Pré Pain. We make. You bake.

  • Pré Pain's sofisticated bread making process

    Pré Pain supplies supermarkets with millions of bake-off rolls

    In order to do so, an ingenious process has been developed that minimizes disruptions. It made the company market leader in fresh and crispy bake-off bread products.

Sales of bake-off rolls increase significantly around Christmas and New Year's Eve. Pré Pain ensures that partying consumers do not miss the bus during that period. As a matter of fact the company is market leader in fresh and crispy bake-off bread products for the Netherlands and even for Europe. The Oldenzaal company supplies the major supermarkets in the Benelux on a daily basis. In order to do so, an ingenious process has been developed that minimizes disruptions.

Bread baking pioneer

Pré Pain originated from a traditional bakery, called Smithuis, founded in 1889. The Smithuis family – bread experts – started Pré Pain in 1992. The company gradually became a pioneer in the Dutch bake-off market. They had a crystal-clear vision that Dutch consumers wanted to bake off their own bread. Pré Pain has meanwhile become the largest Dutch bake-off bread specialist with a gigantic production (for example, one line produces approximately 30,000 kaiser rolls per hour...). Around 250 people work at the location in Oldenzaal. Here the whole process of product development to distribution takes place. The TD consists of about 16 men, five of whom are in the trouble-shooting service. They ensure a smooth production process.

Pré Pain not only supplies kaiser rolls. They also make baguettes, pistolets, schnitt rolls, diamond, triangle and ciabatta, carré and larger loaves. Some bread products are baked in a special stone oven, which ensures the recognizable open structure and thin crust.

Bread and technology

Bert Prins is head of the technical service and responsible for the "maintenance of the installations". And there are many, because Pré Pain has 'everything': hydraulics, pneumatics, electric power, plc's linked systems, high tech machinery... There are 10 production lines each with their own specific points of attention. Bert: "A spearhead for the years to come will be predictive and preventive maintenance."

Reconstruction leads to less loss

Asked about his experiences with SEW's drives, Bert replies: "We've known SEW-EURODRIVE for a long time. The entire factory runs on SEW's drive technology. SEW is the default, because of its proven quality. Furthermore the quickness of response to questions and the service play a role in this."

Proving cabinet lines reconstructed

In 2019 lines 5 and 6 – in the proving cabinet – were reconstructed and SEW took care of the mechanical selection (helical-bevel gear motors) and the putting into operation. The loaves - in the process of formation - are led to the proving cabinet (where the dough is rising) on baking plates. Subsequently they are passed on from one lift cage to the next. These cages move at a constant speed from top to bottom and back again. The time the loaves stay here is precisely determined and remains constant. Before the reconstruction, the lifts were driven by relatively small motor gearboxes with an open chain transmission. This system had some drawbacks: Maintenance took a lot of time and manpower and positioning accuracy decreased by play in the chain transmission.

SEW image

This drive system with open transmissions has now been replaced by relatively larger gearboxes mounted directly on the machine shaft, so-called direct drives. The motors are centrally controlled for speed and position by a CCU (Configurable Control Unit), type DHR41B, which controls MOVIDRIVE® application inverters via a bus system (S-bus1).

The positioning accuracy has improved considerably. Additional advantage is that the system has far fewer malfunctions due to the controlled process flow. For example, collisions between the baking trays and the reception arms in the elevator while sliding in the trays have been eliminated. Whereas the transfers between the lifts were first driven pneumatically, the movements are now made by means of servo motor technique. All this resulted in much less maintenance, fewer failures due to better positioning and ultimately to significantly less production loss. The proving cabinet manufacturer has meanwhile adapted the design to the new way of driving.

Quote from Bert Prins, head of the technical service

We want to spare the environment as much as possible. We invest a lot in the renewal of production and logistics processes in order to consume as little energy as possible.


Sustainable image

Bert: "We only use FSC cardboard. This Forest Stewardship Council quality mark indicates that the raw material for the cardboard comes from responsibly managed forests. And we limit the amount of packaging materials to a minimum. Throughout the factory, LED lamps are now illuminating the workplaces. And most importantly, we have our drives remanufactured.”

Remanufacturing: Second life for the drive

Pré Pain has recently begun collecting defective drive components in a red container from SEW. The mechanical drives that end up in this striking pickup box will have a second life after a remanufacturing by SEW. This prevents broken drives from ending up as scrap iron, which goes against Pré Pain's ecological image.

Remanufacturing red box

What does remanufacturing mean? For SEW-EURODRIVE it means repair, overhaul and/or conversion, so literally disassemble and manufacture again. Drives (motors and gearboxes) are very suitable for reuse and many components have an infinite life span. During remanufacturing, the drive is disassembled and broken parts are replaced with new ones. Together with the new components, a new drive is realized during assembly, which again is covered by a full manufacturer’s guarantee. In this way the life cycle of the drive is extended.

Fewer drives in stock

SEW image

For a company like Pré Pain it’s crucial to ensure constant quality. Bread must always retain its unique character. The company cannot afford any disruption to the production process. That's why Pré Pain has a supply of spare drive components on the shelf to intervene quickly in case of emergency. Bert: "Actually, this stock is a thorn in my side. I want to examine with SEW, if we can deal with this in a smarter way, for example by keeping to standard drives that are multi-usable."

For this kind of requirements, SEW has already developed CDM® (Complete Drive Management), a system that makes it easier to tackle a sudden standstill. Or better yet, to prevent a disruption of the production process. Pré Pain could do a test for a particular line with this system, for example line 11 (30-40 drives).

The basis of the system is an inventory of the drive and control technology in the company. All relevant data are recorded in an orderly way, so that the technical service department has a neatly arranged overview of all drives and controls, such as type, number and condition (independent of the brand). This enables a neatly arranged maintenance planning and a smaller stock due to better inventory management.

SEW CDM®: Complete Drive Management

In the event of a production stoppage, the maintenance technician no longer has to go and inquire difficult-to-access identification tags, because he already knows the numbers and locations of all drives.

Moreover, it’s also very clear where motors can be made faster: At SEW in Rotterdam or at SEW in Germany, and which ones should preferably be put on the shelf. We wouldn't be surprised, if Pré Pain sees the point of this. The company’s bread will then be buttered on both sides.

Pré Pain corporate movie

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