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Domino's Pizza

"Blo-Thru" Sifter Helps Domino's Pizza Ensure High-Quality, Tasty Pizza

When you make a good pizza and get it from order to customer quickly, word travels fast — and builds further demand. In response to this demand, hundreds of Domino's Pizza Stores have been opened and plans call for doubling the number in the next three years.

This rapid growth requires management to work smarter, and at Domino Pizza, they do. A good example is Domino's Ann Arbor commissary, where a new automatic flour handling system has been installed. The labor-intensive practice of manually carrying in 100-pound bags and dumping the flour into the hopper no longer serves when dough for 50,000 pizzas per day is needed.

In January 1987, an automatic flour handling system was installed by Pacific Engineering to help produce tasty pizzas more cost effectively, relieve laborers of back-breaking work, and ensure that no lumps of flour or foreign material got into the pizza dough. Also, the new operation results in a cleaner workplace since there are no dusty bags to handle.

Now semi-tractor tank trailers deliver thousands of pounds of bulk hard wheat flour on schedule to the plant silo. A positive pressure conveying system moves the flour on demand from the silo, through a Kason Blo-Thru circular vibratory sifter to a large-scale hopper. The relatively high pressure system is needed because the flour needs to be fluidized as it travels 150 feet through small diameter conveying lines, 90° elbows and up a 30-foot lift from the sifter to the scale hopper.

According to Richard Luckhardt, Director of Maintenance at the Ann Arbor Commissary, the sifter operates from midnight to 10:00 a.m. seven days a week. The 48-inch diameter Blo-Thru sifts the flour through 26-mesh tensile bolting cloth at 200 pounds per minute, ensuring highest quality flour delivery to processing. Since flour tends to blind fine screens, a ball tray was added underneath the screen to optimize efficiency.

The Blo-Thru sifter has proven itself ideal for this service. Its readily adjustable top and bottom eccentric weights enable the machine to efficiently handle a variety of different types of flour. These weights are independently variable for mass and angular relationship, giving a great deal of control over all vibration components. If the mass of the top eccentric weight is increased, the horizontal throw of the screen will increase. Increasing the bottom eccentric weight increases the vertical component of motion. This encourages a maximum quantity of undersize material to flow through the screen without blinding.

The relative angular position of the top and bottom eccentric weights controls the flow pattern that oversize material follows on the screen. Once the optimum settings have been achieved, it is an easy matter to assure uniform performance. A self-stick vibration amplitude gauge applied to the vibratory circular screen separator provides a simple gauge that lets the operator visually check the horizontal and vertical motion to help maintain maximum screening efficiency.

The automated flour screening system and other process innovations are helping Domino's Pizza speedily prepare uniformly tasty pizzas.

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Screen Tips - Volume 3, Number 1 March 1988

Kason Blo-Thru circular screen separator in the Ann Arbor. Michigan Commissary handles 200 pounds per minute of fluidized flour and assures the uniform particle size needed to form the delicious crust of Domino Pizzas.