Baking & Snack -june 2022 - 89

GET
A
GRIP
ON
IT
Advances in vision systems and end of arm technology
allow robotics to better mimic what humans can do.
by Dan Malovany
W
When Dave Watson first delved into robotics in the late
1980s, these clunky, overly expensive systems were better
designed for building cars than making and packaging
sandwich cookies at one of the nation's top bakeries
where he worked at the time. Today, however, these increasingly
nimble and often more affordable systems can
deftly pick, place and package with precision, but bakeries
need to do their homework to make sure they have
the support to maintain them and ensure they're the best
investments for their operations.
" There have been tremendous strides on many different
fronts from end of arm technology (EOAT) to vision
systems to the hardware and software, " said Mr. Watson,
food, bakery and snacks engineering subject matter expert
for The Austin Co. " All have improved greatly over
the past 15 to 20 years or more. "
Specifically, soft robotics pneumatic grippers are
designed to pick and lift products based on a certain
amount of grip pressure, just like a human hand,
noted Jerry Buckley, south central sales manager,
BluePrint Automation.
" These end effector grippers allow for a variance in
product sizes that are much greater than typical mechanical
grippers used in the past, " he explained. " Second, the
use of 3D vision camera systems that have become much
less expensive allows for robotic systems to better determine
if products are within the proper specs. "
Mr. Watson said robotic packaging systems also rely
on AI technology to adapt to their surroundings.
" If you look at vision systems over the past five
years, they've gone from very basic vision to 3D
and color systems that allow you a greater ability to
identify bad products and even detect quality issues
like the color of products as well as to better locate
products and pick and place them into packages, " Mr.
Watson explained.
By gathering valuable information on a product's position,
color, shape and topography, the vision system
trains robots to " learn " how to handle a variety of baked
goods, suggested Sushant Sharma, sales application engineer,
ABI Ltd.
" Our vision capabilities also add the ability to inspect
www.bakingbusiness.com / June 2022 Baking & Snack 89
Companies rely
on the latest in
technology to
custom design,
test and perfect
tools for the latest
generation of
robotics.
Colborne Foodbotics
EQUIPMENT
Robotics in Packaging
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack -june 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack -june 2022

Baking & Snack -june 2022 - Intro
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