Upgrading Bakery Batching System

So you have an existing bakery ingredient batching system.  You need help upgrading your ingredient batching system?  Let’s examine an application where that took place.

A customer asked Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. to analyze their existing batching system and process, and perform a batching system upgrade using mixing bowls as the batch container. This resulted in offering upgrades to reduce manual handling of batches, eliminate equipment, and increase production.

The original system to be modified was supplied by Sterling Systems & Controls in the mid 1990’s, old and well used. An updated design was proposed to increase batch size by 10 times in order to reduce the number of mixes for the customer, and to reduce handling of small mixer bowls and the associated conveyor equipment to move bowls and the mixers. The new/upgraded system would also replace scaling equipment for both dry and liquid ingredients, including scales and liquid meters as well.  The batching control system was updated to include formulation, inventory, lot tracking and data management.

The customer in this situation had goals for their mixer bowl batching system upgrade to also:

  • Reduce cleaning.
  • Reduce maintenance.
  • Have mixer bowl in a single location for batching.
  • Create best configuration stack-up of equipment for optimal processing.
  • Eliminate existing equipment stack-up.
  • Have oil and starter metered directly into the mixer bowl (rather weighing and discharging).
  • Include new water meter.
  • Size scales for flour based upon larger formula.
  • Size scale for sugar based upon larger formula.
  • Include salt and potato flake supply bins with low level indicators, vibratory feeder, scale hopper w/ gate.
  • Include automation for flour and sugar pneumatic conveying systems (reuses existing equipment).

Process control considerations included the following:

  • Update PLC panel to Allen Bradley PLC and current technology of weight instruments.
  • Upgrade four (4) weight instruments (flour, sugar, salt & potato flake).
  • Add a local control panel to the equipment frame with remote I/O; eliminate wiring between control panels.
  • Upgrade to Windows 7 software.
  • All devices will be on Ethernet (PLC, PC, weight instrument, etc.).
  • Reuse existing motor starter panel; maintain hard wiring between PLC and motor starter panels.
  • Airlocks will be on VFD’s.

Sterling Systems & Controls supplied equipment included the below items for this mixer bowl batching system upgrade project:

  • Transitions.
  • Airlocks.
  • Chutes.
  • Scale Hoppers (flour, sugar).
  • Starter liquid flowmeter.
  • Oil liquid flowmeter.
  • Water liquid flowmeter.
  • Use bin and scale hopper support frames.
  • Salt system including bin, low level probe, feeder, scale hopper, load cell, gate valve.
  • Potato flake system including bin, low level probe, feeder, scale hopper, load cell, gate valve.
  • Batching System software upgrade, new back panels, PLC, operator interface and others.
  • Adds to existing motor starter control panel.
  • New remote equipment control panel with weight instruments for new scale hoppers and other.
  • Complete engineering services including onsite and remote commissioning and support.
  • Modified Stackup.