The complexities of industrial pan buying seem to have been made much faster and easier with the modern conveniences of email and the internet. Often the pan purchasing decision is as easy as assuming that you should purchase the same pans as you did the last time, resulting in an easy transaction for both the buyer and the supplier; however, it is often wondered, was this the right choice for this set of pans? The seemingly easy decision made today will affect the life of the pans for the next four to five years or beyond. And of course, this easy decision will also affect the output of the baked products for the life of the pan. If an industrial pan purchasing decision is in your near future, and you are wondering whether or not to purchase the same pans as last time, there are four key factors that you should consider.
1. Quality of Pan Life
Let’s assume that the pan being replaced had a life expectancy of six years. Let’s also assume that, the pan has provided an overall satisfactory performance. The fact of the matter is that metal fatigues… baking pans cannot and will not last forever. So now is the time to rejoice and be glad, right? It may not be that simple. Take into consideration how many times the pan was straightened or re-blocked in the past six years. In what condition are the pan bottoms and sidewalls? How badly is this pan misshapen? Are the pan corner bottoms damaged? Are there signs of unusual metal abrasion and wear? The time to consider an upgrade to the pan design should be well before the pan has come to the end of its lifecycle or asset depreciation.
2. Technology Upgrade
What was the origin of the pan design? Let’s consider that the pan in question is a 5” hamburger bun pan. Let’s also assume that your baking plant has been producing 5” hamburger buns since the plant first opened back in 1982. 5” hamburger buns gained a national presence in the mid 1970’s. The bun pan specifications and design most likely have not changed much since then. Would you agree to purchase any item that is “the same as last time” if it was originally produced in the 1970’s? Both pan materials and optional pan features have improved a lot since then. The next purchase of these hypothetical pans should include the latest technologies for both energy efficiency (see our ePAN® pans) and features for pan strength with automated systems.
3. Extra Features
Are there any special features on your current pan? Think about what they are, what function they serve, and why they were added to the pan specifications. Knowing the function and origin of the extra features can help you decide if they are necessary, if there is a better feature available now, or if you can eliminate the feature and the extra cost it adds to your pan.
4. End Results
Prior to purchasing new baking pans, the finished baked product should be carefully studied; however, this seemingly obvious and critical consideration is often overlooked. Why is the mould depth of a 5-inch hamburger bun pan so shallow compared to the 4-inch hamburger buns? Why do you have 45 degree, all-over corrugations on the two-pound Pullman set and only bottom edge corrugations on the one-pound set? There are of course many local market factors which can come into play when determining the look and shape of the final baked product; however, a careful study of these market factors can be a very informative exercise and ultimately ensure you are making products that the market wants and buying the right pans for the job.
Once you have determined the pans that are right for your baking operation, we can then help you select the best pan coating for your pans.
As part of a family-owned business and a global industry leader supplying many of the world’s largest and most successful bakeries, American Pan is here to provide you with the knowledge and resources to make your pan purchasing process simple and effective.