The production line begins with a hopper feeding dough down into a divider. The divider portions the dough; the dough pieces are dropped on four conveyor lines which spread apart as they run towards the bagel former, which then rolls the dough pieces into a bagel shape before they are frozen for shipment.
“The checkweigher’s feedback gives us the ability to maintain consistency throughout the entire batch regardless of fermentation and the control gives us the ability to control all four lanes from a single, touch screen operator interface. With this new system, we have been able to reduce giveaway, reduce rejected product, and increase our efficiency.”
The open design, all stainless construction, and conveyors with tool-free belt removal meets the Company’s need for easy inspection and maintenance, and exceeds USDA requirements and is built to IP-69K standard for high-pressure, high-temperature washdown. The entire system was installed with optimum product spacing, weighing, classification, rejecting, and discharge. “Multi-lane capacity allows us to lower production costs and increase production without adding new lines. Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed was able to meet our needs and create a multi-lane checkweighing solution that fits our production line requirements.”
“Generally, the individual batches are the same, but the beginning of the batch has little fermentation, thus we have very consistent dough pieces. But toward the end of the batch, more fermentation gives greater volume and less weight.” The operators were constantly monitoring weights and making adjustments to the dough divider – a very time-consuming process.
Still another challenge was moving the bagel pieces along the production line. Raw dough is soft and sticky and tends to leave residue behind, especially when it is being transferred from one conveyor to another. Also, standard rejection mechanisms such as air jets, pushers, flippers, or deflectors do not work well on bagel dough.