The Curious Case of the Breakfast Biscuit: A Case Study

Process System for Large Bakery

Bakery Co.* is a multi-billion dollar food processing company that produces a popular breakfast biscuit (and several variations) consisting of rolled oats, rye flakes, various flours and other ingredients. These recipes, while nothing too complicated, became difficult to scale with Bakery Co.’s existing process system and production managers were experiencing quality control issues prior to MPE’s involvement.

Bakery Co.’s needs

  1. The biggest issue was that after blending dry ingredients; flours, sweeteners, and additives would segregate during transport through a pneumatic tube system to a bulk bag filler. Needless to say, this issue created headaches for production managers
  2. Plant managers also wanted to find a replacement process system requiring less maintenance and reducing energy costs—as their pneumatic conveyors consumed a lot of electricity, were quite loud, and required frequent upkeep

MPE’s solution

MPE engineered an entirely new process system for Bakery Co. in the following order:

  1. Bulk pack (also known as supersac) unloaders feeding a tubular drag conveyor
  2. Transport to stationary surge bins on load cells (large scales) with active bin bottoms to ensure consistent subsequent outflow of dry ingredients to loss-in-weight feeders
  3. Loss-in-weight feeders ensure precise dispensation of ingredients in adherence to recipes
  4. Then feeding measured ingredients to a second tubular drag conveyor transporting to a ribbon blender
  5. After blending, the (still dry) mixture feeds into a third tubular drag conveyor for transport to a subsequent bulk bag filler for storage until baking production

A picture is worth a thousand words

bulk-bag-unloader-1
Bulk bag unloaders for large quantity ingredients feature paddles and spout elongation devices for continuous flow of product exiting bulk bags. Spout seal plates securely fasten for no leakage. Also a dust collector and return line was installed with differential pressure switches that can be monitored from the transport control system (shown below)
MPE Batching Control System (1).png
MPE batching and transport control system sequences up to four separate batches with zero cross contamination. The conveyor runs automatically when each batch is ready for transport and turns off when not in use, thus saving energy
Storage Hoppers.png
3000 lb bulk ingredient storage hoppers are fed from a Chain-Vey above. They have high angle walls and vibrating bin bottoms to ensure consistent outflow of dry ingredients to loss-in-weight feeders with accuracy within 0.1%
ingredient-scaling-system-1
Accurate ingredient amounts are discharged into a Chain-Vey without the need for air-locks
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This second Chain-Vey system is 240 ft in length and carries measured amounts of ingredients to the mixer hopper. The importance here is that unlike many other conveyance systems, Chain-Vey ensures virtually zero product loss even in fine particle applications; an important consideration for adhering to recipes
Mixer Bathcing Hoppers2.png
The system above the dry mixer hopper utilizes minimal clearance of only 24 inches between the hopper and ceiling. A second scale system records the receipt of each ingredient which is reported to the batching and transport control system

The result

Bulk bag ingredients are quickly unloaded with no waste and efficiently transported to interim storage; ingredients are then accurately measured and transported to the mixing hoppers; product integrity is maintained during transport from mixers to the final bulk bags; all at a fraction of electricity usage and noise pollution. Meanwhile, Bakery Co.’s breakfast biscuits never tasted better.

*We substituted our customer’s real name with the fictitious name Bakery Co.

Talk to a sales engineer for custom ingredient management and automated process solutions.