Buying a biscuit production line

Our experience is over 40 years includes working with suppliers of biscuit, cookie and cracker production lines from Europe, USA and Asia.

An important part of our Baker Pacific business now is assisting companies in selecting suitable suppliers for new projects and negotiating successful contracts. On current projects we are in contact with suppliers from Italy, Denmark, UK, USA, China, India, Korea, and Japan.

The following are some guide lines we have found valuable in selecting a supplier for a production line.


The initial task is to define the products to be made and the output (kg/hr) to be produced. The control and safety systems can be specified as PLC with HMI or hard wired panels. Other important initial considerations are the factory space and layout, services available, including fuel gas / oil, electricity, compressed air.

The specification should cover considerable detail based on the Buyer’s requirements. The following is an example of a specification for a multi-purpose oven.


  • Baking chamber 50m long. Band width 1200mm
  • 4 zones: 10.0, 12.0, 14.0, 14.0m
  • Band pre-heat burners
Baker Pacific Direct Gas Fired Oven

1 Oven Feed End

  • 1200mm diameter drum with scraper
  • Band tracking detection and pneumatic tracking system
  • Pneumatic oven band tension system
  • Oven band tension monitor
  • 3.0m drum centre to baking chamber

2. Direct Gas Fired Baking Chamber, 50m long

  • 4 zones with separate heat and humidity control, 10m, 12m, 14m, 14m
  • Expansion joints between each zone
  • Explosion relief panels in oven top
  • Inspection window in each zone
  • Clean out doors in non-control side, approximately 3.0m apart

3. Heat Rating

  • Fuel: LPG
  • Maximum heat rating:  2000kWh (33.3 kWh/m2 of oven band)

4.  Gas Train

  • Manual shut off valve
  • Two automatic shut off valves for safety system
  • Gas filter
  • Zero gas pressure governor
  • Gas pressure high/low detection
  • Gas pressure gauges at inlet and outlet of gas train
  • Gas valve tightness proving system (to check for leakage of gas)
  • Main gas pipes and distribution system

5.   Combustion Air Supply

  • 8 – Centrifugal blowers with 2.2kW direct drives
  • 8 – Air pressure gauges
  • 8 –  Motorised butterfly valves for top and bottom air pressure
  • 8-  Pressure switches
  • Braided air hoses between air header pipes and burners

Note: The air pressure may alternatively be controlled by variable speed blowers or by motorised valves

6.  Burner System

  • 106  – burners with 1200mm strips (18 with multi lane control) includes 6 pre-heat burners
  • Turndown ratio: 4/5:1
  • Strip design and material: stainless steel corrugated strips
  • 106 – Flame managers
  • 106 – gas / air mixers with gas / air ratio adjustment
  • 106 – solenoid valves
  • 106 – gas tube bends

7.  Ignition Sytem

  • 106 – electrode shields
  • 106 – tube igniters
  • 106 – mounting brackets
  • 106 – Rajah connectors
  • ignition cable

8.  Automatic Temperature Control

  • Four thermocouples are installed in each oven zone to detect the baking temperatures. These provide signals to controllers at the zone control panels / PLC to provide temperature setting and monitoring with digital readouts
  • The combustion air pressure is modulated to maintain the set baking temperatures
  • The top and bottom burners in each zone are separately controlled

9.  Extraction Fans

  • Four (4) – Multi-vane Forward Curved Fans
  • Volume: 34m3/min
  • Pressure: 70mm WG at 20 degrees C
  • Four (4) – Pressure switches for extraction fans 

10.  Turbulence System for 3 Zones

  • Turbulence fan (fixed speed) to distribute convective air to ducts above and below the oven band
  • Turbulence ducts adjacent to return ducts to use heat from the return airflow to the burner
  • Even distribution of turbulence from full width ducts running the length of the zones
  • Adjustment for top and bottom airflow

11.  Over Temperature Safety System

  • 1 – thermocouple to be mounted in the extraction flue in each zone
  • 1 – Omron temperature controller to detect over temperature and actuate main gas shut off valve

12  Oven Delivery End and Drive

  • 1000mm drum unit
  • 4000mm extension from drum centre to baking chamber
  • Baking time adjustable 3 – 9 minutes by variable speed AC motor with inverter control
  • Adjustable stripper knife
  • Wire mesh band stripping conveyor with adjustable discharge height and retractable nosepiece for biscuit reject
  • Cross scrap conveyor for reject biscuits

13.   Stand By Drive System

In the event of a failure of the factory power supply, the DC drive will operate the oven band and stripping conveyor

14.  Extraction Hood

  • A stainless steel hood 2000mm long with an extraction fan mounted over the delivery end extension.

15.   Oven Band Cleaner

  • Top wire brush to clean inside of the oven band with fixed speed drive.
  • Bottom wire brush unit to clean the outside of the oven band with fixed speed drive and mounted on a trolley for removal to the side of the oven.
  • Manual adjustment for brush pressure

16.  Oven Band

  • Type Z47 wire mesh band
  • Width 1200mm
  • Oven band to be supported on skid bars in the baking chamber and on rollers on the return circuit

17.  One – Set of Wiring materials


The following are important considerations

  • Previous experience
  • Supplier’s references
  • Supplier’s location and sales/service network
  • Budget and supplier’s price level

Usually 2-4 suppliers will be selected and asked to quote. The quotations can then be compared and a selection of the two best proposals will be made for detail discussions, visits to reference lines and the supplier’s factory.

3. COMPARISON OF QUOTATIONS The following is a typical comparison made between 3 suppliers, from Asia and Europe. The comparison highlights the differences in specification and commercial terms offered and will form the basis for negotiations with the selected suppliers

Snack and biscuit line quotations                                        
 Supplier ASupplier BSupplier C
MIXERHorizontalVertical spindleHorizontal
Capacity500kg hard dough500kg hard dough550kg
Speeds30 / 60 rpm20 / 30 rpmVariable speed
Mixing blade“Z” blade2 spindle 
Dough tub1 included1 included1 included
Water jacketincludedN/Aincluded
DOUGH FEEDHorizontal arrgtVertical tub tilt unitHorizontal arrgt
 Live bottom bin with guillotine Live bottom bin with guillotine
 Dough transfer conveyor to sheeter Dough transfer conveyor
 1.2m wide 1.2m wide
 Metal detector included Metal detector included
Width1200mm1250mm wide1200mm wide
HopperScrap incorporation included  
Roll diam.310 / 270 diam rolls310 / 270 diam rolls310 / 270 diam rolls
1st Gauge roll unit310mm rolls                                                Servo motors for gap settting310mm rolls310mm rolls
Servo motors for gap settingServo motors for gap setting
2nd Gauge roll unitNot included310mm rolls                              Servo motors for gap setting310mm rolls                                     Servo motors for gap setting
Final Gauge roll unit400mm rolls                                            Servo motors for gap setting410mm rolls                          Servo motors for gap setting400mm rolls                                     Servo motors for gap setting
ConveyorsFood grade plastic                            Manual tensioning                           Auto tracking1350mm wide                     Rough pattern PU             Pneumatic tension            Manual double roll trackingFood grade plastic                           Auto tension and tracking of final gauge roll belt
Relaxation conveyorLength / width  not specified                         Manual tensioning                            Manual tracking3300mm long  x 1350mm wide                              Pneumatic tensioning          Auto tracking2.0m long x 1200mm wide         Auto tracking and tensionsing
Air blowersNone specifiedOne ambient / hot airAir blowers included
Rotary cutter2 roll type, separate emboss and cut rolls, synchronised:      250mm diam                           Pnematic tracking                                       By-pass facility2 roll type, separate emboss and cut rolls: 200-250mm diam.                                         Pneumatic tracking              Auto tensioning2 roll type, separate emboss and cut rolls: rolls not included        Servo controlled pressure rolls  Auto tracking and tensioning
Scrap lift conveyorScrap cutter                                          Manual tensioning                                    Auto trackingPneumatic tensioning              Manual trackingincluded
Side scrap return conveyorincluded 300mm wideincluded 240mm wideincluded
Reciprocating conveyor feed to laminatorincludedincluded 240mm wideincluded
Salt sprinklerRoll type mounted over pannerBelt typeRotating blade with perforated plate for depositing salt
Salt recovery conveyor and pannerSalt recovery by a plastic belt with nose barWire mesh recovery conveyorSalt sprinkler over panner with transverse conveyor for excess salt
PannerFixed panner combined with salt revovery                                                     Food grade plastic belt     Swivel panner                       1350mm wide PU beltSwivel panner                                 1200mm plastic belt                      Manual nose lift
CONTROL SYSTEM FOR FORMING MACHINES                  Electrical panel                                           Cascade system                                         UPS optionCascade system                  Siemens S7 PLCPLC control with HMI panels
Length / width1.2m x 36m long Hybrid oven Direct Gas Fired / Convection oven                      4 zones                              1.25 x 42m DGF oven                 4 zones 1.2m x 36m Hybrid DGF/convection oven                                                            3 zones
Oven bandSteinhaus F4012k-st  on rollers                             Pneumatic tensioning                            Auto tracking system                                  Pre-heat: 6 burners                                                   Wire-mesh band     Pneumatic tracking 3 stage    Pneumatic tension                 Pre-heat: 8 burners       Wire mesh on rollers                      Auto tracking                                Pneumatic tensioning                    Pre-heat: 6 burners
Gas train Not specifiedNot specifiedNot specified
DGF ovenDGF 2 zones, 24m total length                                     Baking chamber:  Aluminum steel         50 burners (9 – 3 zone burners)              Thermocouples: 2 per zone                  1500 kWh installed60 burners                                      1080 kWh installed           Modular constr. 3m modules Thermocouples 4 per zoneDGF 2 zones, 24m long                        56 burners (3 – 3 zone burners)
Convection ovenOne zone, 12m long                                     1- modulating burner    250kWh                                                           1- thermocouple + 1 – safety thermocouple         N/AIndirect system with heat exchanger                                            One zone 12.1m long                     1- Riello modulating burner
Combustion air supply Not specifiedNot specifiedNot specified
Inspection windows1 per zone1 per zoneNot specified
Clean out doors1 per zone1 per zone 
Insulation130 kg/m380kg/m3Mineral wool
Extraction1 – extraction fan per zone1 VS extraction fan per zone1 – extraction fan per zone
Band cleanerTriple brush groupNot specifiedDouble brush for outside of band
Stripping conveyorIncluded                                                      Material not specifiedNot specifiedSteel mesh belt 1.3m wide         Cross conveyor for emergency discharge
Oil application2 – 15%Separate pumps for top and bottom spray 
Spinning discsFixed speed spinning discs14 spinning discsSpinning disc system
Filter mist unitVapour recovery hoodFilter mist unit includedHood with suction unit and filter
Drain conveyor3.0m                                                                    Plastic belt?      2.0m                                     Stainless steel mesh3.0m                                                       Plastic belt
COOLING CONVEYOR40m long  1.2m wide                                 DC drives                                                    Auto tracking                                              Manual tensioning60m long 1350mm wide         SEW drives                                     3 sets of blowers54m 1300mm wide                                 4 conveyors and 2 – 180 degree bends                                                    Auto tracking and pneumatic tensioning
BISCUIT STACKERAdjustable star wheel stacker           1.2m wide                                                      Magnetic guidesAdjustable star wheel stacker 1.25m wideAdjustable star wheel                    Stacker 1.4m wide                           Guides for 24 lanes
PACKING TABLE1.2m wide  10m long                                  Auto tracking                                       Manual tensioning                              Biscuit guides?1450mm wide  12m long    Pnematic tensioning             Pneumatic tensioning  1.4m wide  10m long                    Guides for 24 biscuit lanes
COMPONENT SUPPLIERS                PLC                                                                INVERTERS                                                   ELECTRICS                                BEARINGS                                      DRIVES                                    PNEUMATICS                         PLC Omron / Siemens / Allen Bradley  Danfoss / Omron inverters                   SEW drives                                                   Legrand / Siemens / Omron electrics    Pneumatics Omnitec / Festo            Bearings  FAG / SKFSiemens S7 PLC                       Danfoss inverters                     SEW drives                               Telemechaniqe / Schneider electrics                        Pneumatics AIRTAC              Bearings   NSK      Suppliers except burners and metal detector not specificed
PRICEEURO 1,300,000  FOTUSD 1,200,000                  Packed and cratedEURO 2,000,000       incl. packing, supervision of  installation and commissioning
TERMS30% deposit, 70% prior to shipment30% deposit, 65% prior to shipment, 5% on completionTo be agreed
DELIVERY6 – 7 months6 monthsTo be agreed


It is recommended that 2 – 3 suppliers are shortlisted for negotiations. Visits should be made to see the factories of the potential suppliers and to see relevant production lines in operation. At this stage the specifications of the equipment can be finalised with each supplier.

After the decision by the Buyer on the potential suppliers, the price and commercial terms of the contract may be negotiated, usually with two potential suppliers. A final decision on the supplier can now be made by the Buyer.


The following are typical headings for a contract to buy a production line.

1. Scope of the Order

2. Equipment specifications

3. Performance criteria

4. Programme Schedule

5. Price and payment terms

6. Delivery

7. Additional shipments

8. Exclusions

9. Guarantees

10. Liquidated damages

11. Liability

12. Confidentiality

13. Amendments in writing

14. Contract signatures:



Baker Pacific Ltd. 02/12/2020

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