Supermarket Perimeter - June 2020 - 67

SPOTLIGHT

The advantages of the robotic
arm include:
x Higher productivity
x Constant product quality
x Cost reduction
x Hygienic and safe
x Can be used with various
machines and applications
(e.g. Piston Depositor
and Disc Sprayer)
Imberechts said the idea for
the robotic arm came out of
requests from Bakon's existing
customer base looking for
a solution to cut down on
repetitive and intensive labor
from moving heavy baking trays
from place to place.
"It may be okay to lift a baking
sheet full of product one time,
but when you have to do it
hundreds of times in one day,
then you have an issue," he said.
The robotic arm takes away
the risk of injury from employees
constantly lifting heavy trays and
baking pans and frees up hands
to work on other tasks.

The more versatile a
commissary or central kitchen's
cake production line is, the
more options grocers can still
offer their customers without
completely relying on human
effort. Bal pointed out that
cake production lines that use
a conveyer belt to move cakes
from one station to another
not only provide consistent
flow but also give the ability to
space out operators allowing for
social distancing and enhanced
employee safety. Bal also
highlighted the fact that all of

Unifiller's equipment is designed
to be simple to clean.
"Automating certain portions
of central production, so that
kitchens are relying less on labor
and more on equipment, such
as automated icing or quick
batter depositing solutions, will
be instrumental in business
continuity," Bal said.
One possibility that Bakon
offers is a compact cake line
that can produce up to a fourlayer cake in less than 33 feet.
Imberechts said that this solution
came out of a need for Bakon's

customers to save space, which
he noted is particularly helpful in
the times of COVID-19.
"We're being asked for creative
ways to reduce space: being
more conscious about space and
creating ways to reduce overall
space and making machines more
compact and reduce the number
of people you need," he said. "With
COVID-19 that will be a new kind
of criteria to see how many people
you need on a line and how
close people really need to be to
one another. I think there will be
changes to that in the future."

COVID-19 makes
production machines
more relevant
In the times brought on by
the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, Neithercut pointed
toward the added benefits
of commissaries and central
kitchens.
"Grocery retailers are looking
for a method of keeping their
cases full," she said. "It has been
increasingly more difficult to find
decorators instore so setting up
central commissary production
provides many benefits including
efficiency, product consistency
and the ability to produce more
in less time."
Bal predicts that grocers will
need to come up with a plan to
reduce the number of people in
the kitchen at one time in case of
future resurgences of COVID-19
later this year and next year.

Bakon's BD9 Depositor
can be ready to use in
minutes by moving the
machine into the right
working position, filling
the hopper (which is
easy to lower by an
electrical drive) and
choosing a recipe.

supermarketperimeter.com

JUNE 2020 - 67


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Supermarket Perimeter - June 2020

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