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Northeast Foods’ Automatic Rolls of North Carolina Bakery and Distribution Center

This Food Engineering Food Plant of the Year Award-Winner was designed and constructed with the most automated and fastest bun baking and freezing process in the world.


103,000 sf


Food Processing


Clayton, NC




  • Greenfield facility: 103,000 sf
  • Fully automated bakery: 70,000 sf
  • 56′ high freezer: 13,500 sf
  • -10º F freezer with fully automated racking and storage system
  • Administrative offices and employee welfare areas
  • Dry and liquid ingredient rooms
  • An engine room housing state-of-the-art ammonia refrigeration systems
  • Cast tilt-up concrete wall panels, Insulated Metal Panels, and a structural steel framing system
  • Separate machine room to house all refrigeration equipment, with evaporators mounted in a
    rooftop penthouse

When this facility became operational, Automatic Rolls North Carolina (ARNC) produced approximately 1,400 buns per minute with virtually no production workers on the floor—more than any other bakery in existence at the time. With approximately 70,000 sf of processing floor space, the entire operation is fully automated from the ingredient measuring and mixing, through the proofing and baking stage. A mechanized conveyance system carries the finished product to a fully automated inspection process, and then to slicing and packaging without any human interaction. All product is automatically transported into the 13,500-sf, 56-foot high, -10 degrees F freezer, which contains a fully automated racking and storage system. Product is frozen within a strict time limit, and then transferred to a refrigerated dock for transport.