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bbi-2020-02-Well positioned for the future
f2m-bbi-20-02-production-production facility belgium

JAC, a manufacturer of bread cutting/slicing machines and dough processing plants, invested several million Euro in a new production facility in Lüttich, Belgium, in 2019. Productivity grew as a result of the investment, and the family-owned company wants to grow further worldwide.

f2m-bbi-20-02-production-assembly of the varoius components

Assembly of the various components, e.g. motors, sensors and knives, also takes place in Lüttich

The Belgian company JAC can be described as a successful family business. The brand has existed since 1946. Production of the first cutting/slicing machine followed in 1949 – a manually operated model that was to be found in most Belgian bakeries in the nineteen-fifties. JAC’s activities have developed continuously since then – initially in 2000 through the takeover of the Marie/Prodec company, followed by the opening of JAC/USA. JAC also took over the Matfour brand in France, which rounded out the product range of dough production machines. Another member of the JAC family of companies is the traditional German company WABÄMA. JAC took over this bread cutting/slicing machine specialist in early 2018. The Belgian group also acquired the Dutch company ABO in the Netherlands. Bread slicers are now produced in Lüttich.

Expanding globally

The research & development teams develop new plants both in Lüttich and in Langres, and the company employs around 150 staff. For example, auto-mode without a start button is an innovation on self-service bread slicing machines. The company also presented the Swift model, which is designed for a high hourly capacity and different types of bread. Another new development is the Bagobag, a plant specifically for cutting / slicing baguettes. After being cut/sliced, the individual slices automatically drop into a bag, which the customer can then take away with them. But JAC can also provide further help when it’s a question of sourdough plants, for example. Thus the company offers the Tradilevain to prepare and conserve liquid sourdough. The machine is available in three sizes (Tradilevain TL40, TL105 and TL220). Mixing takes place using a stirrer in the sourdough, thus guaranteeing homogeneous stirring. There is no need to clean the stirrer device because it is situated at the bottom of the trough. The container has a large, hermetically sealable cover that can be fully opened to allow it to be easily filled with flour and warm water (45°C). The plant is entirely made from stainless steel, and the cooling unit allows control of the temperature in the different production cycles.

Manufacture is highly vertically integrated

The high quality of the machines is important to the family. For example, as CEO Adrien Craeninckx explains, the bread slicer chassis are welded, not bolted or riveted. Chief Sales Officer Volker Gross adds: “It takes around an hour per chassis just to carefully manually grind and polish smooth of the weld seams.” Investment in the new factory doubled production capacity for bread slicing machines. The fabrication unit’s equipment now includes two laser cutting machines, six welding cabins and an automated paint line. As CEO Adrien Craeninckx also explains: “Due to extensive vertical integration, JAC has the process fully under its control, and can respond flexibly to changing requirements.” The warehouse logistics, now integrated into the production process, saves space and shortens walking distances at the same time. In future, moreover, the intention is to enable spare parts to be delivered ex works within 24 hours. Volker Gross explains: “By pre-producing carcasses, i.e. the supporting frameworks, the aim is to reduce the delivery time for bread slicing machines to only one week after an order is received.” When the customer has selected his color of choice, all that is then necessary is final assembly of the machine, and it is ready for delivery. As a result of the investment, the company now considers itself to be well positioned for the future

f2m-bbi-20-02-prdocution-plant components

Plant components are coated and painted to the customer’s specifications

Structure and marketing

As it says itself, JAC possesses a network of 400 approved marketing partners in 80 countries. The familyowned company’s headquarters is located in Lüttich, Belgium, where the company has built up specialist knowledge in the cutting and slicing machines area since its foundation in 1946. The site has its own research & development department. Together with the new building in 2019, the company also invested in new fabrication lines to manufacture bread slicing machines. The site at Langres in France is the second production facility, where manufacture specializes in dough preparation plants, sourdough fermenters, dough dividers and long rollers. This factory also has its own research & development department. JAC has also operated a subsidiary in Boston, USA, since 2006, with a business, technology and logistics unit that looks after customers in North America. In addition, a subsidiary has existed in Moscow, Russia, since 2018.
Its customers are various bakeries – from small artisan businesses and medium-sized companies to industrial operations – but also the food retail throughout the whole world.

Tortilla production on the Menes-H dough sheeting line. Scrap dough is recycled