bake - January/February 2021 - 6

management

rise

OF AUTOMATION
Automation reimagines the traditional idea of labor in a food or

Looking at business continuity and automation as a long-term

bakery processing plant. Not only can automated machines easily

investment, the number one benefit automation provides is the

fill in the gaps left by employees who were laid off due to bud-

increased level of operations productivity. For example, Uni-

get cuts or quit out of health concerns during COVID-19 (without

filler's Cake-O-Matic makes cake icing quick and efficient with

adding to the risk of contamination), they can also be well-suited

its servo-driven turntable, eliminating any concern for bakeries

for the repetitive and menial tasks human workers were once ex-

lacking in cake decorators. Plus, quality machines like the Cake-

pected to do. Even semi-automating a process with a standalone

o-Matic are built to be flexible and mobile, which makes it easier

machine (versus a fully automated line) can help significantly to

for bakeries to optimize a small production space. They are also

fortify staffing shortages while increasing product quality.

highly versatile, possessing the capabilities to be adjusted for

Sonia Bal, director of marketing at Unifiller Systems, shares
her take on the rise of automation in the baking industry:
" COVID-19 highlighted that businesses are heavily reliant on

different applications.
Another area where automation can help bakeries is improving portion accuracy without putting the onus on workers.

staff retention and customer demand, " she explains. " The cur-

" Where customers move towards automation, accurate por-

rent pandemic has forced more food manufacturers to con-

tioning is critical to reduce labor during downstream processes, "

sider automation as a way to ensure that equipment can 'step

says Steven Belyea, applications manager at Unifiller. " Unifiller

up' when staff aren't available. I think everyone is eager to get

single piston and multi piston depositors with servo control are

people back to work and open up businesses. But getting back

able to control the deposit cycle more accurately compared to

to 'typical' demand will be slow and steady. "

industry typical pneumatic depositors. This results in more ac-

Bal continues, " We believe this pandemic will force most

curate spreading of batters and creams and will allow for smaller

businesses to plan out structured contingency plans for any fu-

minimum portions. Recipe storage and touch screen adjustment

ture crisis. Many essential foodservice plants offered increased

allows for faster set up, reducing the need for skilled workers. "
Not only do automated systems and equipment provide busi-

operational costs. These types of manufacturers will eventually

nesses with a holistic solution to staffing challenges, pandemic-

look to reduce labor costs with automation, while others will

related or otherwise, automation is an exciting area of technolo-

fill staff shortages with automation. Automating production,

gy that continues to evolve and provide lucrative opportunities.

so that businesses rely less on labor and more on equipment,

What better time to be a part of a revolution that is paving the

will be instrumental to business continuity. In the short term,

way for a better future for the food and baking world? The an-

as markets start to open up, they will want to ramp up quickly

swers are readily available to your bakery through the rise of

with varied access to staff. "

automation. U N IFILLER SYSTEMS

©AGNORMARK - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

pay or 'bonus pay' during the crisis, thereby increasing their

06 < JAN-FEB 2021 | bakemag.com


http://www.bakemag.com

bake - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of bake - January/February 2021

bake - January/February 2021 - 1
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