Post-iba 2015 wrap-up

iba 2015, like the iba trade fairs before it, proved once again why it is the premier Bakery and Confection industry showcase in the world.  This massive event takes place only once every 3 years and draws Thousands of exhibitors, as well as 10's of Thousands of visitors, from around the world.  This year was no different, with roughly 1400 exhibitions, and upwards of 75,000 visitors passing through its halls during the 6 day, blockbuster event.

As in years past, iba 2015 was a resounding success for ABI LTD.  The overwhelming amount of positive feedback and interest that we received was better than even we had anticipated. What we were left with was about a year's worth of follow up, dozens of blossoming new relationships and a lifetime of great memories. Here's a compilation of some of the sites from the iba 2015 Trade Fair and it's beautiful surroundings. 

Daniel Thompson, Whose Bagel Machine Altered the American Diet, Dies at age 94

Courtesy of The New York Times - September 21, 2015

Daniel Thompson, who five decades ago automated the arcane art of bagel making, a development — seen variously as saving grace and sacrilege that has sent billions of mass-produced bagels raining down on theAmerican heartland, died on Sept. 3 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 94.  His family announced the death last week.

A California math teacher turned inventor, Mr. Thompson was a shaper of postwar suburban culture in more than one respect: He also created the first wheeled, folding Ping-Pong table, a fixture of American basements from the mid-20th century onward.

But it was for the bagel machine that Mr. Thompson remained best known.  The invention changed the American diet, ushering in the welter of packaged bagels — notably Lender’s — now found in supermarkets nationwide, and making the bagel a staple of fast-food outlets.

“There was a kind of schism in bagel-making history: pre-Daniel Thompson and post-Daniel Thompson,” Matthew Goodman, the author of “Jewish Food: The World at Table,” said in an interview on Monday. “What happened with the advent of the automated bagel-making machine was that bagel makers were capable of producing far more bagels than had
ever been imagined.” What was more, Mr. Thompson’s machine proved to be a mirror of
midcentury American history. For bound up in the story of its introduction is the story of Jewish assimilation, gastronomic homogenization, the decline of trade unionism, the rise of franchise retailing and the perennial tension between tradition and innovation.

If Mr. Thompson’s brainchild, in the eyes of grateful consumers, democratized the bagel, there remain mavens who charge that his machine, along with those of later inventors, denatured the soul of a cherished cultural artifact. To these stalwarts, centered in the bagel redoubts of New York and Montreal, even invective-rich Yiddish lacks words critical enough to describe a machine-made bagel, though “shande” — disgrace — perhaps comes closest.

“Is what happened to the bagel a good thing or a bad thing?” Mr. Goodman said on Monday. “To me, it’s kind of a tragic story. What happened is that the bagel lost, both literally and metaphorically, its Jewish flavor.”

The tough, round heart of North American Jewish cuisine, with European roots reaching back hundreds of years, the bagel was until the mid-1960s available only in cities with thriving Jewish neighborhoods, most emblematically New York. Its shape — which sprang from dough that was rolled by hand, coiled into rings and boiled in a kettle before being baked in a wood- or coal-fired oven — was said to symbolize the circle of life. Such bagels, prized by purists but increasingly difficult to find now, were known for an earthy taste, an elastic crumb and a glossy, dauntingly hard crust born of their turn in the kettle. The softer bagel that is ubiquitous
today, which idealists deplore as little more than cotton wool, arose partly as a consequence of mechanization: Some bagel-making machines (though not Mr. Thompson’s, his family said) can accommodate only a looser, more watery dough.

As vaunted as it was in American cities, the traditional bagel for years remained so obscure — so ethnic — that as late as 1960 The New York Times Magazine felt obliged to define it for a national readership as “an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis.” Bagel-making was still a skilled trade then, restricted to members of the International Beigel Bakers Union, as the name was Romanized after the organization was founded in New York in 1907. (Until well into the 1950s, the minutes of the union’s board meetings were taken down in Yiddish.)

The bagel-maker’s craft was passed down from father to son, fiercely guarded from outsiders’ prying eyes. In a contingency that seemed straight out of Damon Runyon, or perhaps “The Untouchables,” nonunion bakers trying to make and sell bagels risked paying for it with their kneecaps.

“Every bagel that was made in New York City up until the 1960s was a union bagel — every one,” Mr. Goodman said. “The reason why this union was strong was that they were the only ones who knew how to make a proper bagel. And that was the keys to the kingdom.” The union — New York’s Local 338, with some 300 members — could hold the entire metropolitan area gastronomic hostage and, in disputes with bakery owners over working conditions, often did.

“Bagel Famine Threatens in City,” an alarmed headline in The Times read in 1951, as a strike loomed. (It was followed the next day by the immensely reassuring “Lox Strike Expert Acts to End the Bagel Famine.”) Then, in the early 1960s, Mr. Thompson’s machine changed the bagel

The son of Meyer Thompson, a Jewish baker of bagels from Hull, England, and the former Annette Berman, Abraham Thomas Thompson was born on Jan. 16, 1921, in Winnipeg, Canada, where his father had established a bakery. When he was a few weeks old, to memorialize a cousin who had recently died, his parents changed his name to Daniel. The family moved to Los Angeles when Daniel was a baby. As a young man he served in World War II with the Army Air Forces in the Pacific; he later graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied industrial arts and mathematics. Afterward, Mr. Thompson taught high
school math and junior high school wood shop in Los Angeles. Like his father before him, Mr. Thompson was a tinkerer. In 1953, hereceived United States patent No. 2,645,539 for his “Folding Table, Tennis Table, or the Like.” Though the table did not make him wealthy, his family said, it did give him the wherewithal to attain the grail his father had long
sought: an automated bagel maker. The elder Mr. Thompson had experimented with a series of bagel-making machines over the years, but none proved commercially viable. In the late
1950s, the son perfected the father’s creation, building a functional machine that took the labor out of rolling and forming the dough. “It meant that any Joe off the street could make a bagel,” Mr. Goodman explained. “And that was one of a confluence of factors that in less than a generation turned the bagel, which had once been smaller and crusty and flavorful, into something that is large and pillowy and flavorless — it had turned into the kind of baked good that Americans like, à la Wonder Bread.”

In 1961, Mr. Thompson and his wife, Ada, established the Thompson Bagel Machine Manufacturing Corporation. Two years later, Lender’s, which had been making bagels in New Haven since the 1920s, leased the first Thompson machine. Where a traditional bagel baker could produce about 120 bagels in an hour, Mr. Thompson’s machine let a single unskilled worker turn out 400. This allowed Lender’s to make bagels in immense quantities and sell them, bagged and frozen, in supermarkets. Before long, as The NYBaker’s Bench, a culinary website, observed, theThompson machine, “like the steam drill and John Henry, put the handrollers of New York’s Local 338 out of business.” Mr. Thompson resided in Palm Desert, Calif. Besides his wife, the former Ada Schatz, whom he married in 1946, his survivors include two sons, Stephen and Craig, who now oversee the family bagel-machine business; a daughter, Leslie; a brother, Robert; and three grandchildren.

Lender’s, which still uses Thompson machines, is today among the largest makers of bagels in the United States, producing 750 million a year. The largest direct retailer of bagels in the country, which last year sold consumers more than 224 million in flavors like multigrain, cinnamon raisin and blueberry, is Dunkin’ Donuts. The company’s offerings also include a “bagel twist” — an elongated strand of baked dough in which the circle of life has been broken entirely.

See you at iba 2015!

Please be sure to visit us at:  Booth #: A2.263

Please be sure to visit us at:  Booth #: A2.263

Visit us here.

From September 12th through September 17th, we will be exhibiting at the iba 2015 trade fair taking place in Munich, Germany. This is one of the biggest shows in the baking and food production universe and, for the six days of the show, will be home to over 1200 companies from around the world.

At this year's trade fair we will be showcasing our flagship Bagel Divider-Former, as well as the stand-out hit of the Bakery China 2015 show, our revolutionary Waterjet Cutting system, Katana.

In addition, we will be debuting two of our most recent innovations. The first is a Robotic Cake Decorating system, Cake Sculptor, which merges the power, speed, and precision of ABB Robotics, with the versatility and ease-of-use of our proprietary design interface. The other is a multi-tooled, quick-change capable, Robotic Scoring system which also bears the Katana brand. Both machines are absolute "must-sees" if you are going to be in attendance.

Please be sure to visit us at Booth #: A2.263.  We hope to see you there!




Aaron Burke, Marketing and Communications Coordinator or 1-800-297-8666 x 33


Concord, ON, Canada – For over 25 years ABI LTD has been a global leader in the manufacturing of bakery automation systems. At the Bakery China 2015 trade fair taking place in Shanghai, from May 12 – 15, 2015, ABI will proudly present two of its newest products.

“With the addition of robotics, advanced vision systems, and intuitive programming interfaces, ABI is uniquely positioned to bring bakery automation to the next level,” says Alex Kuperman, ABI LTD founder and president. “Working with our partners at ABB Robotics, SICK Sensor Intelligence, and KMT Waterjet, we are excited to share the power of these innovations with the global baking community.”

TAIA – Robotic Waterjet Cutting for Bakeries

Current cutting techniques lead to product waste, long cleanups, and limited designs. TAIA solves these issues by combining robotics and waterjet cutting – a true first for the baking industry. The system’s programmable user interface is touch-screen and exceptionally user-friendly, and allows for precise control of the system’s robotic arm and high-capacity waterjet. TAIA exists as a single cell or is easily integrated into existing product lines, and is designed for the precise cutting of cakes, pastries, and other food products.

TAIA is 20 times faster than its closest competitor, reaching speeds of up to 3000 mm/sec. It features pressures of up to 60,000 psi, allowing it to cut any cake to any shape. The interface features a library of preprogrammed designs, but also allows an operator to draw freehand or seamlessly import other designs.

Waterjet technology has revolutionized industries around the globe. By harnessing its potential in the baking sector, TAIA offers bakeries cleaner, more beautiful, more creative baked goods.

DF-7000 - Bagel Divider/Former

Bagel production lines ranging from 7,000 to 42,000 bagel/hour have been flagship products for ABI for close to 25 years. The upgraded DF-7000 system, however, has been modified for improved overall performance, increased durability, and easier access for cleaning and servicing.  This system is capable of producing up to 7,000 bagels per hour and is the bridge solution for mid-size commercial bakeries looking to grow to full-size industrial capability.  This machine can be integrated with new or existing end-to-end bagel make-up lines. 


ABI LTD is a global leader in the manufacturing of baking equipment. The company has satisfied customers on five continents, and its equipment has produced over 50,000,000 tons of baked goods. ABI’s customers range from medium-sized bakeries all the way up to the world’s largest baking centers. The company holds several patents for its innovative engineering designs, and continues to be the preferred integrator of choice for the automation of every stage of the baking process, from ingredient handling through to packaging. 


"Bang for the buck" - a Baking & Snack article featuring ABI LTD's President, Alex Kuperman

This months Baking & Snack magazine and e-newsletter's feature article is entitled "Bang for the buck", in which they discuss the right approach for bakers to take when assessing automation and robotics.  Who better to shed light on this topic than our President, Alex Kuperman.  With more than two decades of experience in the field,  he knows a thing or two about the topic and provides some valuable insight for bakers looking to grow their businesses by automating and integrating robotics into their operations.

Check out the article here...


ABI LTD - Welcome to the next 25 years of baking innovation!

Since 1989, ABI LTD has been at the forefront of the automated bakery equipment industry.  We have served bakeries large and small, helping them realize their goals of expansion and optimization through the design, manufacturing and integration of world-class automated baking systems.  Our technologies have been an integral part of the continued success of some of the largest industrial baking centres around the globe.

As we enter the next phase of growth in our own business, we have revamped our website to better reflect our current standing in the industry and to allow us to more directly engage and interact with those who have helped us reach our goals thus far.  We are embarking on a journey into the vast expanse of the digital world and look forward to having you, our trusted clients and partners, standing alongside us as we navigate through it.

Please check back with us regularly for useful industry information, exciting updates on new technologies that we will continue to pioneer, or just simply to stay in touch.  Our blog series' and newsletters will be great resources for offering insight on where both the industry and ABI LTD are headed.

For over 25 years, ABI LTD has had its fingers on the pulse of this rapidly expanding and ever-changing industry.  We are experts in our field and have some of the best minds and talents on the continent in our design departments and on our shop floor.  We look forward to your input and support and to building an online community with other industry leaders just like you.

If you can dream it, we can create it.