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Over 9,000 Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewell cakes will roll off the production line every hour ready for despatch, following the installation of a new third generation, intelligent automated cake conveyor machine created by L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling.

The specially designed 15 lane automated cake conveyor receives the freshly baked cakes from the ovens at Manor Bakeries, a trading name of Premier Foods Group Ltd, in Stoke-on-Trent. Designed and manufactured to BSEN 1672-2:2005 by L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling in Nottingham, the new machine collects the pies and places two rows of 15 pies in plastic foils. The foils are then carefully separated into packs of six ready for boxing. 

Dr Martyn Paradise is L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling’s managing director. He says: “This is the third generation machine that we’ve supplied to Premier Foods. Each generation incorporates new technology and robotic features to increase production efficiencies, whilst ensuring the integrity of the cakes is maintained. 

“One of the engineering challenges that we faced was to get the machine to automatically effect minute adjustments to the position of the 15 lanes. The cakes come out of the oven at a rate of 15 pies per second and each row is in a slightly different position. We use lasers that communicate with the machine to align the rows perfectly with each new row of pies and these in turn align with the packaging foils.    

“Another important feature of the new machine is the capability to log in to performance analytics via a secure broadband connection. These special electronic analytics features optimise plant up-time by enabling us to securely interrogate the plant from our Nottingham Automation ‘centre of excellence’, both for ongoing maintenance and in the event of failure. This avoids plant downtime and ensures that where engineers do have to attend site, they are equipped with the correct spares to effect repairs.”

L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling will install the new cake conveyor at Premier Foods over a two week period in February 2016. Premier Foods employs over 4,000 people at 13 locations across the UK and is brand owner of household names including Mr Kipling, Loyd Grossman and OXO.

automation-materials-handling en 28 January 2016 news/details/2016-01-28-next-generation-automated-cake-conveyor-for-mr-kipling