Once you start implementing industrial automation solutions to your bakery business, you must integrate several manufacturing elements, from ingredient handling to dispatch and distribution, into one comprehensive bakery management system that works. Since the recent shortages in labor have promoted bakeries across the globe to take up automation to enhance productivity, let’s take a closer look at the best approach to integrating an automated bakery system into your manually controlled plant.
Bakeries in The Middle East and Europe, where labor shortages have been more pronounced for the last decade, have been faster to adopt industrial automated solutions. US food manufacturers, conversely, remain slower to automate their bakery management. This trend is attributable to the history of lower labor costs in the US, at the moment, a rapidly changing situation.
Why should I automate my bakery now?
Labor supply issues have complicated the food and beverage industry along with virtually countless other business sectors involved with the supply chain. Accordingly, the preference for manual operators in the US has recently changed. If you’re just now familiarizing yourself with automated bakery management systems, it’s worth noting that your European counterparts have been successfully integrating these solutions for some time.
In the Netherlands, where labor costs are high, the baking industry established a dedicated role for automating bakeries called a Bakery Systems Integrator. Dutch manufacturing facilities have relied on these experienced consultants and plant designers to set up their industrial bakeries, and their innovative practices have led to several breakthrough projects.
These European experts, renowned for installing bakery management solutions that can optimize warehouse space by 40%, achieved this at roughly 70% of the cost of a traditional linear solution. After successfully redesigning eight bakeries in The Netherlands, they put their knowledge into a comprehensive system integration plan worth examining more closely.
Given that more US worker shortages are anticipated, and manual labor costs are rising, consider these proven approaches from overseas to help strategize system integration at your US bakery:
Establish the right personnel
After these Dutch engineers found success in Europe, they set their sights on emerging markets in the Middle East, where they encountered several unique challenges. Aside from adapting to the culturally-embedding ways of managing a sweeping automation project, sourcing and installing the right people to run the facility was another matter. Of course, once the ideal candidates became available, there was the task of training and managing them.
When companies manage this entire process on their own, they invariably run up against the “bamboo effect.” This term describes the phenomenon in which everything goes as planned during training, but when the workers are left to operate independently, they revert to their old habits.
This common disjunct is where forming a trusted partnership with a reputable consultancy like EZSoft becomes invaluable. We understand the importance of operational management and can provide specialized and expert guidance, drawing from our decades of industry experience to ensure that your expensive automation project doesn’t go south.
Install the right technology
Automation software and equipment have evolved considerably in just a few short years, with new state-of-the-art solutions available to bakeries of all sizes at lower costs than ever. Automated bakery management systems have continually improved equipment hygiene and information controls at facilities everywhere.
While industrial bakeries are not operated from a single control room yet, it’s certainly headed in that direction. There’s still a high level of innovation in the ongoing quest toward a fully automated bakery management system. This is why choosing the right software controls and automated equipment is vital. The industrial automated solutions at your bakery should be flexible and adaptable enough to upscale your line capacities as new technologies emerge.
The Bakery System Integration process
Bakery system integration, while complicated on the macro level, takes a fairly simple approach overall. The steps of your project separate into two main parts:
Phase 1: Planning
- Identify your core vulnerabilities
- Define a solution
- Establish your budget
Phase 2: Execution
- Locate suitable suppliers and system integrators
- Address civil and technical utility issues
- Start building your system on-site
- The best industrial automation companies near me
EzSoft, a prominent supplier of information and control systems, provides focused, comprehensive integration solutions for industrial bakers every time, everywhere. To learn more about our leading-edge project management, execution, and collaboration toolset, call us today at (484) 568-5040.