The Rondo-Doge Competence Centre (CCS), a test, demonstration, training and seminar centre, cost the company more than €4 million to construct, and is located next to the administration and production facilities of its subsidiary, DOGE Food Processing Equipment, in Schio near Vicenza, Italy.
The CCS allows Rondo-Doge's customers to assess the performance of the company's processing machinery in situ, enabling them to produce their own products, or indeed develop new products, using the plant technology.
The company said that the CCS was "an important tool [which] will allow us to take a further step along the road to becoming the leading supplier of industrial systems for the food industry".The centre also serves for the theoretical and practical training of users in the handling and maintenance of the company's systems and lines, as well as for the company's own in-house development activity and training.
In the test and demonstration area, which covers over 800 square metres, two complete production lines are permanently installed. One is a multi-purpose plant for bread products, such as ciabatta, focaccia, baguettes and rolls, the other a lamination plant with the company's Topline make-up line, and the Spira machine for filled and unfilled croissants.
Both systems are fully automated, from dough feeding to the pre-portioning hopper through to panning, and thanks to modular system technology, it is also possible for customers to form a picture of different automation options, the company claimed.
To supplement the dough-processing procedures, the CCS also possesses the additional equipment needed to simulate the complete production sequence: mixing, storage, proofing and baking.
The CCS also contains a laboratory for physical and chemical analyses, similar to a quality-control laboratory in industrial production operations. There the raw materials, dough and finished products can be precisely analysed - an increasingly important part of the industrial bakery process ensuring greater product consistency and quality. The lab can also be used to assess different recipes.
The CCS is also a venue for national and international meetings of industrial bakery-product manufacturers, allowing Rondo-Doge to "contribute to the exchange of ideas and experiences, both theoretical and practical" and to "gain ideas and input for the development of new system components."
One recent seminar, on bread and pizza production, took place on 9 June, with 55 participants from 17 European and overseas countries. The next seminar will take place on 6 October 2004, and will focus on laminating dough and manufacturing pastry products. For further details of the seminar contact firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_self">Urs Wullschleger.