Ovens and other baking equipment are the biggest energy consumers in the baking industry. However, this does not mean that other areas do not also offer approaches for saving energy. Specialist NORD DRIVESYSTEMS supports companies with energy-efficient drive solutions that are specifically tailored to bakeries. 

Whether kneading system, conveyor belt or continuous furnace: numerous automation units are at work in modern bakeries – and all of them are equipped with individual electric drive systems. In a kneading machine, at least the dough hook is driven, often the vat is also rotated, lifted or tilted and the lid is lifted automatically. 

These numerous drive systems are an important factor in the automated bakery industry and deserve attention for several reasons. On the one hand, they have to meet demanding requirements, for example, in terms of hygiene – keyword: food safety – and reliability. On the other hand these drives can offer significant potential for increasing  energy efficiency and reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Own industry management

NORD DRIVESYSTEMS specializes in efficient tailor-made drives for a wide variety of industrial applications. With its drive components – motor, gear unit, industrial gear unit and frequency inverter – the drive expert based in Bargteheide near Hamburg supplies more than 100 industries. The company has established special industry management for several key industries, including the bakery industry. “Our industry managers have in-depth knowledge of the baking industry and are highly familiar with the requirements of bakeries as well as industrial bread factories”, Jörg Niermann, Head of Marketing at NORD, points out.

In addition to the drive technology expertise and familiarity with the baking industry, NORD offers its customers another advantage: The company is represented worldwide, and its international service network guarantees quick customer support around the globe. NORD is available to its customers in 36 countries with assembly facilities, service and sales; competent service partners are ready to help in 52 other countries.

Tailor-made drive solutions

In consultation with the customer, the industry experts configure tailor-made drive solutions for the bakery industry from NORD’s comprehensive modular system. The powerful MAXXDRIVE® industrial gear units are used for large agitating and kneading systems. These high-performance gears with torques of up to 250,000 Nm pay off – for example, especially when preparing dough where large quantities are involved and where the viscosity is also changed by adding flour, eggs or water. 

For the MAXXDRIVE® industrial gear units, NORD offers the SAFOMI-IEC adapter as an option for agitators. The SAFOMI adapter does not require an oil tank and hoses as well as radial shaft seals between the gear unit and IEC cylinder. The elimination of several sealing and connection points increases the reliability with reduced maintenance effort. Furthermore, the compact design reduces the installation space. 

If NORD’s standard modular system is ever insufficient for the configuration of a tailor-made drive system, the company’s engineering specialists also develop customized solutions from scratch. “Customer satisfaction is our top priority, not so much the series size”, Jörg Niermann emphasises. NORD offers customized development even for small quantities. 

For applications with high temperature ranges, such as fermentation ovens and continuous ovens, or low temperature ranges, such as freezers and coolers, NORD can also provide application specific solutions.

Hygienic requirements

For almost all applications, NORD offers a wide portfolio of hygiene-friendly drives. This includes asynchronous and synchronous smooth-surface motors, straight and angled gear units as well as decentralised frequency inverters. Two smooth-surfaced motor series have been designed to be hygienefriendly and are supplied without fans. The new IE5+ synchronous motor series integrates the encoder in a well-protected and compact manner in the A bearing cover whilst the IE3 asynchronous series protects the encoder in an add-on housing at the B bearing cover. Both motors can also be equipped with brakes that are integrated in the IP69K add-on housing. Power and signal cables can also be designed with high-performance, hygiene-friendly plugs. 

By basing the hygienic series on the standard series, a large modular system with various option variants and great design flexibility is available. Consequently, it is also possible to find solutions for special circumstances such as confined installation spaces. 

For harsh environmental conditions and also corrosion protection, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS offers its selfdeveloped nsd tupH surface treatment. The technology provides unique corrosion protection, comparable to stainless steel, with an excellent priceperformance ratio. Since it is not a paint layer, there is no surface peeling or flaking.

With explosion protection as standard

“We also offer many drive components with explosion protection according to the ATEX directive as standard”, Niermann highlights. Explosion protection is of special importance in the bakery industry. Flour dust and other grounded organic substances are highly flammable in their unprocessed form. The same applies to alcohol used in the preparation of cake or confectionery, for example. To make the use of such ingredients safe, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS offers a wide range of ATEX-certified components.

Total Cost of Ownership

Whether from the modular system or individually developed: NORD drive solutions are characterised by high energy efficiency. Energy-saving individual components and integrated solutions with high system efficiency ensure efficient machine operation. For conveyor belts or cutting equipment, for example, NORD offers high-efficiency IE5+ synchronous drives. They are controlled by NORD frequency inverters which not only guarantee highest energy efficiency. Via their standard PLC (programmable logic controller), individual additional functions such as metering units and enrobing systems can also be integrated into the higher-level control system as interlinked production components. 

The constant torques of NORD components over a wide speed range also make it possible to significantly reduce the number of different drive units within larger systems. This variant reduction minimises administrative costs and streamlines logistics, storage and service processes. All of this helps the user to significantly reduce their Total Costs of Ownership (TCO).