Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 78

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" The latest advances in wireless sensor
technology allow users to begin collecting
real-time data without upgrading or modifying their existing control package, " Mr.
Brixey said. " Vibration, temperature and
cycle counts are just an example of sensor
offerings. These sensors combined with the
new analysis software offerings can yield a
host of useful predictive data. "
On mixers, he noted, sensors track per
unique batch, gearbox vibration, amperage
voltage and dough temperature - all key
indicators about how the system is running. Historical data then teach the system
to identify the early-warning signs for the
maintenance crew.
" Code can be written to scrub the data
and look for signs of a problem, " Mr. Brixey
said. " A bearings vibration signature will
start to change long before it becomes noticeable to the hand, ear or eye. Properly
written code could see this pattern when vibration is trending or spiking higher when
loads are normal or lower than expected
compared to similar data already collected
for similar dough types. "
On large ovens, sensors could compare
gas usage to production pounds to indicate
leaks or poor system performance. Color
meters can provide control of bake temperature or time.
" The list is endless, " Mr. Brixey said.
Perhaps more importantly are the platforms that aggregate the data and provide real-time information to operators and line supervisors in an easy-to-understand format.
" In the early days, there were a lot of
challenges with just the enormity of the
data available, and it was difficult to understand, " said Jason Stricker, director of sales

and marketing, Shick Esteve, during an
engineering panel at the recent American
Society of Baking's virtual BakingTech
2021 conference.
" You were kind of paralyzed by how
much was available, " he continued. " So, the
platform you choose and the way it displays
the information, both historical and in real
time, can go a long way in helping bakers
make decisions. "
Mr. Watson, who moderated the panel,
later told Baking & Snack that bakers faced
several other barriers until more recently.
" In the old days, if you had a Siemens on
one piece of equipment and Allen-Bradley
controls on another, it was almost impossible for them to communicate with one
another, " he pointed out. " In the early days
of 'automation,' there were a lot of systems
that were custom-built using proprietary
technology that didn't allow them to communicate beyond that platform. Today, it's
a much more open technology that makes
possible all communication among multiple
platforms and multiple vendors. "
Just like with sensors, the declining cost
of adding IoT has made it an attractive option for bakeries.
" As with most technology in the early
days, it could be somewhat cost-prohibitive, " Mr. Stricker said. " But where we sit
today, both the devices and platforms are
very, very affordable, and there should not
be a prohibitive cost preventing entry into
this technology. "
Overall, 81% of baking executives said
they plan to invest further in system improvements such as enterprise resource
planning platforms, noted Baking & Snack's
" 2021 Capital Spending Survey, " sponsored
by BEMA. This compares to 78% of respondents in the 2017 study and 61% in 2013
that reported investing for systems-related improvements.


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Baking & Snack - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - April 2021

Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 1
Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 1
Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 2
Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 3
Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 4
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