Customer story Bolletje & Inventflow: from Real Rusk to crispy crispbread!

From the Real Rusk to crispy crispbread

Everyone knows and enjoys the delicious products of Bolletje. From the Real Rusk in the morning to the delicious crispbread for lunch; it is produced in Almelo and Heerde. Here Bolletje guarantees the excellent and constant quality of its products by keeping the entire production process under its own management. Almelo is also the place where Inventflow is located, which contributes to the quality and continuity of the processes at Bolletje by means of pump solutions.

On a sunny afternoon, while the processes are in full swing, Bjorn Brokelman takes a moment to show the crispbread line. Here, wheat flour, salt and yeast come together to form a dough and ready-to-use crispbread packaging is the end result. As Maintenance Engineer, Brokelman and his team are responsible for maintenance, modifications and optimization of assets throughout the entire factory. Brokelman: “We have three different departments where we produce various products. Two rusk production lines in full operation, two crispbread lines, a cracker line and more. A whole diversity of production processes ”.

How it's made: Bolletje crispbread

We dive into the process behind the crispy crispbread, to see how Bolletje turns a number of raw materials into a unique product. The process, of course, starts with the dough, where wheat flour, salt and yeast come together to form the crispbread dough. The dough rises for 45 minutes and is then poured into an eccentric screw pump with feed system. The screw pump ensures that the dough is pumped to the molding machine in the correct dosed amount. Brokelman: “The forming machine is a very precise part of the process in which the filling degree of that machine and the supply are very important”. In addition, the working principle of the screw pump influences the structure of the dough, because the dough is 'kneaded' by the stator and rotor. The pump type also ensures accurate dosing, without pulsation.

Then the dough is worked as one large slice to get the structure of crispbread as we all know it. Before the dough goes into the oven, it is lightly sprayed with water to make the crispbread extra crispy. The dough goes into the oven and comes out as huge slices of crispy and tasty crispbread. The slices are 'sawn' into bite-sized pieces and packed in the recognizable Bolletje packaging. Then it enters the Bolletje truck and comes your way, so you can enjoy six kinds of delicious Bolletje crispbread!

Pumping, that's where the process begins

As in almost every process, pumps form the basis at Bolletje. Brokelman: “Pumps are an important part of our process. Especially since pumps are used in dough preparation and that's where it starts. It's not like you say 'I've got the line running and I can turn it off for a moment', because the process has to continue ”. 

The worm pump, which is used to pump the dough, had had its best years and posed a potential risk to the continuity of the process, because the necessary spare parts were difficult to obtain. The line should of course not stand still unnecessarily! Inventflow is asked to select a reliable replacement pump.

Brokelman: “If this pump accidentally breaks down twice in quick succession due to calamities and we do not have the parts in stock due to a long delivery time, then things go wrong. Downtime costs are very high ”. The operation of the current pump type and the effect on the product were of great importance. 

Using a different pump type could affect or damage the product. Inventflow has therefore selected a replacement hygienic worm pump, which will be installed soon. The pump is a reliable solution, with an identical pumping principle, low energy consumption, high efficiency and short delivery times for less expensive spare parts.

Collaboration Bolletje & Inventflow

Growing processes and specialist knowledge

The Bolletje factory is growing every year, production volumes are increasing time and again. The processes continue to expand and are used intensively. In the past, Bolletje did all the maintenance on pumps himself, which at one point turned out to be unprofitable. Due to the high pressure on processes, it was decided to outsource all pump-related activities to Inventflow. 

The wish was clear, a specialist who takes care of all concerns about pumps with 24/7 service and fast response times. Brokelman: “All-round technicians are all-round, but properly adjusting and maintaining a pump requires specialism and knowledge. For us it is faster, better and cheaper to hire a specialist, so that our own technicians can keep the focus on other important activities ”.

Continuous scrutiny of the processes

Every production process offers room for improvement. That is why Bolletje takes a close look at every part of the process. Brokelman: “Savings, simplification, risk and sustainability are important parts of process optimization. We are continuously identifying pumps that are causing problems, gathering data and building maintenance history. 

You will never achieve 100% output, but we are continuously working on optimizing our entire process. In this way, step by step we gain more insight into parts of the process where improvements are possible ”. When selecting new pumps, close attention is paid to potential energy savings and the required stock of spare parts to avoid unnecessary depreciation.

Reducing risks and preventing problems is something Bolletje works on every day. Brokelman: “Running the process until it breaks down and then carrying out maintenance is outdated and above all it costs too much money to carry out maintenance in this way”. For example, it is realized that corrective maintenance must be minimized in order to be able to meet expected (Just-In-Time) delivery times at all times. Brokelman: “Preventive maintenance and collaboration with specialist partners such as Inventflow are also very important in this respect”.

A strong focus on preventive maintenance

Bolletje places a strong focus on the importance of preventive maintenance. For example, periodic failure analyzes are carried out to determine sub-optimally presenting and problematic parts of the process.

Brokelman: “Together with multidisciplinary teams, we zoom in on a problem to set up an improvement process, which in turn results in a modification or adjustment in the maintenance plan. We do this to bring down the malfunctions every time and to improve the production process ”. Inventflow carries out an annual inspection of all pumps, which then results in maintenance actions.


To gain control and overview of all pumps within the Bolletje factory, the Inventflow Service Center is used. The Service Center is a valuable and user-friendly online tool in which all pumps of the user are included by Inventflow. 

The tool provides Bolletje technical staff with direct access to specific pump data, drawings, manuals and parts lists. In the event of a malfunction, you can switch immediately through simplified communication with Inventflow. The insight of both parties into which pump is involved and how to act in order to solve a malfunction mitigates potential risks.

In order to limit downtime due to pump malfunctions in the entire factory, a certain amount of spare parts has been placed in stock internally (at Bolletje) and at Inventflow, in consultation with a certain amount of spare parts. Brokelman: “We have a mix of spare parts in stock, whereby the risk is as low as possible for us ''.

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Address Twentepoort Oost 25, 7609RG Almelo


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