Lightly oiling dough balls in manufacturing


I have a dough production line that goes from silo - 1300lb mixer - divider - rounder. I then have staff manually take the dough balls from the rounders and put them in trays, oil them, and move them to the fridge. I am looking for a solution to eliminate the oiling step - some way that I could just run the trays under a conveyor with a light mist of oil. Any options out there?


There was a company at Pizza Expo that produces robotics that they were showcasing handling dough. I’m sure it would be quite expensive but they would be the company I would start with in looking for something like you need. Maybe someone on this board remembers the company’s name?

soft robotics inc, that guy scared the shit out of my wife with the soft pneumatic hand they had on display. I still crack up thinking about it… So they must be a great company.

The big box store commissaries use robotics. Short of that think of using a mist tunnel where the oil will be sprayed as a mist and deposited onto the dough balls. The mist tunnel HAS to be enclosed (looking something like an air impingement oven) with a vacuum oil recovery system. Failure to do this will result in EVERYTHING, repeat EVERYTHING, floor to ceiling, being coated in an oil mist which as it oxidizes will turn into a sticky mess which NOT be fun or easy to remove. I know this for a fact…first hand experience! :).
Another option is to use a multi head sprayer or sling oil applicator (there are called “pan greasers” in the wholesale baking industry) and then pass the dough balls through an air curtain to both spread the oil and remove any excess oil. The oil which is blown off is captured in a catch pan under the conveyor, passed through a filter and reused. Because you’re not atomizing the oil in this application it is a LOT easier to live with this type of a system.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor