Bakkavor, provider of freshly prepared food in the UK, is enjoying the benefits of having successfully improved pizza dough base quality and consistency while, at the same time, reducing production costs through less maintenance and downtime.Pizza is one of the UK's most loved foods, with the average Brit eating 731 pizzas in their lifetime. With such high demand, it is no surprise that pizza makers are in the market for state-of-the-art automation equipment to optimise their production. Bakkavor, for example, supplies pizza and other fresh food to a wide range of leading retailers in the UK, including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, and Waitrose.The company's pizza production is located in two facilities, one being Bakkavor Pizza in Holbeach St Marks, Lincolnshire – just six miles from Control Freaks, which is based near Spalding. There, a large, fully automated manufacturing line, extending over two floors, turns raw materials into finished products. The basic process mixes mainly flour and water to make pizza dough, which then continues to be rolled, stretched, heat treated, and proved. Once the dough is ready, round pizza bases are produced.Each process builds on the steps before it; therefore, any issue upstream in the sequence not only influences the end result, but is also difficult to correct downstream. In such a highly synchronised system, effective inter-process control becomes crucial. When the project to make improvements started, the incumbent control system on Bakkavor Pizza's dough rolling section was over 20 years old. Due to its age and relative obsolescence, any issues had become harder to fix over time and production was not running at optimum efficiency...
Read the full article in PBSI's September issue
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