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New Technology Allows Bakers to Finish with Flair, Robotic Automation

Updated: Apr 25

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Robotic Automation

When putting a lovely sheen to buns and pastries during the glazing process, cleanliness and accuracy are crucial considerations. Although egg wash is frequently utilized, many bakeries now use non-egg substitutes to give brioche that sheen.

To avoid neighboring equipment having a sticky surface, a few of these solutions need rigorous cleaning procedures and mist management.

The third generation of Burford Corp.'s spray applicator was on display at the recent IBIE 2022 trade show. It includes a new modular flush-in-place (FIP) system, tanks for holding gray water, and a Dosatron that injects chemicals and provides automatically timed turbulent flow to help extend the life between deep cleanings.

We have choices like mist collection, which uses a vacuum system and filters to sit off to the side, link to the downstream hood, and collect atomized airborne pollutants that may land on nearby surfaces, according to Mr. Miller. Because airborne mist always results from atomizing and spraying through a nozzle, it is quite typical for most bakeries. Additionally, we can target spray thanks to our vision system, which means spraying empty pockets results in less mist, less product waste, and fewer quality issues," he continued. We don't spray when the product isn't there and instead use focused cone sprays.

At the most recent Baking Expo, GOE/Amherst Stainless Fabrication unveiled the Variable Profile Liquid Spray (VPLS) system, a new generation of equipment. Greater accuracy, dependability, and ease of sanitation are all provided by the VPLS sprayer.

According to Norm Searle, director of sales and marketing for GOE/Amherst Stainless Fabrication, "GOE is using flow meters in key applications to monitor, alarm, and control the application rate on products." These tools let us maintain precise delivery rates while accounting for temperature and viscosity fluctuations.

According to Mr. Searle, a key goal is to correctly deliver the spray with uniformity over the band to assure good finishing, cut down on ingredient use, and guarantee that the glazing complies with packaging labeling regulations.

"In a perfect world," he continued, "every element would be delivered precisely." "In practice, a number of factors restrict absolute precision. Opportunities to increase accuracy arise when technology develops, whether it be through material advancements, electrical/electronic/software breakthroughs, or both.

PLCs and servo motors provide more accuracy, repeatability, and reliability than chain-driven systems, which call for lubrication and maintenance, according to Bob Peck, vice president of engineering at E.T. Oakes.

Because of the volatility in their operation and air pressure, he said, "Variable-frequency drive motors or air-cylinders do not produce extremely repeatable deposits." Closed-loop feedback is provided by servo motors. This means that if we command it from a PLC to produce 1,000 pulses on this motor, we will receive confirmation that it did so. The accuracy comes into play here.

According to Mr. Peck, PLC systems can have diagnostic panels to check sensors, encoders, and other crucial parts as well as troubleshoot issue regions. The PLC program can incorporate maintenance records to schedule maintenance and track machine running hours for necessary routine maintenance. Additionally, servos offer faster speeds.

We raised the amount of rows each minute for cake depositing, Mr. Peck remarked. We used to do about 60 a minute, but now we do about 100.


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