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P 12712 2011 -1 2011 -2 Wegmans Swirl Cake Automation Ryan Norris – Project P 12712 2011 -1 2011 -2 Wegmans Swirl Cake Automation Ryan Norris – Project Manager/ME Aaron Delahanty – ME Kenyon Zitzka – ME Arwen Sharp – EE Benson Yu – EE Mission Statement: The overall goal of this project is to improve Wegmans’ swirl cake process by designing & building an automated device. The swirl pattern is currently made manually & this project is aimed to deliver a cake swirling machine prototype that will ultimately reduce Wegmans' production costs, improve the ergonomics of the production line, and improve the quality of the cake. Concept Development: Current Process: A swirl pattern is usually freeform and random. Replicating a swirl pattern with a machine is not a straightforward task. We developed our concept using rapid prototyping. The end goal was to provide satisfactory swirl with as simplistic a mechanism as possible. Swirl is created manually by using wooden sticks as the cakes travel out of the batter dispenser. This method has several disadvantages: • • • Labor intensive Ergonomically unsafe Inconsistent & insufficient quality Baseline Swirling Process Phase 1: Modification of common kitchen utensils and small scaled testing to gain understanding of process and what object interact well with batter, Customer Needs & Specifications: Based on interviews with the staff at Wegmans, the swirling machine must: • Meet FDA and other industry sanitation standards • Withstand frequent sanitary wash-downs • Swirl 9” by 13” cakes and 18” by 13” cakes with little to no change over time • Utilize commonly available parts for ease of maintenance • Complete swirling task in less than 8 seconds in order to maintain current capacity. • Enhance the swirl quality by achieving more even distribution of chocolate batter in each cake and by creating a more attractive cross section swirl pattern. Detailed Design: Phase 1 Testing Phase 2: This phase focused on potential motions that could accomplish the task. From this we determined that the task could be accomplished with two interlacing, rotating swirlers. Phase 3: A reconfigurable test device was built to examine the appropriate position, size, quantity, and angle of the swirl “fingers”. The results verified the design concept. The machine is controlled by a PLC (Programmable logic controller) which receives input signals from various sensors and outputs control signals to the swirling machine actuators and motors. This ensures safe and effective operation. Reconfigurable Device 3” X 3” Cake Piece Basic Logic Diagram The swirling device contains 3 arms with 2 “fingers” each. The “fingers” are positioned to allow provide for maximum swirling coverage. Each swirling swirl device is attached via a spring-loaded quick connect for easy removal for cleaning. The swirling machine features (4) modules mounted to a box frame chassis. The chassis is moved vertically via a pneumatic cylinder to engage/disengage with the cake batter. Stainless Steel Swirl Device Chassis with (4) swirl modules Final Prototype and Results: The final prototype was constructed with a presentation stand that emulates the functions of the conveyor line. This provided a test bed for verifying physical function as well as system controls and integration. The prototype provides a means for iterative improvements and eventual installation. For additional information please visit: https: //edge. rit. edu/content/P 12712/public/Home Acknowlegments: The team would like to thank Professor John Kaemmerlen (faculty guide), Mike Least (Wegmans Rep. ), Gary Kittrell, Rick Norder, Tony Contrera, Dean Wight, & Prof. Scott Bellinger (PLC programming). Left to Right: Kenyon Zitzka, Benson Yu, Arwen Sharp, Ryan Norris, Aaron Delahanty