Efficiency is the number one priority in any industrial factory. As soon as one component in the chain begins to falter, it can have significant implications on quality, cost and time. 

We were approached by a Fabrication and Service company, whose customer had been having issues with their industrial bakery dough hoppers. They were in desperate need of a rapid recoating service to ensure only minimum factory downtime was required. Here's how we saved the bakery time and thousands of pounds with our rapid turnaround service.


The Challenge

Our client approached us as the OEM coating on the bakery's hopper started to fail, causing the ‘sticky’ dough to adhere to the sides of the hopper greatly affecting production. The sticking caused blockages and variation in the amount of material being transferred each time the hopper was used to meter the product. On occasion, products were contaminated, leading to unsaleable baked products that had to be discarded. All leading to expensive unplanned production stoppages whilst the hoppers were cleaned.

With a problem such as this, there are only really two options:

  1. Purchasing a new OEM non-stick coated hopper ahead of the planned, very short, essential maintenance shutdown
  2. Removing the old hopper, having it refurbished and reinstalled

Whilst option 1 is a much more expensive choice, companies normally choose this option because option 2 usually takes longer and requires the bakery to pause production.


OUR Solution

Using our rapid 24/7 service, we were able to organise and complete the full refurbishment of the failing hopper within only two days. This enabled the Fabrication company to remove and refit the hopper during the very short planned essential maintenance shutdown time in the bakery. This allowed the bakery to return to full production very quickly.

Surface Preparation

After removing the old failing coating using our pyrolysis oven, we were able to repair the damaged metalwork that we found during the examination stage. The surface of the hopper surface was then prepared for coating by carrying out a grit blasting service to ensure the new coating would work to its full potential.


What's great about our hopper coatings is our option to add a stainless steel thermal spray under the PTFE coating. This provides enhanced abrasion resistance and drastically increases the working life of the hopper, reducing costs and downtime. We completed the process by applying our heavy-duty multilayer AFC2203 non-stick PTFE coating, which was thermally cured.  


The Results

Working closely with both the Fabrication company and the bakery made it possible for the bakery to return to full production quickly, refurbishing the hopper in under 48 hours.

Our exceptionally quick turnaround service meant minimal downtime and savings of 25% - 75% compared to purchasing a new OEM coated hopper, whilst also being far more environmentally friendly.

The refurbished hopper coating will perform as well as the original, and in many scenarios can outlast the OEM part.

"The team at AFT are always available to discuss requirements and do what they say when they say they are going to do it. AFT's quality and prompt turnaround service have enabled us to exceed the delivery expectations of our customers, which is beneficial to us as a business in a very competitive environment."

Paul, Managing Director

If you have a hopper chute that is not performing as well as it could be and is ready for refurbishment, get in touch to see how we can save your business time and money.