COVID-19 Pandemic | Preventative Bakery Equipment Maintenance Tips
Bakeries and restaurants are facing plenty of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this challenging time, preventative maintenance is more important than ever to ensure your business continues operating efficiently and effectively.
Empire Bakery Equipment's Director of Technical Service & Parts, Bill Lawson, has some very helpful preventative maintenance tips for all bakeries and restaurants to review and make sure their establishment continues to operate successfully now and in the future.
- Access Panels
With the power turned off, clean the louvers on all access panels. Remove the access panels and clean any debris visible inside the machine. Perform a visual inspection for any oil leaks, grease stains, metal filings, etc. These are signs that something is wrong and may need further investigation to prevent a shutdown.
With the power off, clean with a rag and vacuum all exposed surfaces. Pay particular attention to the spaces between the body cooling fins, louvers over cooling fans and cooling openings around base of the motor. This will prevent motors from overheating and extend the life of them.
Remove the top cover and inspect the belts for cracking or wear. If you see signs of this, make sure you have spare belts on hand and replace them before they break during production. We strongly recommend having a spare belt on hand for emergencies and a quick fix to a belt issue.
With the burner off, wipe down the exterior of the burner with a clean dry rag. Locate the air intake for the burner and clean all dust, flour and lint from openings. After doing so, turn the burner on and gently, but firmly, tap the gas line coming into the burner with the handle of a screwdriver to dislodge any dust or rust. Dust and flour are the major causes of burner shutdowns.
Be sure to check your oven venting. Make sure that your draft inducer motor is clean, and wipe down the motor paying attention to the cooling openings on the motor. On the barometric damper, make sure that the “flapper” is moving freely.
- Water Filters
Check the color of the incoming water filter. If it is any color other than white, make sure you have a replacement available. Once the filter becomes light brown it is reducing flow, and reduced water flow is the most common steam problem on ovens. You should always have water filter replacements on hand.
- Steam Generators
Open all deck doors on the deck oven and turn the exhaust fan on. Leave the door closed on rack ovens, but open the chamber damper above the door and turn the exhaust fan on. Locate water pressure regulator and turn stem clockwise (you may need to loosen the lower locking nut), counting turns, until it is completely tightened. Set steam time for maximum on the control panel and steam each deck or the chamber 3 times. Have a mop available as the collection box may overflow. Then reset the regulator back to the original setting, turning the stem counter-clockwise the same number of turns and retighten the locking nut. This will blow out any debris built up in the injectors and generators extending the life of your generators. If you are uncomfortable taking this on yourself, give us a call!
Clean around all switches. Scrape any built-up flour and dough from around the switches while also using a vacuum. Flour and dough work their way into the switch and eventually cause the switch to fail.
- Production Belts
On oven loaders, bagel machines, dividers, etc. Check the belts for tears. Small tears have a tendency to quickly get larger and make the belt unusable. We strongly recommend keeping spare belts on hand.
Empire's Technical & Parts Department is here to help keep your business running smoothly during a time when it is most important. If at any point while performing these preventative maintenance tasks, you see something you are unsure of, do not hesitate to reach out. Our dedicated team of professionals will help walk you through any questions you may have in order to help keep your business operating efficiently.
Together we will get through this trying time and be stronger than ever! Stay Safe, Stay STRONG, Stay Healthy!