Published on

March 24, 2023


Nick Halliday

Efficiency tips for an ever-changing industry

It’s easy to break down granola bar production into four simple steps — mixing, forming,cutting and enrobing. But how you go about these four steps significantly affects your efficiency. Aside from improving your ingredient sourcing and inventory management, here’s what you can do to maximize output and make sure your granola bars’ final taste and texture are perfect.

Streamline SKU proliferation

When it comes to granola bars, customers want options. If you’re leaning into this trend, managing a large number of SKUs may make your production more complex. Traditionally, to process different flavors of chocolate, manufacturers needed multiple tanks feeding into multiple lines. If they wanted to introduce a new flavor after that, it required a laborious changeover and another tank.  

Fortunately, you can now add SKUs without taking up space or causing disruptions. The V20 melter’s flexibility, short priming time and compact size mean you can have a single, smaller machine while enabling faster SKU proliferation. All you do is wheel it to a new line and plug it in. When that SKU finishes, rinse and repeat. The new machine takes up a fraction of the floor space for a potentially never-ending number of SKUs.

Automate granola bar production wherever you can

Automation can streamline production, improve quality control, and reduce labor costs. To boost your granola bar efficiency, investigate where there’s room for automation in your plant. Start by implementing software that digitizes your workflows, QR codes, videos, and imagery to help your workers through the process. And on the production line, automatic monitoring, control, and process tracking are all built into the PTL machinery.  

Make the operators’ lives easier

When you observe operators on a shift, what inefficiencies can you see? Sometimes, the most significant improvements take a few minor tweaks to the machinery design. At PTL, our smart design features go a long way to reduce reliance on labor. Here are some examples:

  • Easy to disassemble. Instead of trying to clean machines where they stand, all PTL equipment is designed with removable components for lightning-fast cleaning and changeovers.
  • Toolless adjustments. T-handles let operators adjust components without having to find an engineer or the toolbox. Not only do they speed up production, but they also reduce the risk of tools going down the line.
  • Easy loading. Most melt tanks come with high loading heights, with a risk of operator injury. Operators can load the V20 at waist height – no platforms or heavy loads lifted over the head.  
  • Etched instructions. When engineers aren’t available on the floor, new operators may have to take time to check product manuals or double-check with the manager. To save precious time, PTL etches instructions and diagrams directly onto the machinery.  

Remove granola bar production bottlenecks

When workflow is not organized as well as it could be, production won’t reach its potential capacity. Granola bar production often sees inefficiencies when it’s time to switch between products. A PTL trolley is designed for a specific machine, so it integrates perfectly and becomes a washdown trolley for a faster changeover. Along with the sanitary design of all PTL equipment, this speeds cleaning.  

The V20 melter also unlocks granola bar production capacity. With faster processing of chocolate, you can produce more granola bar flavors that include chocolate in a much shorter time. Operators also won’t have to wait as long for chocolate to melt or waste power trying to keep it warm – bottlenecks that add up to big costs down the line.

Flexibility to innovate

In the granola bar industry, consumer demands constantly change – you need a flexible and super-efficient production line to keep up. By installing PTL machinery, you can automate tasks that significantly impact your productivity while streamlining SKU proliferation. Our clever design features boost operators’ confidence, making it easier to develop new product ideas and remove bottlenecks.  

Want to up your granola bar production game? Talk to the PTL team today.