The flow of a typical bakery starts at the flour preparation and dough mixing areas. From there the dough goes through the dividing process, to rounding, to proofing and molding. After this process the dough is ready for the oven. From the oven the baked bread is ready for slicing and wrapping. Flour as it comes from the mill is sifted to remove any contaminants such as lint from bags, lumps or compact masses which may have developed. The texture must be uniform as to fineness. During this treatment blending and aeration also can be accomplished.
Mixing presents the first speed consideration. Here the ingredients for the dough are mixed at varying speeds according to the type of dough. High speed is used for regular bread in order to develop specified color, texture and absorption. At the same time this reduces the fermentation period. This latter stage varies but usually a mixing period of from 8 to 15 minutes is involved. This also can relate directly to production and power consumption. Sometimes a preliminary or auxiliary mixer may be used for specialty doughs, a procedure which could contribute to desired loaf uniformity and texture.
Motor drive, through roller or silent chain connections to the speed reduction gearing, presents the basic lubrication requirements. The procedure and products will depend upon the construction, housing and means of application. Contamination is a "two-way street": lubricants must not leak, drip or sling off to contaminate dough ingredients; in turn these ingredients must not get into the lubricants to impair their effectiveness. Well designed housings are good insurance. Measured lubrication to the trunnion bearings, worm wheels and other parts through suitable distribution piping can be an effective procedure.
The dividing, rounding, proofing and molding procedures which follow mixing prepare the dough for baking. They can be studied as a group by management in considering the lubrication requirements. Some operators may regard the divider as presenting the most severe lubricating conditions. This machine involves the first handling of the finished dough. Modern design provides a protected unit, but one where over-zealous precautions against over lubrication (and possible contamination) could result in starved lubrication with the chance of excessive wear of some parts and possible power loss. This type problem might develop with parts of the cutting mechanism such as knife edges, plungers and back of the division box where there could be high grade (even tasteless) fixed oil such as lard or cottonseed oil, or a tasteless colorless petroleum oil is resistant to such influence.
Equally as careful precautions should be observed in lubricating the rounder which simulates manual shaping of the cut pieces. This is done in contact with flour and air circulation which dries the surfaces and develops a protective skin or membrane to prevent escape of gas from the dough. One caution: the lubricants required for the gears and bearings must not be contaminated by flour should there be any leakage of this from the flour duster. A suitable regulator for flour delivery is helpful in control and prevention of flour getting outside the machine.
Then the dough is ready for proofing. In reality this involves a rest period for several minutes during which the individual pieces are carried on some form of conveying mechanism which imparts a forward and backward motion at controlled speed. Ball or roller bearing lubrication requires a high degree of controlled lubrication to prevent over-heating In the case of over-lubrication increase in power consumption could occur. Controlled or measured lubrication also provides insurance against leakage or impairment of seals.
The drive is an important factor in molder design as related to lubrication of the bearings and silent chain connections from the motor to the speed-reduction mechanisms. Molding comprises the final kneading treatment. When the machine is operating at the desired adjustment and is effectively lublicated, the uniformity, shape and texture of the finished loaves are best assured.
To assure positive functioning of the machine, the operating mechanisms are well protected in as nearly as possible sealed housings. This permits controlled lubrication by measured application to bearings by some form of automatic oil delivery to the chain links, and controlled level of the oil in the gear case. The objective, as elsewhere is to prevent escape of lubricant.
From a lubrication viewpoint, one is concerned with the automatic traveling hearth oven, where the loaves are placed onto an endless conveyor being carried forward at a predetemined speed through the baking chamber to the discharge end. Baking time can be controlled by a suitable variable speed transmission device from 15 to 75 minutes at controlled temperatures of from slightly below 400 °F to a maximum of around 5000 °F. The temperature is accurately maintained by being checked periodically at various points along the oven. The highest temperature usually is close to the center of the oven. It is these temperature conditions which could impose a requirement upon management as to temperature-resistance of lubricants for oven operating mechanisms. Being outside the main insulated housing, lubricating requirements for the drive are not quite as exacting as lubricating the conveyor rollers or links within the housing. Fortunately the drives do not have to withstand the actual baking temperatures; even so the ambient range is higher than elsewhere in the industry.
All bakeries are excellent prospects for our food grade lubricants. QUINPLEX® 4023, 4024, 4025 and 4025A H1 food grade greases, 4090 and 4140 gear oils, 4010, 4020 and 4030 QUINPLEX® white oils, 4058, and 4059A QUINPLEX® H1 penetrating oils and lubricants qualifies for use in potential food contact applications. Unlike most food grade products on the market, the formulations of Lubrication Engineer's food grade line of products give protection and extended use. However, one series of products of extreme importance is 2700 and 2799 ALMASOL® oven chain lubricants. These lubricants are far superior than any other oven chain lubricants in that they do not build up on the chains. Build up on the chains may result in a binding or seizure of the chain. As in any chain, it is also imperative that the lubricating value of the lublicant penetrate inside the pin and bushing of the chain. The internal workings are the parts that wear out or seize. ALMASOL® Chain Lubricants (2700, 2799) have the unique ability to clean chains that already have some build up occurring.