Food Machinery Automation

As a result of previous successes working with our client, we were the natural choice to help design, build and commission a high speed cake injection unit.

The equipment was ultimately sponsored by a specialist food producer responsible for supplying all major UK supermarkets with a range of quality baked products. Our role was to take the outline operating concept and develop a fully integrated automation scheme including PLC control, servo drives, sensing, actuation and measuring.

Inspec Systems Ltd produced a design which brought together Festo Servo drives and Remote Valve Terminals (used for precision injection), Mitsubishi Inverter drives (used to control various conveyers and drives), a 3rd party Wash in Place skid, and a Mitsubishi Q Series PLC with E series HMI's at the heart of the process. All specification, procurement, design and installation of hardware, control panels, cabling and wiring was undertaken by Inspec, including machine build and Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) locally prior to shipment, installation and Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) undertaken at the end users factory in West Yorkshire.

Our effectiveness in developing a close working relationship with both the end user and the mechanical team was a significant benefit. As with the development of many new and complex machines of this type, the scope continually evolved throughout the lifetime of the project and Inspec were instrumental in managing the change process while delivering an effective control system. As a result, the machine has been fully integrated into an existing busy production area without the need for extensive training and was commissioned and put to work efficiently.

The performance of the machine has redefined client company standards on acceptable accuracy and rejection rates. With 2 batch runs per day of 11.5 hours each the system has delivered a throughput of 27,000 units per hour, with a rejection rate of 1 in 20,000 units (0.005%). The repeatable weighted discrepancy of injections is on average 0.01grams in a 12gram injection giving accuracy of better than 0.1%.

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