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A Brief Introduction to the Lenexa Manufacturing Company

A Brief Introduction to the Lenexa Manufacturing Company

“At Lenexa Manufacturing Company (LMC), we provide mid- to large-sized bakeries across America with high-speed automated machinery, replacement parts, and maintenance services to supercharge their operations.”

That’s our 10-second elevator pitch, at least.

But any bakery equipment manufacturer can make their services sound fancy by dressing them up in exciting language. What’s important is for you to be able to understand what we do at a glance, and decide whether or not it matches your needs.

That’s why we’ve put together this short and simple introduction to help you find out about everything we offer in one convenient place in less than five minutes.

LMC’s background in bakery machinery manufacturing

Although LMC launched in 2013, our background in manufacturing bakery parts and machinery stretches back around 60 years.

In 1964, Frank Bastasch opened United Bakery Equipment (UBE), a leading manufacturer of bread slicing and packaging equipment that’s still operating to this day. When UBE’s Kansas facility closed in 2013, most of the Bastasch family moved over to the California facility. But Steve Bastach, Paul’s son, decided to stay in Kansas and open LMC using his own extensive experience as a UBE employee.

In the beginning, LMC consisted only of Steve and Paul Steinke, the company’s head mechanical engineer. But even with just two people, our parts were a hugely popular choice for bakers in just about every state. From there, we recruited the finest engineers around until we grew into our current team of 13 passionate, knowledgeable, and talented industry experts.

As well as replacement parts, we now offer a huge range of new, used, and refurbished bread slicers, baggers, autoloaders, and heat sealers. We also offer design, custom manufacturing, and installation, as well as comprehensive machine maintenance and servicing. In all of our services, we emphasize continuing technological innovation, forming close relationships with all of our customers, and delivering superior quality every time.

Our suite of bakery machinery services

Design

When you need specialized parts and components to customize your machinery, our engineers produce original designs using cutting-edge CAD software. We also make digital prototypes in SolidWorks 3D to test and improve their functionality before manufacture.

Manufacturing

Once you’ve approved our designs, we produce them to your specifications in our 10,000sq. ft. factory space. While most manufacturers keep you waiting for weeks or months, we offer a 24-hour turnaround on custom parts.

Sale

In our online shop, you can find new, used, and refurbished bakery equipment that can be customized to meet your precise needs. We also offer plenty of UBE replacement parts such as hinge blades and band blades, most of which can include next-day delivery. If you’re not sure what kind of automated bakery machinery would best suit your operation, take our 60-second bakery equipment quiz to find your ideal match.

Installation

Once you’ve ordered equipment from LMC, we send one of our technicians to install it for you free of charge. They’ll stay with you for as long as you need to test your machine and answer any questions you have.

Maintenance and servicing

No matter where in the world your bakery is, you can request a visit from an LMC engineer to perform maintenance and servicing for your machines. This extends your equipment’s lifespan, and ensures you maintain peak productivity for as long as possible. Our engineers also provide related services like staff training or a maintenance plan review to optimize your operation.

Why we specialize in refurbished bakery equipment

When bakers are looking to buy automated bakery equipment, they often ask us whether they should choose new or used.

New machines offer a guarantee of quality, and their warranties mean you can avoid expensive repairs if they start to malfunction. But they often have very high price tags which some bakers struggle to afford as a single lump sum payment. This is especially true with newer bakeries, who already have a lot of expenses to cover.

On the other hand, used equipment is far more affordable, letting bakeries limit their overheads. The problem is that it’s hard to tell how well the equipment will function and how long it’ll be before repairs need to be made. And if they break, you might end up spending more money than you would have otherwise.

But when you buy refurbished bakery equipment, you get the benefits of both new and used without the downsides of either. That means you can:

  • Enjoy outstanding performance that’s indistinguishable from new equipment.
  • Purchase with confidence, since many refurbished units are still in warranty.
  • Save a huge amount of money that you can reinvest in other business areas.
  • Avoid yearly depreciation to ensure you receive the highest possible value.
  • Choose your equipment based on several years of industry use and reporting.

Our range of refurbished automated bakery machinery includes bread slicers and baggers, heat sealers, autoloaders, twist tyers, robots, automatic closure machines, and more. Each listing features the price, description, specifications, and condition notes, and some also have video demonstrations. That means you can quickly find the most suitable addition to your bakery at a phenomenal price.

Contact us today to discuss your bakery needs

At LMC, we use our extensive engineering experience to provide a comprehensive suite of manufacturing services that takes you from idea to product in record time. Our range of automated bakery equipment boosts your rate of production while also raising quality, and our inventory of spare parts keeps downtime to a minimum. And even after the sale, our friendly and experienced team is always available to maintain your equipment, offer expert advice, and help you reach your goals.

There’s no need to hesitate. Contact us today to discuss the needs of your bakery, and we’ll provide affordable and reliable custom equipment that puts you ahead of your competitors.

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Join us at the International Baking Industry Exposition 2022!

International Baking Industry Exposition 2022

This year, LMC has secured a spot at the ground-breaking International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) – and we’d love for you to come and meet us in person!

You’ll find us at booth #3370, where we’ll be demonstrating how our automated bakery machinery can improve your line speed to an incredible one bag per second. On top of that, you can find out all about our replacement parts, maintenance, and servicing options to keep your equipment at peak productivity.

IBIE 2022 is taking place September 17-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. As our special guest, you can even get a massive 20% discount when you book your ticket online. Simply use the code EXH3370 at checkout, and you’ll save up to $65.80 on your exhibit hall pass.

Register your place at IBIE 2022 today, and pay us a visit at booth #3370!

What is the International Baking Industry Exposition?

As the world’s largest trade event for the grain-based foods industry, IBIE is a chance for bakery manufacturers, suppliers, and product experts to:

  • Experience the latest innovations and technologies in baked goods production.
  • Discover revolutionary ingredient formulations to improve taste or boost shelf life.
  • Explore the latest game-changing insights for growing your business and profits.
  • Participate in forums and discussions to navigate the critical challenges we all face.
  • Connect with industry members worldwide to build a strong professional network.

But IBIE doesn’t just advance baking with all-new gadgets and strategies. There are also plenty of educational and interactive experiences to help you and your team refine your skills.

IBIEducate, for example, offers over 100 learning opportunities, from hands-on training and technical sessions to classes on business management and consumer trends. You’ll also find workshops, demos, and presentations from a wide range of industry experts to push your business to its full potential. And when you’re finished, you can relax and have fun with the expo’s artisan marketplace, best in baking awards, cake decorating competition, and more.

When it comes to networking, IBIE is also your chance to connect with prospective partners from around the world. In fact, in 2019, international attendees from over 100 countries made up almost 30% of the total attendance. That means you have the opportunity to expand your market into foreign territories to further boost your sales and develop a global reputation.

No matter what aspect of the bakery industry you serve, you’re sure to encounter valuable products, sessions, or people at IBIE 2022.

Why is LMC attending the International Bakery Industry Exposition?

Our main goal at IBIE is, of course, to spread the word about our bakery automation equipment, spare parts inventory, and maintenance and servicing options. But we’re also excited for the opportunity to engage with other industry professionals face-to-face. That way, we further develop our understanding of the obstacles bakers are trying to overcome, and work on tailored solutions to meet their needs.

When you visit booth #3370, you’ll find a lot of highly valuable products and information waiting for you. To give you an idea of how our attendance can benefit your business, it helps to know a little about who we are and what we do…

A quick history of LMC

The legacy of LMC started in the early 1900s, when Andrew Bastasch opened a bakery in Oregon. This bakery became Luxury Bread, which developed a powerful reputation for quality, passion, and customer satisfaction.

As automation became increasingly common, the Bastasch family moved from using bakery equipment to manufacturing it in 1964 under the name United Bakery Equipment (UBE). And when UBE closed its Kansas facility in 2013, Andrew’s great grandson Stephen Bastasch became an entrepreneur himself by launching the Lenexa Manufacturing Company.

As company president, Stephen leads a small team of homegrown industry professionals dedicated to providing outstanding customer service, high-quality machines, and innovative designs. Together, LMC supports mid- to large-sized bakeries across the world by designing, manufacturing, and servicing automated bakery equipment.

What we offer

In short, we help bakeries automate slicing and bagging by building and servicing high-tech packaging machinery. That way, you can minimize the effort, cost, and risky manual work involved in bread production while maximizing your production speeds and profits.

With LMC, you have access to:

  • Bakery machines: superior industrial bread slicers, baggers, and heat sealers to give your products the irresistible appearance that matches their mouthwatering taste.
  • UBE replacement parts: a wide range of blades, baggers, turners, rollers, and more to minimize your machine downtime and maintain exceptional quality.
  • Servicing and maintenance: our expert technicians travel anywhere in the world to install, audit, adjust, and repair your machinery, and stay with you as long as you need.

How we’re impacting the baking industry

LMC is moving the baking industry forward by inventing new technologies that improve production and equipment performance.

Our latest invention, a reusable hinge blade assembly, uses a lock nut to attach the slicing blade to the stem and hub, rather than joining all three parts into one component. When the blade wears out, you can simply unscrew the nut to replace the blade, rather than scrapping the entire unit. That lets you save money, reduce waste, and optimize your storage of spare parts.

(We also have a patent-pending slicing design that will vastly improve the quality of each slice. It’s not ready to unveil quite yet, but keep an eye out in the near future to upgrade your bread slicing machinery!)

Find out how LMC can help you become an industry leader

Can’t wait until the expo to meet us, explore our equipment and services, and supercharge your bakery with high-speed slicing and bagging machinery? Then skip to the front of the queue by scheduling a meeting with us right now.

Simply fill in our convenient contact form, and we’ll supply the equipment, parts, or service options that help you outpace your competitors.

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Top 5 Italian Bakeries in North America

Top 5 Italian Bakeries in North America

From focaccia and ciabatta to pantonne and merendines, Italy has a rich history in baking. Even in modern Italy, every city, town, and village has a wealth of bakers who carry on their culinary heritage with a range of traditional recipes and techniques.

These authentic treats and delicacies have even made their way to the United States and Canada. Walk down any main street, and you’re all but guaranteed to find baked goods stores that style themselves as Italian bakeries.

But with so many delectable options to choose from, it can be hard to know which bakery to pick – or, rather, which you should visit first. So, to help you find the most delicious pastries, cakes, and breads with no delay, here are the top five Italian bakeries in North America.

Liscio’s Italian Bakery & Deli

373 Egg Harbor Road, Washington Township, Wedgewood, NJ, 08080

3321 Route 42, Washington Township, Crosskeys, NJ, 08081

124 S Delsea Drive, Glassboro, NJ, 08028

With three retail locations to choose from, Liscio’s Italian Bakery & Deli serves New Jersey citizens the most mouth-watering pies, cookies, pastries, hoagies, sandwiches, and pizzas around.

For those with a special event on the horizon, they also offer an irresistible party menu, as well as cakes for birthdays, weddings, and special occasions. And if you’re in a gift-giving mood at any time of the year, Liscio’s phenomenal homemade bruschetta specialty tray is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

As well as a wide selection of in-store items, Liscio’s also offers home delivery and bread wholesale. So whether you’re putting world-class breads and pastries on your shelves or just craving a tasty snack, make sure to stop off at Liscio’s Italian Bakery & Deli

Don’t miss out on Liscio’s… impressive 6-foot hoagie, the perfect way to kick off a party in style!

Rotella’s Italian Bakery

6949 108th St, La Vista, NE, 68128

Starting in the 1850s, the Rotella family of Calabria, Italy, made rustic loaves for the local townsfolk from a single brick oven. As the years went by, Rotella’s increased their production with high-tech modern equipment, but never let go of their insurmountable old-world skill. Today, this full-service specialty bakery supports the nation’s biggest names in the restaurant and food industry with quality Italian breads.

Rotella’s Italian Bakery has a massive inventory for bread lovers to choose from, with over 400 varieties available for national and wholesale distribution. Their stock of loaves, rolls, buns, breadsticks, ciabatta, and specialty breads are the perfect complement to any meal – and they even offer gluten-free products.

Don’t miss out on Rotella’s… Yellow Toast French Loaf, a classic addition to any luxury breakfast!

Calgary Italian Bakery

5301 5th Street, SE Calgary, Alberta

What sets Calgary Italian Bakery apart is its unwavering focus on the core of traditional Italian baking: to bake outstanding breads with simple, local ingredients to feed the community. With that goal in mind, this family-owned and operated bakery and deli delivers all across Calgary to help every meal taste better.

Calgary Italian Bakery produces a wide range of authentic Italian breads, buns, and specialty baked goods. Even though Luigi Bontorin – who founded the bakery with his wife Myrl – has passed, his passion for family and quality baking lives on in the bakery’s famous Famiglia Breads. With 14 Field Bread, Oat Bran Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, and Sunflower Flax Bread, this premium range elevates a staple food into an art form.

Don’t miss out on Calgary’s… delicious range of Famiglia Breads, available from Calgary retailers and national brands!

Cellone’s Italian Bread Co.

663 Napor Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA, 15205

Even after over 100 years of baking fresh bread and rolls, Cellone’s Italian Bread Co. remains rooted in traditional Italian baking. They put their authentic recipes and techniques to good use in creating phenomenal artisan bread for groceries and restaurants across the United States.

As proof of their products’ superior taste, Cellone’s gladly invites retailers for a tasting session of their loaves, rolls, pizza shells, croutons, and more. And since their goods are a common sight in a baker’s dozen of big-name stores, it’s clear they’re simply irresistible!

Don’t miss out on Cellone’s… wide range of sliced Italian breads, which give you scrumptious meals in no time flat!

Ferrara

195 Grand St, New York, NY, 10013

As the city’s first Italian bakery, Café Ferrara opened its door in 1892 to provide delightful company and refreshment to opera goers in New York City’s Little Italy. Their combination of freshly ground coffees and wonderful Italian desserts offered the perfect cap to an already beautiful and enjoyable evening. Even today they remain in touch with their sweet side, baking a wide variety of cookies, cakes, and candies.

But Ferrara’s greatest claim to fame is creating a product so unbelievably delicious that it sparked an expression you’re sure to have heard before: HOLY CANNOLI! With their perfect blend of ricotta, pastry, and chocolate, Ferrara cannoli have been the treat of choice for chefs and celebrities worldwide. So, next time you’re in New York City (or shopping online for something sweet), do yourself a favor and grab a box or two.

Don’t miss out on Ferrara’s… unmissable, unmistakeable, world-famous cannoli!

Always meet customer demand with quality industrial bakery machinery

These five bakeries work hard to ensure the people of North America never have to go without delicious Italian breads and baked goods. And keeping up with that incredible demand is only possible through investing in the finest bakery automation equipment.

At LMC, we supply bakeries across the world with automated bread slicers, baggers, and heat sealers to boost their production rates and accelerate their operation. We even offer installation, servicing, maintenance, and spare parts to keep your bakery machinery in top shape.

To find out more about how LMC can help you pump out world-class bread like never before, get in touch with us today

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The History of LMC and How We’ve Impacted the Baking Industry

The History of LMC and How We’ve Impacted the Baking Industry

If you read about Lenexa Manufacturing Company online, it’s not hard to find that we were first formed in 2013. But that’s not quite the whole story. In fact, our history stretches back well over 100 years, with knowledge, skills, and values passing from one generation to the next.

And it all started with a little bakery in Oregon…

The history of LMC

In the early 1900s, a young man named Andrew Bastasch traveled from Eastern Europe to Oregon along with his family. There, Andrew set up a bakery that would become Luxury Bread, where he built a reputation for passion, integrity, and dedication to customer satisfaction.

As the years went by, Luxury Bread was passed down to Andrew’s son, Frank, and then to his grandson, John. And while the bakery’s reputation remained the same, their operation underwent a radical change.

Frank Jr.’s brother, Paul, had a particular talent for engineering. Struck by a spark of innovation, Paul combined that talent with his knowledge of baking to invent a brand new bun bagging machine. By automating their production, the bakery could pump out delicious bread like never before in only half the time. And as their productivity skyrocketed, so too did their profits.

Paul’s eyes had been opened to the astonishing potential of baking machinery. So, in Kansas in 1964, he became a leading manufacturer of automated slicing and packaging equipment by launching United Bakery Equipment (UBE). This marked the family’s transition from selling bread to servicing bakeries.

For over 40 years, UBE stood at the forefront of the bakery machinery manufacturing industry. But in 2013, the Bastasch family was forced to close its Kansas facility. While many moved over to UBE’s California facility, one man chose to stay behind: Paul’s son, Steve Bastasch.

Instead, Steve decided to follow in his great grandfather’s footsteps and launch a company of his own. But a lot had changed since the early 1900s, and Steve was free to dream a little bigger.

Using the skills he’d developed working at UBE, Steve started manufacturing and selling parts for bakery equipment in 2013 under the name Lenexa Manufacturing Company. At first LMC consisted only of Steve and Paul Steinke, who filled the role of LMC’s head mechanical engineer. But even with only two workers, bakeries across America were climbing over each other to get their hands on our parts.

In no time at all, LMC swelled to a close-knit team of 13 personable and passionate industry experts, with Steve Bastasch as company president. And as our workforce grew, so too did our goals.

Today, LMC satisfies the slicing and packaging needs of mid- to large-size bakeries worldwide with high-speed automated machinery. Even now we strive to expand our operation and offer a wide range of products and services to all our clients. And with our high standards for quality and keen eye for innovation, we’re confident LMC’s best days are still yet to come.

How LMC supports bakeries worldwide

Meeting our clients’ automation needs is about much more than selling equipment. Rather, LMC offers a full suite of services including design, manufacturing, sale, installation, and maintenance and servicing of industrial bagging and slicing machines, and their related parts.

Design

Using state-of-the-art CAD software, our engineers precisely design the components and machines bakers need to optimize their operation. We also test prototypes using SolidWorks 3D to ensure perfect working order before production.

Manufacturing

Our 10,000 sq. ft. factory space and expert manufacturing engineers make it easy to produce any bakery machinery components to our clients’ specifications. Rather than waiting months, we can produce these in mere days, and even offer a 24-hour turnaround time on parts.

Sale

From bread baggers, to bun slicers, to heat sealers, we offer all sorts of new, refurbished, and used bakery equipment. Bakers can easily find their perfect new addition using our 60-second bakery equipment quiz. We also supply plenty of replacement parts, including hinge blades and band blades, which can often be shipped with next-day delivery.

Installation

We don’t just wash our hands of you once you’ve purchased our bakery equipment. Instead, we send our engineers to install your new equipment for you, and stay for as long as you need to make sure everything works as intended.

Maintenance and servicing

Every machine needs a bit of TLC to stay in peak condition. So, our experienced technicians are available to visit your bakery anywhere in the world to provide on-site equipment maintenance and servicing. They also provide complementary services like reviewing your preventative maintenance plan and delivering staff training.

How LMC impacts the baking industry

As well as providing comprehensive services to keep your bakery in top shape, we also use our skills and resources to push the industry forward. For example, we currently have a patent-pending slicing design that we can’t wait for you to experience. But perhaps our most notable contribution is one of our simplest: the invention of a reusable hinge blade assembly.

When a blade snapped or lost its edge, bakers also used to have to replace the stem and hub even if they were in great condition, since all the pieces were connected. But by using a lock nut hinge, our invention allowed for the blade to be removed from the assembly, leaving the stem and hub intact. This reduces wastage, and saves bakeries a ton of money in replacement parts.

How LMC helps bakeries automate their operations

Upgrading your bakery with automated machinery is a great way to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve the safety of your staff. Our machines remove the manual labor involved in bakery operations, and can improve line speed to one bag every second. We also work as an extension of your team, supporting you as you grow your business.

To find out more about how we can support and enhance the growth of your bakery, contact us today.

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How to Choose the Right Industrial Machinery for Your Bakery

Bread slicing machine

Your choice of bakery equipment has a huge impact on the quality, taste and success of your bread and pastry products. So, it can be tempting to automate your operation with top-of-the-range bread slicers, bun baggers, and heat sealers.

But just because a machine is the most expensive, that doesn’t make it the best choice for you and your bakery. Instead, it’s important to consider your individual production needs, and choose the equipment that’s best suited to helping you reach your business goals.

It’s true that finding the right machinery can be fairly time-consuming. So, we’ve gone ahead and made a short bakery equipment quiz to help you find your perfect match in less than 60 seconds.

But if you want to know more about how to choose the right industrial bakery machinery, here are some major factors for you to consider.

What to consider when buying industrial bakery machinery

What range of products does your bakery sell?

First and foremost, your new machinery needs to match the products you bake. If you specialize in a single product, you’ll want machinery that’s tailor-made for that type of bread, cake or pastry. But if you offer a wide range of products, you’ll need the ability to quickly exchange blades, guides, and bags to keep up the pace of production.

As well as your current products, you might also want to think about any new items you want to sell in the future. That way, you know you’ll be prepared when the time comes to expand your offering.

How many loaves do you need to bake?

The ability to process 60 loaves a minute certainly sounds impressive. But unless your operation is set up to match it, then such a high-end capacity is just a wasted expense.

Before you start browsing for equipment, take some time to calculate your production rate. Then, choose a machine that’s well suited to your throughput to ensure you get the best value for money.

Just like with your range of products, you might also want to consider your bakery’s future growth, and choose a machine that can handle a slightly higher output. Then, you’ll be prepared to increase production when the time comes, as well as identify when you might want to upgrade your equipment again.

How much floor space does your bakery have?

When it comes to buying bakery machinery, there’s nothing worse than finding the perfect machine only to discover it doesn’t fit once it’s been delivered. Then, not only are you unable to install it, but you’re also stuck looking after an expensive machine that you need to return or sell on.

Be sure to double check your machine against your available floor space before you place an order. If it doesn’t fit with your current factory layout, consider whether you can rearrange your equipment to accommodate.

Does your chosen bakery machinery match your existing equipment?

The key to quality baking is consistency. To make sure your products are mixed, processed, proofed, and baked to a high standard, your machinery needs to integrate seamlessly with your existing equipment.

However, with so many possible equipment combinations, that might be easier said than done. If you need expert advice on finding suitable machinery for your bakery, or to find out about custom solutions, please feel free to get in touch for a friendly chat.

Is your bakery machinery easy to clean and maintain?

Even after you find the perfect machine for your operation, it won’t stay in peak condition by itself. To ensure you can maintain optimal output, you should choose a machine that’s easy to dismantle for cleaning and maintenance.

As your machinery continues to transport, slice, and package your products, crumbs and debris get stuck in gaps and crevices. If this builds up, it can lead to bacterial growth and cross-contamination. So, it’s important to choose a machine with a hygienic design, as well as features like a removable crumb drawer, to allow for easy cleaning. This ability to dismantle your machine also helps with replacing worn or broken parts.

Similarly, it’s important to get your equipment professionally serviced and maintained about twice a year. This is useful for identifying and resolving possible risks before they can affect your production, leading to lower downtime and a longer machine lifespan. At LMC, our talented team of expert maintenance technicians provides a full range of maintenance and servicing solutions, helping you get the highest possible value from your equipment.

Should you buy new, used or refurbished bakery equipment?

Even though automating your bakery is a great way to boost your profitability, a lot of bakers worry about the expense. So, if you don’t have the budget for brand new equipment, consider buying used or refurbished equipment instead.

When selecting used industrial bakery equipment, remember to check the maintenance history, operating hours and which components are included. That will help you ensure a fair price, and confirm that the equipment still has plenty of life left. You might also want to partner with a custom manufacturing firm who can adjust your machinery to meet your precise needs.

Avoid machine downtime by stocking up on UBE replacement parts

Once you’ve found, purchased, and installed your ideal industrial bakery equipment, you’ll want to maintain the highest possible uptime and efficiency. A great way to do this is to keep a stock of replacement UBE parts like blades, brushes, rollers and spindles. That way, when a part becomes worn or breaks, you’re ready to replace it right away, and get your equipment up-and-running again.

To help you avoid machine downtime, LMC offers overnight delivery on our huge range of UBE replacement parts. What’s more, if you need a part that we don’t have in stock, we can custom manufacture it for you in only 24-hours.

Your one-stop-shop for industrial bakery machinery

Automating your bakery removes manual work and drastically increases production speed. From finding and installing equipment to comprehensive servicing and maintenance, LMC has everything you need to create a cohesive, fully integrated, fully automated bakery production line.

Contact us today, and we’ll guide you through your end-to-end bakery machinery experience.

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Can You Automate the Production of Artisan Bread?

Artisan bread

For bakers across the world, the idea of automating the delicate craftsmanship of artisan bread is nothing short of blasphemy. But with the precision and versatility of modern industrial bakery machinery, it’s possible to combine this ancient practice with high-speed automation to mass produce delicious artisanal products.

What is artisan bread?

While the term artisan bread carries connotations of freshness, lightness, and quality, it doesn’t have a Standard of Identity set by the FDA. That means there’s no definition for the specific ingredients, processing conditions, or final characteristics required to be considered an artisan bread.

Instead, what makes an artisan bread lies in its production and presentation. As opposed to the factory lines of commercial bread, artisan bread is traditionally handmade in small batches.

Examples of artisan breads include:

  • Baguettes
  • Focaccia
  • Ciabatta
  • Sourdough
  • Naturally leavened multigrain and white breads
  • Country loaves
  • Panettone

How is artisan bread produced?

One of the greatest appeals of artisan bread is that each product is unique. Where commercial bread tightly controls ingredients, gasses, pressure and timing for an identical product each time, artisan bread allows greater creativity and experimentation. This gives each product a distinct flavor, aroma, crumb and structure that commercial bread lacks.

Typically, the dough for artisan bread uses only a handful ingredients, including flour, water, salt, and yeast. It’s characterized by a lean formula with very little sugar or fat, and doesn’t use chemical additives or dough conditioners.

Once the dough has been kneaded, it’s left to ferment for several hours. This high fermentation leads to an increase in air pockets, making the bread soft and fluffy. It’s then baked in the radiant heat of hearth-style ovens.

Since each product is different, artisan bread is usually sold unpackaged. The lack of artificial preservatives also means it doesn’t have a long shelf life, and so must be bought and eaten very quickly after baking.

What are the difficulties in cutting and packaging artisan bread?

The lack of consistency in artisan bread makes it very appealing for the customer. But since the weight, size and thickness of each product is different, it can be tricky for the baker to process. Each recipe for artisan bread requires different slicing and bagging equipment.

But the biggest difficulty in cutting and packaging artisan bread is the need for gentle handling. Squeezing the dough too much or slicing artisan bread incorrectly releases the air trapped during fermentation. This leads to poor texture, and a lower quality product.

How to automate the production of artisan bread

With the need for long fermentation times, highly adaptable tools, and delicate handling, automating the production of artisan bread might seem impossible. But all you need to mass-produce high-quality artisan bread is an effective customized solution.

Your chosen industrial bakery machinery should be designed to relieve as much stress as possible. For example, the compression rollers of conventional sheeters will force dough through a tight space, so artisan bread requires a more delicate reduction system.

Similarly, the bread’s characteristic softness might suggest that a wide-pitched blade is the best option. But many artisan breads also have a hard crust. For these, a narrow-pitched blade is needed for a finer cut.

Artisan bread that’s served in single portions also requires a highly adaptable packaging system. This allows you to switch between different product types efficiently, reducing potential downtime.

Find the perfect industrial bakery machinery for your artisan bread

Our wide range of automated industrial bakery machinery means we probably have the perfect equipment for you, which you can easily find using our short product quiz.

But if you need a customized solution, we’re here to build, provide, and maintain a machine that’s specifically designed to match your needs and available workspace. Contact us today, and we’ll match you with the tools to automate the production of your artisan bread.

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How to Clean and Maintain Your Commercial Bakery Machinery

How to Clean and Maintain Your Commercial Bakery Machinery

Why is it important to clean and maintain your commercial bakery machinery?

Upgrading your bakery with cutting-edge commercial machinery lets you accelerate your operation and deliver consistent quality.

But just buying an industrial bread slicing machine or choosing the right bun packaging equipment isn’t enough. 

That’s because:

  • Constantly using your machinery creates wear and tear. This increases the risk of breakage and malfunction, which lead to long periods of unexpected machine downtime.
  • The buildup of crumbs and other debris inside the machine creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Allowing this bacterial growth to become a major sanitation issue might even result in the closure of your bakery.

 

To keep your equipment in top condition, it’s essential to follow a clearly defined cleaning and maintenance plan.

Follow our checklist below to find out how to clean and maintain your commercial bakery machinery.

 

Before starting your cleaning and maintenance

1) Choose equipment that’s easy to disassemble

When you’re shopping for automated bakery equipment, consider whether a machine will be easy to disassemble and reassemble. Choose one that lets you easily access all parts, and buy the tools you’ll need to do so. 

Alternatively, you can take our short bakery equipment quiz to find your perfect new addition in seconds.

 

2) Turn off and unplug your machine

Disassembling live machinery is extremely dangerous. It’s easy to electrocute yourself, lose a finger or get your clothes caught in the moving parts. Make sure your machine is turned off and unplugged before disassembly.

 

3) Let your machine cool down

Even after you unplug your machine, it might still be hot from use, particularly on the inside where there’s very little ventilation. Give your machine plenty of time to cool down before disassembling it.

 

4) Dress for safety

Wear cut-resistant gloves, and secure any loose clothing that could get caught in the machinery.

Even with the correct safety equipment, avoid pressing on the machine’s blades. This could damage them, or lead to serious injury.

 

5) Find the right tools

Using inappropriate cleaning and maintenance tools can actually cause more damage to your machine. So, you’ll need a brush or paper towels for dry cleaning, and an anti-scratch sponge for wet cleaning.

You should also use a sprayer to apply cleaning fluid. That way, it will be applied evenly, and you reduce the risk of trapping moisture in the machine.

 

6) Choose suitable chemicals

The cleaning chemicals you use should depend on what materials your machine is made of. Polymers, elastomers, metals, and soft metals are sensitive to different chemicals, and using the wrong ones could cause corrosion.

If you’re not sure what cleaning chemicals are appropriate for your machine, a safe option is to use a pH-neutral detergent.

 

While performing your cleaning and maintenance

1) Follow the disassembly instructions in your machine’s manual

By following the manual, you can disassemble your machine thoroughly and without damage. That means you can effectively clean every part, and reassemble your machine successfully once you’re finished.

 

2) Dry clean to remove debris

If you try to wet clean your machinery right away, the soil, crumbs and debris will absorb the liquid. This makes them hard to remove, and encourages bacterial growth. Instead, remove debris using your brush or paper towels.

Some bakers dry clean their equipment using compressed air, dry steam or dry ice. But these only move debris from one place to another without removing it. If you intend to use these, do so as a final detail after removing major debris.

 

3) Wet clean to remove dirt

Once you’ve removed the debris, spray your cleaning solution onto each part and wipe it with your anti-scratch sponge. Tight areas like knobs, screws, and handles might need extra attention.

Be aware that not all surfaces should be wet cleaned. For example, cloth belts absorb water, which can cause mold to grow in a key food contact area. To avoid this problem, swap absorptive components for non-absorptive ones, such as exchanging a cloth belt for a monolithic belt.

 

4) Replace rusted or worn parts before they break

Take this opportunity to replace rusted or worn parts. Doing so now lets you achieve a consistent, high-precision slice, and avoid unexpected machine downtime from breakages.

You can stock up on UBE replacement parts today to make sure your machinery always runs at peak performance.

 

After finishing your cleaning and maintenance

1) Wipe down all parts with warm water

After sanitizing your machine, it’s important to wash away the cleaning chemicals to avoid impacting the taste of your products. Use a separate spray bottle and anti-scratch sponge to wipe down all parts again with warm water. Then, dry them thoroughly before reassembly to prevent moisture retention and bacterial growth.

 

2) Follow the reassembly instructions in your machine’s manual

Reassemble your machine according to the manual’s instructions. As you do, be sure to tighten all screws.

 

3) Plug your machine back in and turn it on

Once you’ve reassembled your machine, plug it in and turn it on to make sure it’s working properly.

 

4) Clean your cleaning tools

As a final step, you also need to clean, inspect and sanitize your cleaning tools to avoid future cross-contamination.

 

Guarantee high standards of sanitation with a monthly cleaning schedule

For your bakery to maintain high standards of sanitation, we recommend creating a Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure (SSOP). This is a document that sets your benchmark for what is ‘clean’, and gives specific details for how your staff should perform cleaning and maintenance tasks. The above checklist is a great way to start writing your SSOP.

 But how often should you clean and maintain your commercial bakery machinery? When it comes to frequency, there are three important questions to consider:

 

1) What’s your product throughput?

The more products you slice, the more frequently you’ll need to perform your SSOP. As a general rule, if you only slice 50 loaves a day, once a month might be enough. But if you cut 500 loaves a day, consider doing it at least once a week.

 

2) What types of products do you process?

If you mainly process soft white breads that slice very easily, it’s unlikely your machinery will produce much debris. But if you slice hard artisan breads or flakey pastries, you can expect a lot more.

But the types of bread you process isn’t the only consideration. If your products include egg glazes, or dairy products such as cream, there’s a higher food safety risk. In this case, you should clean your equipment more frequently.

 

3) Does your machinery have a hygienic design?

A machine with hygienic design has been built to be easily disassembled, cleaned and maintained.

If your machine has a hygienic design, then your standard cleaning and maintenance SSOP should remove the majority of soil and debris. But a machine that doesn’t offer easy access to all parts, or has many cracks, crevices and dead space, needs to be cleaned more often.

 

The importance of connecting with commercial bakery machinery maintenance technicians

Sticking to an effective monthly cleaning and maintenance schedule is an excellent way to:

  • Greatly extend your equipment’s life expectancy.
  • Improve energy consumption to reduce utility costs.
  • Reduce risk of failures, breakages, and downtime.
  • Ensure a secure work environment for your staff.

But not even the most rigorous schedule can truly maximize the efficiency of your equipment. So, it’s important to connect with trusted maintenance technicians to ensure you get the highest possible value from your commercial bakery machinery.

At LMC, our team of expert maintenance technicians specializes in identifying and resolving potential risks long before they affect your production. When you schedule maintenance assistance, our technicians stay by your side for as long as you need. They also provide on-site auditing, servicing, and training of the highest industry standard to accelerate the growth of your bakery.

 

Schedule your appointment for maintenance assistance today to optimize the performance of your commercial bakery machinery.

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Your Quick Guide to Buying an Industrial Bread Slicing Machine

Your Quick Guide to Buying and Industrial Bread Slicer

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?

 

LMC - Your Guide to Buying an Industrial Bread Slicer
 

What to consider when you buy an industrial bread slicing machine

Slicing blade

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.

 

Desired thickness

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.

 

Production capacity

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.

 

Available space

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.

LMC - Your Guide to Buying and Industrial Bread Slicer
 

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.

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Making the Perfect Slice: An Artisan Baker’s Guide to Bread Slicers 

woman slicing bread using bread slicer equipment

Orders must be filled quickly from behind a bakery counter, which requires the use of dependable machinery. If your world revolves around bread like ours, having the perfect bread slicer equipment and keeping it in good working order can make a huge difference in the quality of your service. There are a few factors to consider while selecting the perfect slicer for your business.  

a photo of a bread slicer equipment with a sliced bread

On Achieving the Perfect Slice

Why Are Bread Slicers a Must-Have Restaurant Equipment for Artisan Bakers?

Every day, artisan bakers take great satisfaction in producing high-quality, tasty loaves. Nothing beats seeing someone walk by your business, catch a whiff of your freshly baked goods, and rush in. 

Sometimes, a customer may be satisfied to simply take a whole fresh loaf off the rack. In a different scenario, a customer may request that their bread be sliced so that they can take it home and enjoy it with their folks. That is why you should always keep a reliable bread-slicer on hand. 

How Can a Bread Slicer Make Your Business Grow Faster?

The bread slicer is a very important piece of equipment in bakeries where bread is the foremost concern. Having these pieces of equipment will make packing and arranging bread much easier. Slicers can cut into a range of sizes and styles, depending on your needs. 

Bread slicers can save you and your customers the time and effort of manually slicing bread. Each time the slices come out evenly, so you’ll know you’re getting the most out of each loaf. You’ll also keep yourself and your customers safe from knife-related injuries.  

Which Bread Slicer Machine is Right for You: A Freestanding or Countertop Machine?

The two most common varieties of commercial bread slicers are freestanding and countertop, and which one you choose depends on the layout of your bakery. A standalone machine is a way to go if you have limited counter space. They’re easy to get to and have casters to keep them stable on the floor. Countertop bread slicers are mainly used for smaller operations and are located on your counter. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Bread Slicer

The first step is to choose the type of bread slicer, followed by selecting the suitable model. You know better than anyone the bread varieties your consumers prefer, as well as the volume demand and inventory levels. When selecting the thickness and number of slices per hour, use these factors as a guide.  

Consider your bread formulas as well, as they have an impact on the life of the slicer’s blades. Slicers with regular blades are better for pan loaves in terms of durability and longevity, whereas scalloped blades are recommended for tough crusted artisan bread. 

Maintenance and Cleaning

Consider a bread slicer to be similar to a vehicle: the more you care for it, the longer it will last in terms of quality and life. Commercial bread slicers are large capital investments, and proper cleaning and maintenance ensure that the slicer’s usability and performance are maximized.  

sliced bread under a bread slicer equipment

Looking for a Bread Slicer Equipment Service?

As Aristotle stated, “the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts,” and this is true in order to produce the perfect slice. Picking the correct industrial bread slicer, understanding how to use it, and keeping it in good operating order are all essential first steps. If you need help with the maintenance of your restaurant’s equipment, call Lenexa Manufacturing Company today. 

 

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The Prospects and Challenges of Bakery Packaging

Prospects of Bakery Packaging Bun Bagging Machines

Buns and bread are baked food products formed from flour that has been moistened, kneaded, and sometimes fermented. It has been a vital source of sustenance for humanity since prehistoric times. Most fresh baked goods that are packaged in a twist-tied polyethylene and polypropylene bag have a shelf life of only a few days at room temperature. Molds are the most common type of spoilage organism discovered in baked goods. This article examines the materials used in bun bagging machines, as well as how to keep your bagged buns, bread, and bakery treats fresher for longer.

Prospects of Bakery Packaging Bun Bagging Machines

Bread and Bun Production

What Makes a Good Bread and Bun Bagger?

Buns must pass a number of sensory tests and must not crumble, crack, or become mushy. To think about it, the ingredients in buns and the temperature at which they are stored aren’t the only things that influence their production; packaging also plays a significant role.

Baking companies are looking for bread and bun baggers that can ensure consistent quality. They’re choosing equipment based on the ever-increasing demands for speed and versatility, to ensure that the packing process doesn’t stifle overall production. 

How Does a Packaging Equipment Work?

Bakery operations rely heavily on packaging equipment. They are mostly used in high-speed bakeries for bagging and wrapping baked products with polyethylene bags. The evolution of closure mechanisms for bagging bread, rolls, and buns has been heavily impacted by customer preference for quick/easy opening and sealing of the package.

What Are The Types Of Bread Packaging?

Many packaging options can be used to extend the shelf life of bread. Initially, packaging materials had to be as inert as possible, and bread had to be protected from the principal causes of deterioration, such as oxygen and molds.

There are many different types of bread packaging, which are categorized into three categories based on the packing form: folding packaging, shrink packaging, and bag packaging. 

Manual Packaging

Factors like funding, venues, and product volumes have less of an impact on manual packaging. The application is more adaptable, but there is a risk that it will fail to meet the cleanliness standards.

Semi-Mechanized Packaging, and Automated Packaging

Both the semi-automated and automated packaging are packaged with great efficiency and better packaging than hand packaging. 

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do To Keep Your Bagged Bread Fresh Longer 

Nothing beats warm buns and bread straight from the oven. That’s fantastic, but who has time to bake buns and bread every day? The majority of us buy prepackaged sliced buns and bread from the supermarket. So, how do you protect it from becoming stale?

Bread should not be kept in the refrigerator. This promotes moisture loss, which is one of the main causes of stale buns and bread. If you put it in the fridge, your buns and bread will go bad faster than usual. Because the top of the refrigerator is usually warm, your buns and bread will dry out or even form condensation in the bag. That’s a perfect environment for mold to thrive.

Prospects of Bakery Packaging Bun Bagging Machines

Looking For or Need A Service For Your Bun Bagging Machines?

Set up a service contract with us and have the guarantee, rather than hoping that things don’t go wrong at the most inconvenient time. Check out our large selection of tools, appliances, small wares, and a lot more. If you require assistance with the upkeep of your equipment, please contact us today at Lenexa Manufacturing Company.