Last month we talked about maximizing the profit on the products that run through your ovens.
This month, we will discuss inconsistent depositing before baking.
Some of the problems caused by inconsistent depositing are:
- Under weight and over weight deposits
- Damaging product during depositing
- Trailing or spillage of product during depositing
Under weight and over weight deposits:
When bakeries use inconsistent methods of depositing batters and fillings, your finished product
will either be overweight or underweight. The amounts could be small based on each production
run but add that up over a year of full production.
Methods where each deposit has to be measured or scaled are usually the most inconsistent.
In these situations the tendency is to over deposit to make sure that the final product weights are no less than the label weight on the package. The result is a direct hit on profits. After-all the baker can not charge for any of the ingredients that are over deposited. Improving the accuracy of the depositing system allows a baker to hit the label weights more accurately and virtually eliminate the profit leak from over depositing.
The first step in improving accuracy is to improve the scaling of ingredients. Modern day premixes go along way to making scaling more accurate. However there many bakeries that still make products by the “scratch” method. Some of these ingredients are premium high cost items. When these high cost items are over deposited the profit leak can be substantial.
An easy example of over portioning could be filling Cream Horns or Cannoli’s with a pastry bag. The typical method would be to use a pastry bag and “Eye Ball” the amount or just stop when you feel it’s right. A few problems arise here. Number one, if your Cream Horns or Cannoli’s are inconsistent in size, filling each one will take a different amount of filling. The second problem is obvious; filling these pastries by just “Eye Balling” the amount will almost always result in over filling. Multiply these inconsistent weights throughout the week, then throughout the year, add this up and see where you’re at with ingredient costs.
Solution — replace your pastry bag with a small single piston depositor. This way you can accurately fill each pastry with the exact amount of filling that you budgeted for in your costs. Now you can price your Cream Horns and Cannoli’s properly by having an accurate cost of ingredients on each one produced and sold.
Damaging product during depositing:
One concern with automated depositing solutions is the risk of damage to the product being deposited. Damaged product can lead to rejects or rework. Both of these problems cut into a bakery’s profits. These profit leaks can be prevented by choosing the right kind of depositor.
There are a number of different depositing methods to choose from: Gear pumps, sine pumps, double auger systems, and piston fillers. The key is to choose the best solution for the product being deposited. Bread and cookie or pie crust dough usually work well with double auger systems like the Vemag machine. Gear pumps like the Edhard pump handle donut fillings and some icings very well. And Piston fillers from from companies such as Hinds Bock, Unifiller and Megart work particularly well with batters, icings, mousses, and other flowable products. “The beauty of piston fillers is that the product is transferred by way of a vacuum process. This means that the product in the hopper of the depositor will not change during the depositing process”, says Bruce Williamson of Megart System in Toronto, Canada. ” Bruce also adds, “When choosing any form of depositor, look for one that is easy to use and set-up, easy to clean and easy to maintain.
Trailing or spillage of product during depositing:
Accurate depositing is not just a matter of repeating the same weight or volume with every shot. Accurate depositing is also a matter of hitting the target every time. Trailing batter or fillings over pans during depositing can lead to rejects after baking or to higher labor costs to clean pans for the next round of depositing and baking. Hitting the target is particularly important when it comes to icing cupcakes. Most cup cakes are sold in clamshells of 6 or 12, or in flat pack boxes of 24 and up. The most efficient way to ice these cup cakes is to ice them in the clam shells or flat packs. After icing, cupcakes can be further decorated with sprinkles, confetti candy or chocolate and caramel drizzle.
With ingredient prices at an all time high, customer expectations increasingly demanding and labor costs rising, examining your post oven production is a great way to close the profit leak and put some cash bash in your pocket.
Megart Systems designs and builds single and multi-piston depositors for fast, easy accurate scaling of a wide variety of products for unique and diverse bakery applications.
Join us next month for “Increasing the Wow Factor – Getting More for Your Bakery Products”
*Above image is a multi piston depositing System from Megart Systems*