Fine tuning of the blade technology behind its band slicers means that they can now provide cleaner cuts, continuous operation and less waste, claims a US supplier that is set to conduct trials with leading UK bread makers.
United Bakery Equipment (UBE) said that it is aiming to raise its profile with the UK bread manufacturing industry who traditionally spurned band slicers for bread in favour of reciprocating tooling as the older band slicers did not proof reliable in terms of smooth cutting for the British style white bread, which has a high moisture content.
UBE said it is liaising with equipment agent and consultancy group, Habwood Technical Solutions, to lead discussions with the UK’s top sliced bread processors in terms of trialling its slicer lines prior to potential purchasing, following on from the installation of one if its band slicer models at a top UK bread maker’s facility six months ago.
Peter Wallin, director at Habwood, told BakeryandSnacks.com that UBE’s band slicers are built with a minimum of parts and simple logic in comparison to the equivalent from leading German band slicer machinery suppliers, which he claims are over engineered, and he argues this factor ensures the purchase price of the UBE model is competitive.
The consultant claims that the benefits of UBE’s market leading 90-75 band slicer are such that UK bread makers will be encouraged to make the switch from the conventional flight feed system.
Return on investment will be enabled, continued the consultant, by that the fact that the 90-75 model enables a faster run due to the fact that the loaves enter the blades in a continuous line, not at intervals as in reciprocating systems, which translates at 80 per cent more useful slicing time so a slow blade speed is possible.
Wallin explained that the blade on the band slicers has also been proven to last longer than their counterparts on the reciprocating slicing machinery: “An operator would be expected to change the blade on the reciprocating version every 12 to 24 hours, whereas with the UBE band slicer, blade change would only be required every four weeks because of smooth, accurate slicing,” he said.
Having a continuous infeed system rather than a conventional system ensures crippling jam-ups are avoided, he claims.
“The pull mechanism of the band slicer in comparison to the push method associated with flight feed system also results in less damage to the bread, and thus less waste,” argues Wallin.
He also maintains that the 90-75 band slicer ensures whiter bread since there is less surface rub than with reciprocating slicing machinery.
Wallin said output rates will vary depending on application but on average, when combined with a UBE reciprocating bagger, the 90-75 band slicer will deliver up to 75 loaves a minute sliced and bagged.