Measuring the Height of Baked Bread [Success Story]
Reliability – Q50 sensors use optical triangulation to measure for height and depth
Consistency – On the line monitoring enables early detection of potential problems and ensures product quality after baking
Accuracy – A-GAGE High-Resolution MINIARRAY features 120 sensing beams per foot to create a highly-accurate light screen for precise measurement
Over many decades of operation, an industry-leading bakery has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality fresh bread and other baked goods. Today, their products can be found in hundreds of thousands of kitchens throughout the Eastern United States. Meeting these demands requires large investments in raw ingredients, energy and machinery. The bakery relies upon skilled bakers and a knowledgeable staff to operate automated baking equipment, manage resources and ensure quality.
The bakery’s multi-staged baking process begins with mixing, kneading and fermentation and completes with proofing, baking and cooling. At each stage, experienced bakers perform quality checks for appearance, texture, size and weight. Loaves that do not meet the company’s standards are rejected for consumer sales. The company needed to build-in system capabilities to help them better manage their resources and maintain quality standards.
Working with Shingle and Gibb Automation, a long-time Banner partner, the company deployed the A-GAGE® High-Resolution MINI-ARRAY® onto the baking conveyor line. This emitter and receiver pair features two columns of tightly spaced beams to create a precise light screen capable of distinguishing measured variances as small as 2.5 mm. The light screen measures each loaf as it cools on the conveyor line between the tunnel oven and the slicer. If a loaf does not meet bakery guidelines, a signal is sent to a compact control module, and the loaf is removed from the line.
The initial implementation of Banner sensors was highly successful, facilitating greater consistency in quality control on the baking line. However, there was a recognized opportunity to add resource management capabilities to the system using Banner sensors.
This high-volume bakery benefitted from the accuracy, reliability and simplicity of the Banner sensors. The L-GAGE Q50 with its laser-like performance proved ideal for measuring dough inside the pan, but with the safety and affordability of an LED sensor. The high-speed operation and precise monitoring of the A-GAGE High-Resolution MINI-ARRAY ensured that baked loaves that did not meet required standards could be identified and removed without disrupting the line. The Banner sensors provided the bakery with enhanced quality control and resource management functionalities without requiring complicated changes to system design or existing infrastructure.