NEEDS: In order to increase their productivity, the client commissioned us to design a complete production line for making various products such as muffins and macaroons. The line had to include everything from handling trays to preparing the product to be baked. CHALLENGE: The main challenge of this project was to automate part of the line to achieve the desired increase in productivity with maximum efficiency and the highest performance. It was also important to achieve a single versatile production line that could handle different types of trays and papers. The goal was to reduce space, resources and time. It is also necessary to understand the diversity and complexity of the products: “Living” element â€“ Variable volume and shape. â€“ Delicate and fragile â€“ Easy to damage when handling. â€“ Difficult to handle. â€“ Coated with gelatin, chocolate, etc. â€“ Unstable. â€“ Lightweight, easily displaced. â€“ High number of units to handle: up to approximately 800 units/min. SOLUTIONS PROVIDED The solution to meet their objectives was a modular line for large productions made up of:
- A robot arm with Omro technology with three interchangeable plates and nine tray loaders (different sizes, made of cardboard, metal and sheets of paper) that places the corresponding tray on the conveyor belt.
- A paper cup machine for two different types of paper (muffins and financer) that places the cups on the tray.
- A muffin dosing machine with seven nozzles, with volumetric dosing regulation.
- Two interchangeable seed doser machines.
- A conveyor belt that transports the trays from the tray storage to the end of the machine, passing through the different workstations.
The inclusion of the robot at the beginning of the line allows us to increase the versatility and efficiency of the system, since the same robot can work with the different tray formats, even being able to first place a metal tray and then a sheet of paper on top of it. It has a system for detecting when there are only a few trays left, it checks the different storage modules and if no trays are detected, the arm stops. The operator gains ergonomics, as they only have to ensure that there are enough trays, papers and dough to keep the line operating or they can focus on handling tasks of greater added value. The automation of the system allows us to obtain a production of approximately 8,400 macaroons/hour with the 7 nozzles or more than 8,000 units/hour with muffins, cupcakes or financer.
More info at production lines.