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Production

Utilising Mitsubishi’s advanced variable speed drives has had proven results in improving the quality of the dough from the mixer. Energy during the mixing process can be continuously monitored and fed back into the efficiency and quality metrics.

Mixing

Utilising Mitsubishi’s advanced variable speed drives has had proven results in improving the quality of the dough from the mixer. Energy during the mixing process can be continuously monitored and fed back into the efficiency and quality metrics.

Recipe and batch control are used for reproducing consistent mixes. Accurate weighing and ingredient management are vital to repeatable product quality. Information such as mix time, energy used and time under vacuum (for Campden Process applications) are recorded as part of Mitsubishi’s overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) reporting.

Dividing

Variable speed drives and servo control technologies provide accurate scaling of the dough and the flexibility to adjust output weights during production. Accurate servo positioning provides easy repeatable product changeover capability, reducing changeover downtime and improving performance. Controlling the force exerted on the dough is extremely sensitive using servo systems and ensures the divider maintains the dough quality. This can also help with savings on ingredients such as yeast and flour improvers, thus reducing manufacturing costs and improving yield.

Forming and moulding

Once the divided dough is taken into the forming and moulding part of the process, as in the divider stage, the product needs careful handling. Precision synchronicity between the various steps in the process has to be achieved and maintained, even at high throughput speeds. Sensors, can monitor every element of the process and instantly feed data back to the controller so that speed matching of conveyors and other equipment is maintained to very tight tolerances.

Baking

Control of the various aspects of the system include, bake times, loading and unloading, temperature settings, conveyor controls, fan optimisation, HMI display and track and trace. Management of the recipe for the bake can also be included into the control strategy, with alarm and event annunciation and trending. Interfacing to third party systems such as vision, burner controllers and RFID sensors is made easy using Mitsubishi’s open network architecture.

Cooling

The cooling stage allows the freshly baked bread to cool to the optimum temperature for slicing and packing. There is increasing interest from many parts of the bakery industry to reduce energy consumption, and the cooling process is a prime candidate for assessment. Heat, which traditionally simply vented to atmosphere can be recovered and used elsewhere in the plant, perhaps to pre-warm the provers or the hot water supply to the washrooms.

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