When your breads, bagels and buns fly off the shelves about as fast as you can make them, you know your bakery is a success.
But now you’ve got two choices: keep going as you are, or expand your business to become an even bigger industry name.
For bakers who choose the second option, it means increasing the speed, efficiency and quality of your operation. One of the best ways to do this is to upgrade your equipment.
For example, buying an industrial bread slicing machine gives you the power to:
- Automate your process to save time
- Increase production rates
- Improve consistency for a higher quality product
- Streamline production to reduce pressure
- Reliably meet demands to widen your customer base
But while refining your process is the key to growing your bakery, choosing the wrong machine could cause more harm than good. In fact, using a bread slicer that doesn’t match your product can lead to:
- Uneven cuts, which lowers quality, impacts sales and affects your reputation
- Excessive crumb buildup
- Unnecessary wear and tear, which extends downtime and creates repair costs
So, how do you choose the right industrial bread slicing machine for your bakery?
What to consider when you buy an industrial bread slicing machine
Some bakeries simply use a standard 3/8-inch slicing blade. While this is a versatile option, it’s important to understand that different products have different needs. The key is to find the right slicing blades for your bakery products.
It’s important to choose a blade that has the right pitch – that is, with the right distance between each of the blade’s teeth.
When the blade’s teeth are narrow, it cuts much more aggressively. This is ideal for cutting breads with a hard crust, such as artisan breads. But softer breads, like white dinner rolls, will cut more cleanly with wider-pitched blades.
Similarly, most high-speed production bread slicers use band blades, which move in a figure-8 pattern. But if you offer products like raisin bread, this movement pattern is likely to damage or displace the fruit inside. For these, it’s better to use a machine with reciprocating blades, which simply move up and down.
Each industrial bread slicing machine offers its own set of slicing options. The thickness of your bread affects the serving size and how many portions your customers receive.
If your bakery specializes in a small range of similar products, a machine with fixed slicing blades would be an excellent choice. Since these blades stay in place, they offer much more consistency in thickness. They also reduce the risk of human error from poorly exchanged blades. As a result, you’re much less likely to produce an incorrectly sliced batch.
If you offer a wide range of products in many shapes and sizes, however, a machine with adjustable and exchangeable blades can give you greater versatility. Rather than buy a separate machine for each product, you can adjust the lattice to slice many different products using only one machine. This saves money and means your equipment takes up minimal space.
High-end slicing machines can process an impressive 75 loaves a minute. If your bakery already features a fully automated production line, a high-end industrial bread slicing machine is an easy way to speed up production.
But without a production line setup, you won’t get the most efficiency from a high-end machine. That means you might be spending a lot of money for only a small boost in productivity. These machines are also more expensive than lower-powered options and cost more to run and maintain in the long term.
Rather than buy the most powerful bread slicer possible, make sure you choose a model that’s suitable for the volume demand of your bakery.
Before you settle on an industrial bread slicing machine, be sure to measure the space you have available.
Buying a bread slicer just to discover it doesn’t fit into your workspace means spending unnecessary time and money to receive, store, return and replace it. This disrupts your daily operations, and slows your production rate.
To make sure you get the right machine for your bakery, the team at Lenexa Manufacturing Company offer customized automated bread slicers tailored to your needs. We use SolidWorks 3D to measure and test prototypes before production, so you never need to worry whether your new machine will fit into your workspace.
Machine maintenance and care
Switching to an industrial bread slicing machine can streamline your process, increase your production volume and raise the quality of your bread. But to enjoy these benefits for as long as possible, you need to clean and maintain your bread slicer.
It’s always important to follow the guidelines in your machine’s instructional handbook. But as a general rule, try to keep an eye out for:
- Misaligned blade guides, which lead to incorrect slice size and count
- Dull or broken blades, which damage products and can injure workers
- Crumb and debris buildup, which can encourage bacterial growth
Using a bread bagger – the next step to supreme quality
Bagging your bread isn’t just about making it nice to look at and easy to transport. By sealing in the aroma, preserving taste, and protecting it from moisture and contaminants, a bread bagger keeps your product at its highest quality for the longest time. In short, it helps determine the final success of your product.
So, once you’ve upgraded to an industrial bread slicing machine, you might want to consider upgrading your bakery packing machine as well.
Finding the right industrial bread slicing machine
Finding the right bread slicer can have a huge impact on the growth of your bakery. But just knowing what to look for doesn’t make it easy to find. For that, it takes an expert.Take our short product quiz today, and we’ll suggest the most appropriate industrial bread slicing machine for your bakery. As well as state-of-the-art equipment, we also provide UBE replacement parts and talented engineering teams to ensure your machine continues to bring you peak productivity.