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Low Pressure Extruders: Automation Drives Demand

Completely redesigned to improve safety, efficiency and ease of cleaning, Reading Bakery Systems’ Low Pressure (LP) Extruder enables consistent and accurate production of a wide array of products including hard pretzel shapes, sticks, braids, sushki and co-extruded products. Product changeover is as simple as exchanging one compression head and die for another one with a different shape.

Nico Roesler, North American Pretzel & Snack Equipment Sales Manager, Reading Bakery Systems shared with Asia Pacific Baker & Biscuit some of the advantages and working principles of their equipment.

– Please walk us through the components of a typical Low Pressure Extrusion line and highlight RBS’ expertise with this technology. 

The RBS Low Pressure Extruded Snack Line consists of the Low Pressure Extruder, Guillotine Cutter for sticks and nuggets, pretzel cooker, salter or seeder and convection oven and dryer. We offer a variety of manual and automated mixing and dough handling options. The Low Pressure Extruder, Pretzel Cooker and Advanced Oven Technology are all proprietary to RBS. 

– Please provide details about the extruders in your company’s portfolio and their attributes that differentiate them from competitors.

In the early 1950s, Reading Bakery Systems developed the industry’s first low pressure extruder and dies for the automated production of pretzels and other extruded snacks. As with many RBS solutions, it was a key technological development that helped change the shape of the industry. 

Since then, Reading Bakery Systems has pioneered several other advances in low pressure extrusion. All of them have gone into the development of our current Low Pressure (LP) Extruder Series machines. Featuring interchangeable compression head and die assemblies, the LP Extruder series offers a flexible, efficient and cost-effective solution for a wide variety of snack shapes and sticks. The machine is able to process a variety of doughs from pretzel dough, potato-based dough to even meat-based dog kibble.  

All of our interchangeable compression heads and extrusion dies are designed and manufactured in house with decades of experience to ensure the best quality piece shapes. 

– Please discuss how you adapt to bakers’ needs, and what customization options are available in your extruding equipment?

We offer several different widths of the Low Pressure Extruder, as well as a modular oven length, to fit a range of production capacities. Depending on the product, common options include pre-feed rollers to help feed stiffer doughs, and co-extrusion systems for popular filled snacks, with cheese, chocolate, peanut butter, and other fillings.  

– How do you avoid product piece weight variability and how do you keep a constant rate of extrusion? How does the dough recipe factor in?

We offer a digital pressure sensor that is tied back to the PLC system. The machine can then automatically adjust the speed of the extrusion augers to maintain a consistent extrusion pressure for accurate dough piece weights. 

These speed changes will have a minimal effect on the overall line output, but rather will make the overall dough piece weights more precise.

You can read the rest of this article in the Autumn Issue of Asia Pacific Baker & Biscuit magazine, which you can access by clicking here

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