Unit 13a Production
A:SO,this is a diagram of the bakery. Now it all begins with the main ingredients-those are flour and water. They're weighed and fed automatically into mixers. Yeast and additives are then added by hand and everything is mixed together for twelve minutes to make the dough.
B:What are the additives for?
A:They're just to increase the shelf-life of the baguettes. The dough is then divided into pieces. And after the weight is checked,the dough enters the frist prover for ten minutes.
B:The first what?
B:What's a prover?
A:I can tell you haven't baked bread before.
B:NO, that's very true!
A:Well, you can't bake the dough straight away. You have to let it stand for a while so the yeast can react before you form it. This is called proving. Well now, the yeast makes the dough rise, and gives the bread shape and volume.
B:Oh,right. I see.
A:So, the dough is then formed into a baguette and dropped onto trays, which then continuously go round a circuit. The trays take the baguettes into another prover for 60 minutes. The temperature in the prover is perfect for the yeast to make the bread rise even more.
B:60 minutes, that long?
A:Well, the prover stage is very important. If the bread doesn't prove properly, you can't bake it.Now the trays then continue around the circuit to the oven, where the bread is baked for ten mintues. And after leaving the oven, the trays enter the cooler. That's where cool air is blown over them for 40 minutes. The baguettes are then taken off the trays and dropped into plastic baskets for packaging. And the trays continue around the circuit and go back to the start again.
B:And what happens to the baguettes?
A:They're taken to the packing hall,where they're wrapped, boxed and despatched.
B:And how long does the whole process take?
A:From flour to boxed products takes about two and a half hours.
A:So,Brian, what problems do you have with the production line?
B:Well, we have a lot of problems with sensors. These are electronic sensors that tell the computer when a tray enters or leaves a prover or oven. The computer monitors the circuit and controls the speed of the trays. The computer stops the whole process when a sensor stops working properly- a complete shutdown.
B:Well, you have to remember that the line produces 6,000 baguettes an hour. The timing has to be perfect or the system stops. The sensors have to be set up exactly right. If they aren't, the computer won't start the system.
A:What other problems do you have?
B:Wll, sometimes we have problems with the mixers. If the computer gets the mix wrong, we have to clean out the whole mixer.
A:Do you have any problems with your work?
B:Not often, no. The system produces a new mix every 12 minutes, so it is possible that a mixerman can forget to put in the yeast and additives. If he forgets the extra ingredients, we lose the whole mix.
A:Any other kinds of problems?
B:Occasionally we have mechanical problems. Like when an old tray loses its shape, it can jam in a prover or oven. That can be a big problem because it can damage a machine and jam the whole system.
A:So how much time do you lose a day on average?
B:That's difficult to say, really. On a good day maybe 6 minutes. We can lose up to an hour and a half of production if we have a really bad day. And that means nearly 10,000 baguettes.