Baking & Snack - February 2021 - 97

Quality control methods, approaching that of artificial intelligence and
machine learning, are being incorporated into large and small robots alike.
quired to respond to changes in what's coming down the
line, inspecting products as they are supplied to multiple
cases. Robots need the ability to handle wide ranges of
products. When machine learning can be applied, it's
possible for the speed of the robot to increase as time
goes forward. "
Machine learning - a form of artificial intelligence
- has great potential for bakery robotics. For example,
Mr. Finneran noted that inspection and packaging functions are already being integrated into one device.
Vision systems represent a big boost for robots. By
giving a robot " eyes, " inspection tasks can be integrated
with packaging operations.
" Humans are good at quality inspection and complex
tasks, " Mr. Riis explained, " but robots are good at the
repetition that is part of such tasks. "
The machine's cameras will scan for required parameters, accept or reject products, count them, and then
move these products into cartons and cases. Search operations can take place at the rate of 10,000 baguettes
per hour or 20,000 ciabatta rolls per hour, for example.

Mr. Finneran noted that Niverplast is also looking at color vision and 3-D technologies to give its robots the ability to analyze their activities in real time at high speeds.
Affecting both industrial robots and cobots, advances
in machine vision and learning allow greater utility for
these systems.
" In the past, robots had a hard time adapting from
one use to another, " Mr. Riis said. " Advances in programming make it much easier to use robots and much
easier for the baking industry to apply them in their operations. Such programming lets bakers do things with
robots that were not possible before. "
The big thing is not to limit your thinking, according
to Mr. Gunnell.
" Look at other industries and how they use robotics, "
he noted " For example, today, robots enable produce to
be harvested and packaged directly in the field. Robots
are already capable of a wider range of applications than
ever before. So, don't get too hung up on what you have
already done. Figure out how you can apply robotics in
your bakery now. "

*

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We LISTEN
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VISION GUIDED ROBOTICS | CASE AND TRAY PACKING | TURNKEY PACKAGING SYSTEMS
Your company objectives and process are unique. Listening to and processing your
needs are therefore the most important aspects of our initial work. We at BPA want
to make a difference; a positive impact on our customers and the world we live in.

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Baking & Snack - February 2021

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