Villähteen Leipä upgraded their automation level and invested into competitiveness
Founded in 1958, Villähteen Leipä Oy has grown over the decades from a small home bakery into a significant supplier of frozen pastries. The operations of this family business, now run by a third generation, are firmly rooted in quality that is fostered even to a higher level with the help of the new Dosetec system.
Villähteen Leipä started its operations in the stone and mortar basement of a family house at Villähde in Nastola, where the first meat pies, French rolls and loafs were baked in a stone oven fired with two-metre logs. Today, the company has specialized in the production of frozen pastries, not overlooking the traditional art of fresh baking. The bakery with its frozen food, buns and meals invests in quality, which is manifest in continuous development of quality control and in regular product testing. In spring 2016 the company made a further investment in quality by procuring an automatic Dosetec system designed for extremely precise dosing and weighing.
Precise dosing: less loss, more reliability
The family business operator, Villähteen Leipä Production Manager Mikko Hämäläinen states that the latest renewal contributed to the simultaneous development of several vital areas. “The most significant target was to achieve continuous uniform quality of products. The automation system doses the raw materials and quantities correctly and eliminates human errors in dosing, helping to reduce losses and increase delivery reliability,” Hämäläinen tells. The Dosetec system ensures automatically that the water for the dough is always dispensed at the right temperature. The dosing of liquid yeast is based on a flow meter, while the small components are dosed from the storage tank on the basis of loss-in-weight scaling. Accurate dosing of raw materials from big bags is ensured by slowing the feed speed at the end of the dosing batch.
Reporting and tracking to help in management
The Dosetec system contains the recipes, production plan and dosing control executed by means of Siemens S7 logic. An automatic batch report is provided about each batch, giving prominence to the saying “what you can measure, you can manage”. “With this system we can manage the material flows better. We can see exactly how much of each raw material is used in a specific time span. Batch reports also allow for traceability, which has become increasingly important with the increasing level of client requirements,” Hämäläinen says.
Better work ergonomics in clean premises
Due to big bag and small bag stations, there are less small bags in the bakery, helping to keep the premises clean more easily and contributing to more efficient use of space. The first step to get flour dust under control was the dust hood installed by the flour scale. “The system is easy to use and commissioning was maybe easier than we had imagined. Employees have accepted the system with positive feelings,” Hämäläinen commends.