with their various equipment options. The first option is what type of final proofing your product needs – on a surface or in a basket? For surface proofing, they provide either a “Peelboard Line” or a “Belt Proofer”. If you need basket proofing, the solution will depend on how many bread shapes you need to accommodate – they support up to four. Proofing is done in a thermal oil oven and then cooled in a multi-spiral system. The dough is then handled by their self-feeding “Dough DrieMer,” that eliminates falling heights for doughs and prepares the dough sheet. This equipment allows for a range of dough viscosities to create either a fine or open structure in the final product.


The increased popularity of artisan bread products will continue to drive innovation in industrial baking to develop bread equipment solutions that deliver to consumers a wider range of artisan bread products with increased efficiency.

Artisan Capital Partners tailors bakery solutions and services designed to create liquidity from industrial bakery assets while consistently managing transaction risk. Artisan Capital Partners helps bakeries manage assessing equipment, dismantling, and transportation, as well as design, installation, and testing to provide bakeries with a liquidity event that meets their goals.

Innovations redefining industrial bakery equipment maintenance

Industrial bakeries are under constant pressure to innovate in order stay competitive – producing more products at lower costs, with greater shelf life and consistency, all while developing new products. Many supply chain, financing, and operational strategies have allowed for industrial bakeries to meet some of these market demands; however, continual innovation in industrial baking equipment has created new possibilities in bakery production.

Designs that reduce downtime

For decades, much of the innovation in industrial baking focused on processes and types of equipment.  While these continue to evolve, manufacturers are also now rapidly improving the hygienics, configurability, and safety of equipment. Using new materials that are easily cleaned and isolating the exposure of product in a machine, sanitizing industrial equipment is becoming faster and easier. Additionally, multi-functional equipment is incorporating new design strategies that reduce the time to change between product types. These two design initiatives have led to reduced labor costs, longer operating time, and reduced downtime for sanitization and production changes.

Sensors and analytics

Industrial bakeries, like many other manufacturing industries, are beginning to leverage big data, machine learning, and the Internet of Things in baking equipment to identify opportunities to gain efficiencies across the production line. Equipment can use many sensors to monitor systems and process large amounts of data quickly to understand how the production line is currently performing and monitor food quality to predict when the line will need downtime for adjustment or cleaning. These sensors can also identify minor adjustments in processes that can achieve energy savings, reducing operational costs for bakeries.

New ingredients

As consumer preferences for bakery products shifts, it creates opportunities for industrial bakeries to expand their product line and reach new customers. This includes movements away from trans-fats and corn syrup and the rise of organic, gluten-free products.  This has required bakeries to use different shortening and sweetening products, as well as new flour blends and gelling agents that still create the same texture and taste of traditional baked goods. Successful experimentation of recipes and production strategies can create new products that allow bakeries to make higher margin products and attain an edge against the competition.

About Artisan Capital Partners:

Artisan Capital Partners tailors bakery solutions and services designed to create liquidity from industrial bakery assets while consistently managing transaction risk. Artisan Capital Partners helps bakeries manage assessing equipment, dismantling, and transportation, as well as design, installation, and testing to provide bakeries with a liquidity event that meets their goals.

Preparing Dough at an Industrial Scale

Dough preparation for any bakery is essential for making a quality baked good. When baking moves to an industrial scale, dough preparation is more challenging yet just as important. Preparing dough at an industrial scale is about consistency and efficiency. Today’s new and used industrial dough preparation equipment is designed to make dough for your line effectively while allowing your bakery to get a quality product to market with a low operating cost.

Dough Mixing and Kneading

The first step in dough preparation is dough mixing and kneading. This is an important step to creating the correct mixing amount, air entrainment, and consistency. To increase efficiency, industrial mixing equipment automates as many steps of this process as possible to enable high-speed mixing capabilities. This includes the steps of kneading where the dough is pressed, sometimes in a chilled bowl, to increase performance. Some equipment also includes the ability to detect faults and alert operators of any anomalies quickly.

Dough dividing, rounding, and proofing

Once the dough is created, it then has to be prepared for the make-up line where the filler, folding, and decorating will be performed. This begins with a dough divider, such as the Benier 6 Pocket Dough Divider. These evenly divided pieces are then rounded, which must be consistent to help ensure that subsequent equipment can properly handle each piece. This is often done by repositioning the dough ball several times against forming surfaces to improve rounding.

The dough is then proofed. Proofing can be done as a manual step or using a tray or spiral proofer. The proofer will precisely control the temperature and humidity over the specified period of time to proof the dough. Proofing equipment uses sophisticated technology to create a balance of heat and steam to create a quality dough.

System design

Dough preparation systems are designed to minimize cost of ownership. This means that they should be consistent and easy to operate. Technologies such as non-stick coatings and hygienic design allow for equipment to run for longer and make cleaning faster and easier. Other design improvements include using corrosion-free materials such as stainless steel and synthetic, food grade materials. These innovations have allowed industrial bakeries to deliver exceptional baked goods at affordable prices throughout the world.

Artisan Capital Partners tailors solutions and services designed to create liquidity from industrial bakery assets while consistently managing transaction risk. Artisan Capital Partners helps bakeries manage assessing equipment, dismantling, and transportation, as well as design, installation, and testing to provide bakeries with a liquidity event that meets their goals.

A look at Benier’s Industrial Baking Equipment

When baking is your business, you understand the importance of having quality equipment at every stage of the process. The first phases of mixing and handling the dough are crucial steps, and the equipment you choose for you industrial baking line can have a big impact on your finished product. Artisan Capital Partners, who stocks a growing and evolving inventory of industrial baking equipment, is developing their inventory of the respected brand Benier, a company that has designed and built dough production and dough handling systems for 130 years. Here is a look at Benier’s dough production line of mixing, dividing, rounding, proofing, and moulding equipment.

Mixing

A good mixer is essential to any medium or large scale baking operation, and Benier offers several types of mixers, also called mechanical dough developers (MDD’s). Their MDD’s include the option of providing vacuum and/or pressure mixing, boast an ease of maintenance and a fully automated process, and depending on the mixer, have a capacity of up to 772 pounds of dough per batch.

Dividing

After the energy and workmanship that has gone into creating the dough, it is imperative that the equipment that subsequently handles it also provides quality outcomes. The type of dough divider your business requires depends on several factors, and Benier has a range of equipment to meet many industrial baking needs. One of their newer models, the patent-pending Xtrueder, is a good example of their design and manufacturing abilities, and can produce 15,000 pieces per hour and features vacuum assisted intake, easily exchanged outfeed nozzles, and built-in air conditioning for consistent dough temperature.

Rounding

According to Bakerpedia, dough rounding is when “the divided dough piece is shaped into a ball for easier handling, and in some cases, coated with dusting flour to prevent dough pickup.” Benier has four models of rounders: V-Belt Rounder, Allrounder, Unirounder, and Tallround.

Proofing

Many bakeries rely on Benier’s industrial first proofer to ensure their dough rests and reaches the highest level of quality it can attain in the proofing process. Benier’s proofer is flexible, with a modular system and several infeed capacities available, up to 9,000 pieces per hour.

Moulding

As the final step in the dough handling process, moulding literally shapes how the dough will look as the final product. For this important task, Benier produces several models of moulders, all of which tout the benefits of being easy to operate, easy to clean, and easy to maintain.

Artisan Capital Partners is the go-to for industrial baking equipment.  We buy complete bakeries, production lines, and peripheral equipment.  Contact us today to learn more.