What Exhibitors Expect from Bakery China

Ahead of the Bakery China fair, we asked some of the key exhibitors to share their expectations and thoughts on Bakery China and the region’s industry. The fair’s 21st edition takes place in Shanghai from May 9 to 12.

IPCO Anticipates Increasing Energy Efficiency

Fabio Conti, global product manager at IPCO (formerly Sandvik Process Systems), talks about the company’s expectations from the Chinese fair.
WorldBakers: What are you presenting this year at Bakery China? Are you launching a new solution for this occasion? If so, please share details about it.

Fabio Conti: For IPCO, the main story will be the continuity of our products, service, and expertise, following the change of name from Sandvik Process Systems – the world’s largest supplier of solid and perforated steel bake oven belts – to IPCO.

The company is now an independent company within the Wallenberg group and has 600 employees, more than 35 sales and service offices and annual sales in excess of EUR200 million. In joining the Wallenberg group, IPCO is now part of a business with approx. 600,000 employees and more than EUR140 billion in total annual sales of holdings.

The company will be presenting its high performing bake oven belts of steel, solid and perforated, which can be produced in widths from 800 mm up to 3,500 mm and to virtually any length. IPCO will also show a selection of its comprehensive range of conveyor parts and accessories including tracking units, idler rollers, skid bars, and repair tools.

Representatives will be using Bakery China to highlight the strength of IPCO’s service and support capabilities in China as well as in the broader region.

WB: What are your expectations from the Chinese trade fair? How would you characterize it?

FC: Our aim is to meet with Chinese baking oven builders and discuss common issues in connection with industrial baking using IPCO steel belts. We have an engineering heritage that goes back well over 100 years, and a history of partnership with the baking industry that goes back to 1925, when we installed the first ever steel belt in a continuously operating baking oven.

This experience means we can help any company that uses steel bake oven belts to increase product quality, productivity and process efficiency, and choose the right parts and consumables that support their operation. In short, IPCO is a global player and a partner that can deliver real competitive advantage.

WB: What is your view on dynamics to be expected in bakery this year?

FC: We expect to see an increasing drive towards greater energy efficiency, and our products have an important role to play in this respect. Baking ovens based around solid and perforated steel belts are substantially more efficient in terms of energy consumption and we will be happy to answer questions and offer detailed advice on this subject.

WB: Please share some of your plans focusing on the Chinese market.

FC: Apart from the vital task of ensuring that the market is aware of our change of name from Sandvik Process Systems to IPCO – and the continuity of personnel, products and service capability – our key aim is to improve our contact and dialogue with machine builders. We want them to know that we are able to tailor our solutions around their needs. Do you want customized solutions including conveyor accessories? Do you just want steel belts? Do you want technical support? We can provide any or all of these.

WB: From your portfolio, what are the products/solutions dedicated (or of special interest) to this market? And what drives their development?

FC: We believe that the 1,500 mm wide carbon steel belt for biscuit baking is the most promising item in our portfolio. It could very likely be the best option for bake ovens in China as well, as it is in many other regions.

We also believe that our solid steel belts will be of particular interest to bakers looking to expand their product ranges. Products as varied as biscuits, pizza bases, granola bars, cakes, macaroons, and brownies can all be baked on a solid steel belt. The flat surface provides a crisp base that cannot be achieved on any other conveying medium, and its hard, smooth quality delivers a clean product release.

WB: What are the trends you observe/support in bakery in China and Asia? What is your view of this market?

FC: There is a lot of interest in wider belts (1,500mm +) as these enable companies to increase productivity without having to extend production facilities.

The versatility of a solid steel belt makes it an attractive upgrade option. The global appetite for real butter cookies has convinced a number of large players in the bakery industry to convert existing wire mesh lines to run on IPCO steel belts. These cookies use real butter and often chocolate chips too, so need to be baked on a solid belt to eliminate the risk of melted product dripping and causing a fire. And the excellent heat transfer and thermal conductivity of the belt delivers the desirable crisp base and rich, buttery cookie.

Depending on a customer’s requirements, a perforated steel belt can offer the best of both worlds – in other words, the ability to bake “mesh” products as well as products normally produced on solid steel belts.

KAAK Underscores Industrialization Trend, with Focus on Pizza

The Kaak Group’s Asia team, Marc Rijsdijk, Roger Romsom, and Anne Wang, expect a strong focus on “Economies of Scale” for daily baked products (toast, buns, etc.), “as the margins on these products become smaller, and production capacities of high margin products are still too low. Therefore, the dynamic will be towards industrialization, and reliability of production equipment, a kind of dynamic very well suited for the Kaak Group.” The show in Shanghai is in the optimum location as an opportunity for the group to meet with existing customers, as well as reaching new customers; not only for China but also for the complete Asian market, the team says.

WB: What are you presenting this year at Bakery China? Are you launching a new solution for this occasion? If so, please share details about it.

Kaak: This year, we will focus on products that can be produced with Kaak Group production lines. The focus will be on pizza, as we have developed a series of interesting production line concepts for the Asian market, dedicated to the Asian-style of Italian pizza. Furthermore, we will focus on expanding the presence of Kaak Group Asia as the Kaak Group is dedicated to the Asian markets.

WB: What are your expectations from the Chinese trade fair? How would you characterize it?

Kaak: The Bakery China show in Shanghai is the optimum location for gathering with existing customers, as well as try to get in contact new customers; this is valid not only for China but for the entire Asian market. We hope that we can make new contacts that will not only bring new opportunities but also help us to better understand the dynamics in the Asian markets.

WB: What is your view on dynamics to be expected in bakery this year?

Kaak: There will be a strong focus on “Economies of Scale” for daily baked products (toast, buns, etc.) as the margins on these products become smaller, and production capacities of high margin products are still too low. Therefore the dynamic will be towards industrialization, and reliability of production equipment, a kind of dynamic very well suited for the Kaak Group.”

WB: Please share some of your plans focusing on the Chinese market.

Kaak: With the birth of Kaak Group Asia, which is headquartered in Asia, we are looking into entering the market with the commitment and dedication customers are expecting from the Kaak Group. We will set up our own sales and service organization with Chinese speaking staff to ensure full support to the Chinese customer. While our service staff will ensure error-free communication, our sales staff will be committed to developing the skills to enter the Chinese market.

To better brand our company, we will bring essential equipment from Europe to Asia so customers can do testing in the region with the ingredients closest to their own, and on their own pace, and insights. This way we can avoid inconvenience related to traveling, ingredient shipments, and time constraints.

WB: From your portfolio, what are the products/solutions dedicated (or of special interest) to this market? And what drives their development?

Kaak: There is a demand-driven focus on the development of production lines for pizza, and confectionery (cakes, pie, and pastry). Locally, within Kaak Group Asia, we developed concepts to deal with these developments, and within the Kaak Group, there is strong movement on development of equipment to suit the production requirements.

A development we continue to push forward is the MultiProduct line concept, which is a response to the increasing demand for production line versatility. These production line concepts are customer specific and are designed to have suitable production for multiple future product generations.

WB: What are the trends you observe/support in bakery in China and Asia? What is your view of this market?

Kaak: We expect a move away from “conventional” toast bread, and a move into “Asian specialties”. Furthermore, we expect the “health trend” (healthier as in less sugar and more nutrients) to proceed and make its push for industrial production. This will bring the market to produce more European-style products. The Kaak Group is allocating resources and subsidiaries to support these trends by developing new concepts to deal with high versatility production circumstances.

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