To satisfy consumers’ growing donut demand, maximizing output while maintaining the quality product they expect is paramount. Thankfully, donut equipment today delivers on these goals throughout production. 

“Beyond labor savings, many companies are also experiencing benefits in quality improvements and reduced waste,” said Ty Sarajian, president of Axis Automation. “One of the key advantages of automation is its ability to create highly consistent products that appeal to customers who expect the same taste, texture and visual presentation each time they purchase a product.”

At the proofer, David Moline, vice president of sales and marketing for Moline Machinery, pointed to the company’s continuous sediment removal systems as a time-saving example, eliminating downtime and cleaning.

“It also enhances consistent product quality and allows for longer runs,” he said.

For frying, continuous oil filtration systems are an offering that Mr. Moline said has become increasingly standard for yeast-leavened donut makers. 

“Continuously filtering your oil during operation maintains your oil life and allows for extremely extended run times in your fryer,” he said. “It can add up to six shifts a week for bakers that have to use extended runs. The overall maintenance of your product quality by maintaining your oil quality is vastly improved.”

Many donut producers looking to grow may also find that space for a longer production line in their facilities is at a premium, observed Nick Magistrelli, vice president of sales, Rademaker USA. 

“One of the easiest ways to boost capacity is to create systems with wider working widths,” he said. 

Rademaker offers donut lines with working widths of 600-mm to 1,000-mm (23.6-inches to 39.4-inches) wide to accommodate a variety of production demands. 

Another area of innovation that has bolstered donut throughput is the injection process, Mr. Sarajian said. Donuts today can be filled at high speeds across multiple rows simultaneously.

The Axis Automation injection system, for example, is a high-speed filling system that maintains consistent volume within 1% at rates of up to 30 cycles per minute. 

Mr. Sarajian added that to automate injection filling, donut lines need some form of product alignment so that equipment operates properly. 

“Alignment is critical, because if donuts are not aligned when presented to the injection needles, then the dwell time for the injection process gets longer while the system waits for all of the donuts to arrive in the correct location,” he warned. “This can have a significant impact on production throughput.”