Nothing beats the taste and smell of freshly baked bread, and that’s why the so-called Day Zero bread sells the very best. But as this kind of bread must be baked on the day of delivery, it poses a great production challenge for bakeries.
Nothing beats the taste and smell of freshly baked bread, and that’s why the so-called Day Zero bread sells the very best. But as this kind of bread must be baked on the day of delivery, it poses a great production challenge for bakeries. This is how the Swedish bakery Pågen solved the capacity issue – and improved their productivity at the same time.
Pågen is Sweden’s leading bakery. It’s a family business dating back to 1878 and today, they combine genuine craftsmanship with modern production technology at two large bakeries in Malmö and Gothenburg. They produce more than 60 different types of bread and pastries which they sell to 25 countries, and some 2.2 million pieces of bread leave their bakeries every week.
When Pågen decided to increase their sales of the coveted Day Zero bread, they faced the problem of limited production capacity. To meet the demand, they would need to fit 20% more machinery into the bakery’s packaging area, but the floor was already full. They also needed to install the new machinery without disruption to ongoing production.
Together with Pågen, FlexLink’s engineers remodeled the entire production system and introduced a new conveyor layout that made the 20 % machinery increase possible within the existing space. The new lines were built using the modular wide belt solution WLX, which is a conveyor platform suitable for industries with particularly high requirements for hygiene and accessibility.
With the old conveyors, loaves were sometimes misaligned and then sliced in the wrong way. Also, they often got stuck in production.
“Today, that problem is gone thanks to the WLX conveyor platform’s gentle handling of the bread”, says Magnus Persson, Project manager at Pågen, and continues:
“So is the issue of loaves falling off the conveyors. The exact conveyor layout design provided by the flexible modularity of the WLX has enabled us not only to increase capacity but also to maintain an even higher level of consistent product quality.”
Today, the importance of a clean, hygienic production environment is more important than ever, and the WLX conveyor platform sets new standards for cleaning results and cleaning process time in the food industry.
For Pågen, the simplified, hygienic conveyor design not only meant easier cleaning and reduced downtime, but also improved operator safety, with less heavy lifting, lower noise levels, and a more ergonomic and pleasant bakery environment.
“The new setup also requires less maintenance, and it’s really easy to handle”, says Magnus Persson. “Before, we had to bring in dedicated technicians to adjust things such as conveyor speed, but today everything can be handled by our own operators.”
The installation of Pågen’s remodeled production system took place over nearly 18 months, in a process that kept the production loss to a minimum. Production flow was maximized on the lines that were still running, whilst new lines were simultaneously installed by FlexLink.
The standardized design and modularity of the WLX conveyor platform considerably reduce ramp-up time. It also gives Pågen the ability to expand and adapt the conveyor lines over time, increasing the versatility and overall efficiency of their production system. Truly a great outset for growth and a better bottom line.
Would you like to know more about the modular wide belt solution WLX and FlexLink’s automated production flow solutions for the food industry? Please contact us or visit our website. To never miss out on any of our blog posts, keep an eye out on this blog where we share our knowledge in industrial automation and production efficiency.