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Problem:A large English commercial bakery decorates cakes with written messages iced on the top - a task generally undertaken by skilled staff, trained to maintain a consistent high standard of work.
During seasonal holiday periods consumer demand for these decorated cakes increases fourfold. Training of additional staff to cope with the expanded demand while still maintaining high levels of quality takes a significant period of time and so volume planning is critical.
Solution:System Devices, the EPSON Robots agent for the UK, worked with Integrated Dispensing Systems to design and build a robotic cake decorating cell that solved the problem. The cell used an EPSON SCARA robot equipped with an IDS stainless steel 2200-245-Series KISS™ Tip Seal Valve.
Cakes are fed to the EPSON robot via a conveyor. A simple optical positioning system ensures that the cakes are presented to the robot in a consistent position.
A CAD file of the decoration shape is downloaded to the robot. Because individual cake heights may vary, a laser range finder tells the robot the height of each cake as it enters the work cell.
The robot moves over the top of the cake and writes the decorative inscription. The dispensing valves heated tip prevents the icing from hardening inside the valve. The cavity free tip seal prevents drips after the valve is closed.
- Ability to boost production during peak seasonal demand periods
- Consistently high product quality due to reduced variability on decorations
- Reduced employee training costs
- Flexibility to increase the number of dispensing heads when required
- Plans to increase the number of decorations robotically applied