Turano Baking: ... And now: Soft buns (2023)

At first the competitors scoffed, but now they envy them. Today, Turano Baking Co., a well-known Chicagoland artisan baker, produces and successfully does soft hamburger buns in Florida. "When we announced our plans to build a bun bakery in Orlando, there were people in the industry who said, 'Can these guys really make buns?'" said Giancarlo Turano, executive vice president of the Berwyn, IL-based family business . "Well, we can bake buns and continue to do so at an extremely efficient speed."

In 2004, Turano Baking Co., of Berwyn, IL, announced plans to establish a bun bakery to serve food service businesses in Florida. In fact, the company reported that it would be building two new facilities at the same time, one in Villa Rica, GA and the other in Orlando, FL. This ambition of a family business caused a stir, mainly because it went beyond its expertise in hearth oven specialties.

“This addition propels us into mainstream baking, giving us the full breadth of high-speed production and the craftsmanship and specialties we have long been known for,” noted Giancarlo. "We are one of the very few companies that manufactures such a large variety of products."

Turano Florida Bun, as the Orlando, FL bakery is known within the company, is a showcase of automated production - an ongoing focus for Turano's engineering team. Labor costs are low, with only eight people per shift in production and a total workforce of 68. The automated equipment is not only integrated through PLCs, but also connected through an internal Wi-Fi network. And with strong storms regularly blowing through the region, contingency planning shaped many aspects of the new $30 million bakery.

Located on 20 acres along with the Martin-Brower Distribution Center that serves 800 McDonald's locations in Florida and more in the Southeast, Turano Florida Bun is the company's first company in the McDonald's supply chain. The bakery celebrated its opening on May 21, 2009 together with Martin-Brower.

As it turns out, Turano's two new bakeries didn't open at the same time. Turano managers originally set out a 2-year timeline for design, purchase, and commissioning, but being in Florida with permits and "other uncontrollable factors," according to Giancarlo, allowed the company to focus on the site instead to focus on Georgia. Finally, in 2008, construction work began in Orlando.

"We were late but ultimately succeeded," he said. "And Orlando got off to a great start." Jeff Kozloski, operations engineer, noted that the second dough ever made here was considered salable.

Turano Florida Bun's smooth startup of a highly automated manufacturing facility opened what Giancarlo calls "Chapter Four" for the company, the previous chapters being the first automated facility in Berwyn 40 years ago, Bolingbrook 20 years ago and Villa Rica. And yes, noted Giancarlo, there are many more chapters to be written.


With bakeries in Georgia and Florida, the company created a new location for its growing base of operations. Orlando's Plant Manager Leo Desrosiers is responsible for both plants as Regional Manager for the Southeast. The decision to build in Orlando was customized to serve a defined market, according to Giancarlo, but the plant's potential reach goes even further.

His son Giancarlo Turano II, the company's national sales manager, explained: "The first year to a year and a half is dedicated to McDonald's, but we have started looking for third-party business."

The 100,000 square foot building currently houses one highly automated production line, but the ample floor space easily accommodates another. The system bakes six types of rolls in 24-hour operation, 5 days a week. All finished and packaged products are routed to Martin-Brower's on-site freezer for distribution along with other supplies to restaurants.

(Video) Turano Bakery

This bun factory differs from similar establishments in several aspects – not only in production technology, but also in terms of personnel and preparation.

The company hired its operations manager and operations engineer in Florida a year before opening. "We have to look ahead and make decisions," Mr Desrosiers said. The remaining department managers were consulted three or four months before the equipment was installed. "This was crucial from a hygiene, production and quality point of view," he noted, "and especially for the smooth launch."

Local hires benefited from the existence of other bakeries in the market and several managers were transferred from existing works in Turano. “The local team has 150 years of bakery experience,” noted Mr. Desrosiers. Orlando is managed by Mr. Desrosiers; Mr. Kozloski; Jeff Benny, plumbing manager; Jack Mitchell, production manager; Johnny Cowart, Quality Assurance Manager; and Monica Scurry, director of human resources.

The number of employees also distinguishes Turano Florida Bun from similar bakeries. “This facility only operates eight people per shift because we've invested in streamlined operations,” explained Mr. Mitchell. “Other bakeries would need 11 to 14 people for a similar line. Here, automation allows three to four fewer people per shift.”


The construction of a new bakery provided an opportunity to work with several technologies new to Turano and some new to the baking industry itself. This primarily includes the inspection system and an automatic palletizing station.

"We have the first US installation of the EyePro Q-Beacon automated inspection system - a wonderful system," said Giancarlo. It was used in Europe.

The inspection system inspects 100% of the output at a speed of 1,100 rolls per minute. The procedure used so far checks randomly and considers around 10% of the output. The new unit examines the tops and bottoms of buns, captures measurement of heel color, height and other aspects, and immediately identifies out-of-spec products. The collected data allows a plant-wide adjustment of the processing conditions.

"The system takes a picture of whatever it rejects and continuously records the trending data for reporting," said Mr. Cowart.

The AMF palletizer is also a new technology. It picks up groups of four stacks of filled delivery baskets, pushes them onto plastic pallets, packs the stacks securely and transports the pallets into the Martin-Brower blast freezer. Turano managers designed a custom pallet that supports the lower shell by fitting and locking into the pallet like a tongue and groove connection.

"Yes, plastic pallets are expensive," Giancarlo added. “But this is a closed system. The pallets never leave the building, so you don't lose them. It starts with the vision. Not many bakeries need such equipment, but we do because our products are frozen and move through distribution in a closed system.”

The vision for Turano Florida Bun also included wireless data communications. Allen-Bradley PLCs equipped with PanelView terminals control the line's main systems and provide troubleshooting capabilities. A fiber optic system connects corporate and plant IT functions, and three routers manage communications on the shop floor using FactoryTalk, Allen-Bradley software that manages the Wi-Fi data network. "I can monitor and adjust operations as needed, even from home," explained Mr. Kozloski.

(Video) The History of Turano Baking Co.

Orlando's brew-based dough-making technology is new to Turano and new to the market. Mr. Mitchell explained, “The former Florida bun supplier used sponge-and-dough methods, which require a lot more labor and present more quality issues, especially when there are breakdowns. With the brew you eliminate those problems because if you keep it at 36F the yeast stays dormant.”

From a personnel point of view, according to Mr. Mitchell, a dough mixer has to come earlier. “At Suden, there is no need for additional personnel, even if the commissioning takes place 30 hours later. It's very user-friendly,” he remarked.

In addition, Turano used the latest versions of proven technologies for ingredient handling, dough preparation, dividing, proofing, baking and packaging in the new facility. “This facility is a compilation of what we have seen around the world. It has European technology. It has American technology," Giancarlo said.


Manufacturing occupies 67,000 square feet, while auxiliary services occupies 18,000 square feet and offices 15,000 square feet. Painted walkways on the floor direct the flow of traffic for groups touring the bakery. The open design of the production hall simplifies the view for managers and supervisors. Mr Mitchell noted that the bakery provides a "very friendly environment" for its employees.

With receiving operations on one side of the building, the doors at the opposite end accept and store hygiene items and returned trays.

Due to Florida's typically mild climate, the company installed three 225,000 lb capacity Shick USA flour silos, two 92,000 lb soybean oil and HFCS tanks, and two 60,000 lb creamer yeast tanks outside of the bakery. Inside, a generously sized room houses the Shick sub-ingredient system, fed by three bag disposal stations equipped with bar magnets for protection from foreign metal. The resource warehouse uses 4-story shelves to store ingredients. Salt enters the facility in bulk via super bags, and a load cell sits under the bin dispenser.

Flour is delivered by tanker, but rail is available because the distribution center ships its frozen fries that way. Mr. Desrosiers explained that the decision between trucking or rail for flour comes down to economics. An in-line sifting system, located in the smaller ingredient storage room, handles the flour, which is sifted on receipt and conveyed to the mixer's holding tank. The company installed three stations with 2,000 and 3,200 lb hoppers for use above the mixer; One set is in use now, two for the future.

The brewing system is located in a corner of the main production flour. The fermentation process produces 3,600 lbs of 40% flour brew per hour. The blend goes through a 10 minute blending phase followed by 25 minutes in one of three fermentation tanks. The brew then goes through a heat exchanger that reduces its temperature from 95°F to 36°F before entering the cooling tank. The brewing system can easily brew 36 hours over a weekend for the next start day.


"The fully automatic batter mixer requires an automatic loader," said Mr. Mitchell. Shick's IntelliBatch ingredient management and batch execution software manages the inventory of ingredients and their flow to the blenders. Bulk and smaller ingredients are transferred into AMF's 3,200lb fully automatic horizontal mixer when signaled by the computer integrated batch system, but micro-ingredients are manually portioned at a station upstream of the mixer. After being placed in a weigh bucket, they are tipped by hand into the mixing bowl.

Dough discharged from the mixer is pumped to a vertical conveyor leading to a horizontal overhead conveyor. The belt drips the dough into the AMF SBD 8-way rotating bun divider. (The Whole Wheat Angus Bun, an oversized piece, was being made meanwhileBacken & SnacksThe visit of ran 6-across.)

(Video) Best Enjoyed Together | Turano Baking

“We recently switched the divider rods from the original UHMW [ultra high molecular weight polyethylene] to Teflon-coated aluminum,” said Mr. Kozloski. The new bars release dough balls without sticking.

Rounded dough pieces fall onto the zigzag board of the AMF Accupan roll presentation system. After a short proofing period, the dough pieces fall onto the system's sheeter, where they are flattened and deposited into waiting bun trays that slide forward to accommodate each row of dough pieces. A Larramore meal recovery system with filter manages the dust meal. In the manufacture of Angus buns, the pieces of dough are passed under a herringbone pattern roller, which prints them to give them the desired braided appearance. Filled bun shapes meet a Burford orbital shaker that oscillates the pan in the horizontal plane to properly place the dough pieces.

Pans carried on grids equipped with magnetic grippers move in the short direction with their long edges facing forward. This conveying style maximizes performance at minimum speeds. Filled pans are transported into the proofer with Stewart Systems conveyors, entering and exiting low thanks to the crossover flow design of the conveyors. The Stewart Systems oven also uses this design, and the pans slide in and out at waist height.

A Burford Smart Seeder uses coded mandrels to accurately deposit seed onto buns when needed. A seed recovery system improves unit efficiency. The seeder also processes grain flakes for topping wholemeal rolls.


The ladles travel from the furnace to the Stewart Systems vacuum depanner. The pans are sent back into the pan loop of the makeup system while the buns move forward to the plastic mesh belt of the ambient temperature AMF spiral cooler. A Stewart Systems bun pan cleaner vacuums and brushes dirt off the pans. Turano engineers built screens around the top pan cooler to prevent hot pans from accidentally falling off.

A pan management system from Workhorse Automation stores the bakery's four sets of pans and stores them on a three-tier rack when not in use. The robotic system feeds stacked trays to the Stewart Systems destacker, while a matching stacker pulls the trays off the line for re-storage. According to Mr. Kozloski, the bakery expects 4,500 releases per glazing cycle for their pans.


Each bun baked on the line goes through the EyePro Q-Bake inspection system before reaching Stewart Systems' three P1000 bulk pack lines, each with its own slicing and large-wrapping machines.

The buns move on conveyor belts, with horizontal diverters guiding them into specific lines. They move forward into a laning system by sliding down chutes to the packing table. Support bars briefly stop the buns to group them as they enter the slicer. The slicer also features a moveable re-grouper to keep the buns precisely aligned as you pack them. When the package is sealed, air is removed from the pillow pack. The finished package passes through a Thermo Scientific metal detector before sliding into the waiting basket-style tray. Two tray loading stations on each packaging line improve speed.

Three AMF tray stackers automatically take loaded baskets, stack them and push the stacks onto a short conveyor belt leading to the AMF pallet loader. The system pushes two stacks onto the waiting pallet, whose grooves stabilize the stacks. When there are four stacks, the loader moves the pallet forward to wrap it for extra stability. Here, the entire pallet is color-coded by a label or foil wrapper that indicates the product type.

An electric eye counter physically marks each pallet. If there are two pallets, the system transports them to the freezer, where the pallets are also counted as they pass through the sliding door.

(Video) The Rustic Reveal | Turano Baking

"Once the buns go into the freezer, they become Martin-Brower's inventory," Mr. Mitchell said, "to be pulled and slotted for delivery to the customer's restaurants."

When 90 pallets accumulate in the freezer, a signal is sent to the distribution center to start sorting those pallets for delivery. Martin Brower employees break up the orders and take the stacked rolls off the pallets. The plastic pallets remain in the building, although some are going to a Martin Brower satellite location in Pompano Beach, FL.

Returned delivery baskets are cleaned before they are put back into production. An AMF B-40 basket washer is housed in a separate room and the trays go straight from the truck to the washer.


As practiced at the Turano Florida Bun, sustainability concerns not only energy use, but also water use. "Our biggest concern is water," said Mr. Kozloski. All water extraction points are monitored separately. "We know our water consumption," he continued. “If it becomes too much, it will be fixed the next day. We've actually reduced water use by 50% since the day we opened.” He said that he and Mr. Desrosiers constantly removed drains from the drawings while designing the building. Good water management enabled the bakery to avoid installing a water treatment system.

The county's high water rates are one reason for this diligence, but "doing the right thing" is also a priority for the family business. "You have to be environmentally conscious," said Giancarlo.

Another energy-saving plan called for converting all of the interior lighting to motion detectors. “We can remotely monitor and adjust all aspects of the HVAC system,” noted Mr. Desrosiers. And motor selection for equipment was based on low energy consumption values.

The Orlando bakery hosted a McDonald's sustainability conference in mid-January.

"You learn from one facility to the next," said Giancarlo. “Because our company is privately held, we have the freedom to respond to new initiatives. The next facility will be even better.”

For the time being, Orlando offers plenty of expansion capacity. According to Giancarlo, output on the current line could increase to 140% of where it is now.

"There are only possibilities here," added Giancarlo II.


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