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Environmentally Responsible Heating Power

There are many trends in the bakery business: a rising middle class worldwide is demanding higher quality products; manufacturers require wider baking lines to increase production and flexibility; user-friendly automation control; faster changeovers; and simple cleaning. All these trends are working tools for GEA engineers as they work with manufacturers to perfect technologies and processes to provide the level of innovation needed to satisfy consumers’ demand for variety and novelty.

by GEA

But there is, perhaps, a trend that transcends all these consumer demands and one that applies to every industry in the world: power! Or, rather, the reduction in its use as part of a sustainable and environmentally-responsible manufacturing policy. However, baking, by its very nature, requires the application of heat in a precisely controlled way. It cannot be avoided, but GEA Imaforni has dedicated its resources over many years to develop ways in which the amount of heat used can be reduced. 

The Application of Heat

There are three main methods of applying heat in an oven: Direct Gas Fired (DGF) using radiated heat; Cyclotherm, a gentle form of heating using radiation; and Indirect Convection, where the heat is transferred to the dough pieces predominantly by convection. In recent years, GEA Imaforni has introduced hybrid technology to its ovens that use at least two different types of heating for each application. For crackers, for example, DGF is used for the main length of the baking chamber with the remainder heated by convection. By contrast, Cyclothermic and convection is preferred for rotary-molded and wire-cut cookies and hard sweet biscuits.

Conserving Heat Energy

Whatever heating method is used to achieve the desired result, a primary requirement is to ensure that no energy is wasted both for the protection of the environment and to reduce total energy costs for manufacturers. One way in which GEA Imaforni achieves this is through the pre-heating of the combustion air for the burners. This is usually most effective when applied at the beginning of the oven when the dough pieces under baking require, for technological reasons, the highest level of heat input and where the set temperatures are higher. 

GEA Imaforni also conserves heat by passing the hot air from the stacks through a heat exchanger to generate hot water for the bakery that can be used for cleaning purposes and save the energy that would otherwise be consumed through a boiler. Fuel usage can also be optimized by preventing heat escaping from the oven through advanced forms of insulation.

You can read the rest of this article in the most recent issue of WorlBakers Dossier, which you can access by clicking here

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