The 30,000 square foot Reading Bakery Systems Science & Innovation Center is a unique, fully – equipped, licensed food processing research and development facility. The Center provides complete processing lines capable of producing a wide assortment of baked snacks including crackers, biscuits, cookies, pretzels, bread snacks, pet treats, expanded snacks and other food products. The Innovation Center will be used to demonstrate RBS equipment and by customers and industry partners to confidentially:
- Demonstrate new processes
- Validate ingredients and test ingredient changes
- Test new machinery and processing techniques
- Research innovations in mixing, forming, baking and drying to maximize profitability
- Produce market and trade show samples for testing
Additionally, the Science & Innovation Center includes a QC lab with analytical equipment and private customer conferencing areas. Customers using the Center will have access to the Reading Thermal SCORPION® Data Logging Measurement System to help measure and record conditions in the processing oven.
The Innovation Center is available for customer rental on a half day, daily or weekly basis. It is located in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, near the RBS manufacturing plant. This close proximity provides access to a fully equipped manufacturing and fabrication facility for machinery modifications required prior to or during customer trials. Custom equipment and die design assistance is also available on site from the engineering department.View Facility Tour
Science & Innovation Center Equipment
The Innovation Center includes a variety of dough mixing and forming processes, as well as, a complete process line for making baked snacks, crackers, biscuits, cookies, pet treats and many other food products. We recently installed an Expanded Snack System for producing corn curls and balls. With additional work with our R&D team, this single screw extrusion system can also produce ribbons, popcorn shapes, rings and more.
Dough Mixing Equipment
A dedicated mixing area features a wide range of mixing technologies. The Exact Mixing line of continuous mixers offers single screw, twin screw, and high shear technologies in a continuously mixed, automated process. Various size mixers are available for Science & Innovation Center work or in plant demonstrations.
Bulk handling and ingredient metering equipment include, Shick bulk handling system, Hayes and Stolz horizontal dry blender, Accurate gravimetric dry feeders, and mass flow liquid systems.
A Shaffer Horizontal Mixer, a Hobart bowl mixer, and a Collette high speed mixer offer various batch mixing technologies.
A variety of sheeted, laminated, extruded and co-extruded products can be developed and tested at the Science & Innovation Center.
The sheeting equipment consists of a 3-Roll Sheeter, 2 Gauging Stations, with adjustable roll speed differential, and a 2-station Rotary Cutter. The entire sheeting line is controlled by a remote Operator Interface Terminal.
An LP Extruder with bandcutter is available for extruding baked snacks, pet treats, bread snacks, cookies, as well as potato, corn and rice-based products.
A Rotary Molder and Wirecut Machine are also available for producing formed and soft-dough cookies and biscuits.
RBS Guillotine Cutters, topical applicators and sodium hydroxide cookers are available, as well as a wide variety of extrusion and cutting dies.
Flexibility and easy product changeovers are key factors in any processing line. The Innovation Center 600 mm wide PRISM OVEN is capable of baking everything from pretzels & bread snacks to pecan pies and biscuits. The 9.75M long PRISM OVEN utilizes an open mesh band and consists of 2 zones of radiant and / or convection baking. Product is then transferred into a single 4.8M long, 600 mm wide forced convection dryer. The oven and dryer are individually controlled using a remote OIT control station.
SCORPION® Data Logging Measurement System
Science & Innovation Center customers also have access to the Reading Thermal SCORPION® Data Logging Measurement System. The SCORPION® measures and records conditions in processing ovens, such as air flow, humidity, heat flux and temperature. This system is an excellent tool for analyzing the product baking curve and can also be used to mimic Innovation Center oven conditions in a larger production oven.
All finished products can be either bulk packaged or hand filled/sealed in pre-formed bags and shipped to the customer location.
Science & Innovation Center Staff
The Science & Innovation Center is staffed by an experienced staff with almost 100 years’ experience in the baking industry.
Cameron Johnston, Director, Science & Innovation Center, has 9 years of experience in the bakery manufacturing industry. Cameron served as Project Engineer at RBS before taking over the direction of the S&IC.
Ken Zvoncheck, Director, Process Technology, has over 30 years of manufacturing, research and development and quality assurance experience in baked snacks. As a processing expert, Ken consults with customers globally to ensure the success of startups, line commissioning and production requirements.
Steve Mull, Director of Technical Services, has over thirty years of experience in all aspects of the bakery manufacturing industry. Steve supports process, operations and maintenance of customer trials, as well as manage and ensure the development of the process support group.
Michael Snarski, Food Technologist, has 6 years of experience in the food manufacturing industry. He specializes in continuous mixing/high-pressure extrusion technology.
For more information contact Cameron Johnston at 610.678.5890 or Cameron.Johnston@readingbakery.com