Labor costs, ingredient costs, operational costs — put almost any word in front of “costs,” and you’ll notice a trend: they’re going up. As a result, companies that make depositors for foods marketed in bakeries are trying to make their machines as efficient as possible — and to lower costs for their customers.
Unifiller Systems Inc. is continually developing new depositor technology to meet the changing needs of its customer base, says Stewart Macpherson, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. In September, Unifiller introduced a new batter depositing machine at the IBA expo in Munich, Germany.
The RP depositor relies on a multi-port depositing system that uses rotary piston technology. That means product is on both sides of the pistons, which Macpherson says eliminates the possibility of air entering the portioning chambers. The RP also can be configured by the user, allowing the machine to be set up from single fill to as many as 18 deposit portioning chambers.
“We continue to introduce new depositing, pumping and finishing technology and systems every year and plan to continue adding further new products from here forwards,” Macpherson says. “What our customers repeatedly say about our machines is the performance, accuracy but mostly the simplicity of the Unifiller designs is why they keep returning to us.”
Hinds-Bock Corp. also has seen a steady increase in demand for its depositors, says Lance Aasness, the company’s executive vice president. “Hinds-Bock has become a trusted name that production facilities can rely upon to be hassle free, last forever and has the best in class after sales support. What people like best is that the equipment is robust, super reliable, easy to clean and maintain and very accurate,” he says.
New at Hinds-Bock is a financing option for customers. Businesses that don’t want to tie up their operating capital in equipment can instead finance it at an affordable rate that provides quick return on investment, Aasness says.
Hinds-Bock is keeping an eye on are single-serve, smaller portions, gluten-free and grab-and-go —Aasness calls them the “movers on the shelves and in the coolers.” Anticipating these trends years ago, Hind-Bock engineered equipment that is specifically designed to meet and exceed the needs they created, he says.
Industry trends that Unifiller is capitalizing on include demand for products that taste better, have better ingredients, are more consistent and boast new, innovative designs, Macpherson says. Only one thing, he says, guarantees that the company can keep up with those and other trends. “We are in constant communication with our customers, who are usually aware of the next trends as they develop.”
Unifiller developed the Deco-iSpot, a depositor specifically for products sold in instore bakeries that Macpherson says successfully resolves “three big issues.” The depositor automatically draws ready-made frostings or fillings directly from the pail in which the product was delivered; eliminates the need to pre-mix frosting to make it smooth and deposit a precise measured amount of frosting directly onto cupcakes; and eliminates the need to fill or squeeze pastry bags.
“It has a built-in twisting mechanism that allows a completely inexperienced bakery to quickly decorate cupcakes, or it can be used as a stand-alone batter depositor,” Macpherson says.