Banner-Day Bakery Solutions

When it comes to the bakery oven, there are many perspectives and opinions.  One that we often hear is reflected in this quote: “My most hated job is working with oven ignitors, must adjust often and relight many times”.  For the maintenance team, managing the ignitors is often perceived as the worst job in the bakery and least rewarding.  So why is that and what can be done about it?


In the beginning, lack of reliability was a common problem for the traditional flag ignitor used with constant spark ignition systems (CSI).  This continued when direct spark ignition systems (DSI) were introduced.  The CSI flag ignitors were/are routinely used with DSI systems and continue to have the following shortcomings:

  • Difficult to hold adjustments (hot to cold and vise versa)
  • Not reliable for automated systems

Contaminated with graphite lubricant, leading to lost spark and flame signal it quickly became obvious that a different ignitor was needed that satisfied:

  • Needed to deliver ignition every time it was asked on a repeatable basis
  • Needed to be adaptable to Baker-Perkins head-plate due to retrofits or upgrades
  • Required minimum attention and low maintenance 


In the 1990’s Banner-Day began developing and patenting a new and improved rectification ignitor that was designed specifically to overcome the issues inherent to the “classic” ignitor.  After several iterations, field-testing and customer inputs, the Banner-Day SmartBake® Rectification Ignitor evolved into what it is today.  The ignitor is functional virtually 100% of the time and requires minimal attention and maintenance.  This new ignitor enhanced and enabled the integration of DSI systems with sophisticated controls to automate and operate direct-fired ovens.  With this ignitor, bakers gained the following benefits:

  • Increased reliability
  • Excellent durability
  • Repeatable ignition performance
  • Minimizes effects of graphite lubricant contamination
  • Visible and easy to adjust
  • Once adjusted, holds position
  • Accommodates normal deflection (bowing) of typical burners
  • Designed specifically for flame rectification ignition sensing modules
  • Exceptional life expectancy (may never require replacement)


To achieve these benefits the Banner-Day ignitor has the following features:

  • Standard Rajah connectors
  • Long service life stainless steel materials
  • Reliable operation with multiple grounding points
  • Specially-designed gimbaled mounting fixture maintains burner-to-ignitor spacing as the burner bows with heat
  • Custom-made set screws facilitate proper ignitor tightening
  • Ignitor operation readily visible – easy to adjust

20a Rec Ignitor copy

Banner-Day SmartBake® Rectification Ignitor

Questions to Consider

When you are considering replacement or new ignitors consider these questions:

  • How often do you replace ignitors?
  • What is the maintenance on your current ignitor?
  • What are the man-hours required to adjust and maintain your ignitors?
  • Do you understand the operation of your ignitors?
  • What is the impact on your oven performance?
  • Do you take your ignitor for granted?

When considering your ignitor and oven, relate it to the operation of your car.  Without effective performance from your spark plugs, your engine will sputter, cough and just not perform to specification.  The relationship between your ignitor and oven are similar.  If the ignitor is not selected and installed correctly then you will not get the performance you expect.  Just as your gas mileage would be substandard, so will your gas utilization; ultimate dollars per pound of baked product will be substandard; scrap and costs will increase.  Choose your ignitor wisely.  As with your car, consider total cost of ownership not just the initial cost of the spark plugs or ignitor. 


When compared to alternate available ignitors Banner-Day performance excels:

  • Easy to install
  • Designed to retrofit to Baker Perkins, APV and other DFG ovens
  • Adapts to traditional Baker Perkins burners head-plates
  • Significantly reduced maintenance
  • Installation and adjustment:  75% faster to install, adjust and light

Retrofit comparison:

Installation  Banner-Day Competitor 1 Competitor 2
Time  10 min 30 min 60 min
Pull Burner  No Yes Yes
Special Head Plate  No Yes Yes
Design  Engineered to work Engineered to sell Engineered to sell
Maintenance Minimal Required Required
Turn Off Easy Easy Easy
Turn On Easy Hard Hard


Typical bakery direct-fired ovens utilize 50 to 130 burners that, depending on the ignitor selected, may require constant maintenance attention which can be costly.  So how important is the ignitor you use to your baking operation?  If you consider an oven with 100 burners and they do not turn on and off as needed, then maintenance at $35 to $40 per man-hour can be costly.  When burners don’t light/stay lit and become a constant problem they create a regular 4 to 12 hours a week inefficiency cost impact.  As a result, bakers are encouraged to evaluate the total cost of ownership when selecting the oven ignitors. 

It is necessary to compare initial ignitor cost to the total cost of ownership to create awareness of value.  Often, if not all the time, bakers only look at initial cost of purchasing ignitors.  Frequently they are treated as though they are a disposable item.  They are not!

Cost of Ownership Estimate (100 Burners):

Company  Ignitors Install Adjustment Maintenance Total 1st Year
Banner-Day $15,000 $4,000 (2) $0 $1,750 $20,750
Competition $10,100 (1) $7,800 (3) $2,625 (4) $14,000 $34,525

(1) Shield required
(2) @ 30 minutes per burner
(3) @ 45 minutes per burner
(4) Requires in oven adjustment @ estimated 45 minutes per burner

When reviewing your oven performance the ignitors are often overlooked, however, their impact can be significant not only for the burner performance and ultimately the oven heat management.  When you consider the overall performance of the oven, heat management, recipe control and eventually the product quality, it becomes clear that having a reliable, high value ignitor will make a difference.

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