Food and Beverage Case Studies

Case Study 115: Oven Control Baking Industry Sector: Food and Beverage • Cake Machine

Technology Replaced:

  • Old VFD System

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView
  • Allen Bradley VFDs

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation was approached to design a system to control a multi-layer cake baking machine. The machine consisted of multiple conveyors which produced a continuous baked cake. The operator entered the number of cakes per minute required. This number was used to calculate the speed of the conveyors, which determined baking time by changing the transit time through an oven. The speed information was sent to multiple VFDs to change the speed of conveyors. The speed control had to be accurate enough to prevent the tearing or bunching of cake as it transitioned between conveyors and as the multiple layers were brought together. VFDs with feedback were used to obtain the required accuracy. The cake was then delivered to a cutter to divide the cakes into the correct size.

Project Outcome:
The old VFD system was hard to adjust since each VFD needed to be individually adjusted. With the new system, VFDs were adjusted based on operator’s input which allowed for less downtime when the line was changed for different products. As a result, a significant increase in product throughput.