As with all areas of industry and commerce, the food & baking production has benefited greatly from advances in technology in recent years…
New and more innovative equipment, better manufacturing methods, more effective production lines have all made an impact on cost-effectiveness and efficiency within the industry.
In the following article, we will be looking at another area of development that has a major impact, and yet it’s some companies in this growing industry may not be using to the best effect.
We’re talking about non-stick coatings.
Now, to the average person on the street, probably not the most exciting of subjects, but for the Production Managers, Engineers, and Heads of Operations, non-stick coatings can enhance efficiency in your everyday processes and deliver Time, Efficiency, And Cost improvements across the whole business.
Firstly though, the ‘not so dull’ history of non-stick coatings…
PTFE & NASA
Non-stick coatings, or polytetrafluoroethylene (or PTFE) as it’s known in the industry, have been around since the late 1930s.
The story goes that certain types of non-stick coating came about thanks to the space race and the NASA moon shots.
Its many properties enabled NASA to achieve the amazing feats it accomplished in the 1960s and 70s. We won’t go into detail here, as we’re more interested in the food and baking industry.
So, PTFE: What is it?
It’s one of a number of non-stick solutions that have been developed over the years, and it’s actually very simple.
Like many discoveries, it came about by accident. A scientist at Du Pont in 1938 discovered it when working on something completely different. He noticed a white residue left behind during the process he was working with, which was unexpected.
On investigation, it was discovered that this new substance – a polymer formed during the process he was undertaking by chemical reactions – had some astonishing properties.
These included it being immune to corrosion by acids, having a surprisingly slippery feel, and – perhaps most remarkable – it could be heated to 500C without burning and taken down to -240C without becoming brittle.
And the person to thank…Dr. Roy Plunkett.
PTFE is not the only such coating as there have been developments in ceramics – considered safer and more eco-friendly than PTFE – that have taken the technology to another level, yet PTFE remains the root of what was a revolution in cooking and in the industry as a whole.
Now we know how it came about, let’s talk about what it can do for you.
How Non-Stick Coating Can Benefit Your Food and Bakery Business
We’ve all fried an egg in a non-stick frying pan.
It’s quick, it’s clean and the egg slides neatly from the pan to the plate. There’s little more than a quick rinse and wipe for the pan, as opposed to a long soak and scrub with a traditional pan.
So, imagine that level of increased efficiency transferred to your bakery or food production plant. That’s what non-stick coating is really all about.
Here’s a quick example of what we mean. Rathbones Bakery – a division of the Morrison’s supermarket group – use a sophisticated production set up that is tailored for their process.
It’s a robotic line and a complex one, and as advanced as it gets in the industry. Traditionally they use an approved supplier for all their bakeware equipment. However, they were looking at methods of further improving the efficiency of the line and came to us for advice.
We considered their manufacturing process and recommended they use lids coated with our PR175 pewter product, so they ordered 480.
Manufactured in our factory in Turkey and specially coated at a UK plant, the lids have improved the production process and they are already seeing the benefits 3 months in.
In 2021, we encourage clients and potential clients to take a look at their current production and packaging processes – as Rathbones did – and consider where the use of non-stick coatings may be an advantage.
We don’t only work with non-stick but also with low-friction, chemical, and heat resistant coatings, each of which will benefit the production process.
To help you understand how non-stick coatings may improve your plant, we’ll now look at the equipment upon which they can be applied and the direct value they will bring to your business.
Productions Big 3: Time, Efficiency, And Cost Improvements
As seen at Rathbones, simply changing one element of the process – in their case, the lids – enabled production efficiency to be greatly improved. The major benefits – in a snapshot – are as follows:
· Reduction in downtime
· Greater throughput
· Overall cost savings
The simple fact is that the scope for using non-stick and specialised coatings goes far beyond mere lids as in the example.
Think about these areas of your production line equipment such as:
· Pressure and divider plates
· Conveyor screws and moulders
The impact of a non-stick surface on each of these can mean more efficient production levels. Then there are your essential bakeware items, such as:
· Storage trays
· Bread, cake, and muffin tins
· Dough carriers
· Morning goods trays
That’s far from a comprehensive list, but we hope it gives you an idea of where a non-stick coating can save time no matter what the size of your operation.
Even a second here and there saved in lifting items from a non-stick surface will add up to minutes and hours.
That’s all money saved and added to your bottom line by investing in equipment with quality specialist coatings.
To Sum Up…
I’m sure that you’re on top of your production lines and processes; however, you may have regular issues that specialised coatings on equipment and machinery may help solve.
From refurbishments of your current equipment to the manufacturing of complex bespoke pieces we have the expertise and facilities on hand to meet your needs.
Because I’m sure you’ll agree when a simple and inexpensive solution has a notable effect on your production efficiency, it’s worth investigating.
One last thing that we feel is important to mention…
Here at Product release, we’ve always put a big focus on communication before, during, and after the project is completed.
This has ensured continued relationships with some of the major players and even the ‘little guys’ in the bakery and food production industry for many years.
So, feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com about the issues you may be facing, and let’s see how we can help.