What should I consider when selecting biscuit handling equipment?

Considerations when selecting biscuit handling equipment


Please refer firstly to the text in Biscuit Handling. You may also find it useful to consider the problems addressed in Packaging questions and problems.

1 Biscuits coming from the oven

  • How and where will substandard biscuits be removed after coming from the oven? By substandard is meant, broken, misshapen, over- and under-baked biscuits.
  • Consider carefully the maximum time that should be allowed for cooling the biscuits before packaging or secondary processing. Excessively long conveyors are expensive to buy and maintain.
  • Shock cooling may cause checking in cracker and semisweet biscuits. Some sort of controlled cooling may be necessary to prevent checking.
  • Limit the number of transfers between conveys during cooling. Each transfer disrupts row alignment.
  • Are the conveyor tracking systems easy to operate and maintain?
  • If freshly oil sprayed biscuits are conveyed for cooling, how will oil passing onto the conveyor be cleaned off?
  • The length of the stacking table before a wrapping or secondary processing machine offers a valuable buffer should the machine be stopped for a short period. Consider carefully how to design this buffer facility relative to the feeding system to the wrapping or secondary processing machine as it represents a major inefficiency if the feed of dough pieces to the oven has to be interrupted because of a machine stoppage.
  • If cooled biscuits are to be boxed up rather than wrapped, consider carefully the size and shape of the boxes. How they will be handled, lidded and periodically cleaned. It is important to avoid dirt from the floor etc., which may collect on the bottom outside of a box, falling onto biscuits when the boxes are stacked.
  • The boxes must be securely lidded to reduce moisture pick up from the atmosphere.

2 Biscuits coming from secondary processing

  • Cooling of cream sandwiched biscuits is advisable otherwise distortion of the sandwiches may occur in the packaging machine.
  • Is air conditioning required in the area after a chocolate cooling tunnel to maintain suitable conditions in extremes of hot and humid weather?
  • If robotic machines are to be used for transferring biscuits from a conveyor how will the spacing and alignment be maintain to allow optimum performance?