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Itility

AMF: data-driven pizza production

AMF produces state-of-the-art mechanical bakery systems. Their advanced machines help customers to optimize operations (‘empowering your bakery to rise’). A next step in AMF’s bakery empowerment is to make the machines smart and data-driven.

AMF decided to partner up with Itility to develop a digital solution for a pizza production line that will:

  • Reduce costs – by minimizing cheese give-away.
  • Reduce manual operations – by automating visual inspections.
  • Ensure product quality – by increasing consistency of the pizza production process.

About AMF

AMF supports bakeries around the world with best-in-class unit equipment and complete system solutions to optimize operations, improve product quality and empower bakery teams. AMF offers local service and support around the globe, with locations in the USA, the Netherlands, UK, China, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and UAE.

digital pizza production v03 031120

 

Challenge

AMF wanted to smartify its systems and operational processes around it. Starting with pizza production lines, which make thousands of pizzas every hour. In the existing way of working, operators manually check the quality and quantity of the ingredients on a pizza. With cheese being the most expensive ingredient on a pizza, AMF wanted to validate if using new data techniques could automate that process — resulting in a predefined, optimal, and consistent amount of cheese on a pizza.

" AMF wanted to validate if using new data techniques could automate that process — resulting in a predefined, optimal, and consistent amount of cheese on a pizza."

Requirements

AMF builds advanced mechanical machines, such as pizza production lines. To turn those into ‘smart’ lines, they needed to find a digital solution partner who could meet the following requirements:

  • Enable and drive AMF’s digital roadmap and take AMF’s machines to a digital level.
  • Create a high-available solution in a fast-feedback loop that is able to cope with high production volumes.
  • Make the digital solution work operationally in a production environment.
  • Team up with the AMF engineers and their customers to flawlessly integrate the solution in existing operations.

Solution

AMF teamed up with Itility to engineer a smart cheese applicator — a system that leverages data science to increase operational efficiency and reduce cheese give-away.

The digital solution consists of:
 

  • An automated camera set-up, including lighting and motion sensors, that takes pictures of each pizza (9.000 or more per hour) and sends these to an edge computer next to the pizza line.
  • An algorithm based on image recognition to determine the weight of cheese on pizzas.
  • A system that processes the outcome of the algorithm and sends a signal to the PLC to directly adjust the amount of cheese that is applied.
  • A solution that exports statistics and bitmaps to the cloud for reporting on efficiency and quality.
  • A dashboard that analyzes data and controls product quality.
  • A control system with a feedback loop that detects deviations and can adjust the belt speed accordingly, to retain the optimal amount of cheese; first via manual approval of the operator, later fully automatic.

Results

A prototype of the digital solution was executed at one of AMF’s customers, showing that:

cheese Cheese give-away can be reduced once the system is fully implemented – saving tons of costly cheese per year.
manual Manual operations can be minimized – resulting in a reduction of cost and a more standardized way of working.
references-design blogs-05 Product quality can be ensured – based on increased consistency of the pizza production process.
   


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