Background

A large food manufacturer wanted to automate the manual handling of pizza crusts within their entire manufacturing network, spanning three facilities and ten high-speed production lines. A custom equipment solution was required to eliminate the desired operating labor after a failed search for a commercially available equipment solution.

Approach

Foth was responsible for the concept development and proof of principle modeling that led to an acceptable custom equipment solution. Upon client approval, we completed the final detailed design and guided the manufacturing, assembly and testing of the equipment. Provisions included a performance guarantee and warranty for the provided equipment. The client was given proprietary ownership of all drawings and information.

Results

We delivered automation simplicity while meeting the production requirements of an especially delicate and fragile product. Our custom solution allowed for a significant reduction of operating labor and increased throughput capacity throughout the entire pizza production network. It also improved ergonomics, reducing operator exposure to stress and injury. Our team was recognized for developing a solution after numerous unsuccessful attempts by others.

Competency Used

  • Custom Machine Development & Manufacturing
  • 2-D and 3-D mechanical machine design
  • Machine controls engineering
  • Packaging systems integration
  • Turnkey Delivery Method
  • Project Management
  • Construction Management
  • Proof of principle modeling and testing
  • New equipment controls and line integration, including servo motion control
  • Unique application of tabletop conveyance
  • On-site training in operations and maintenance
  • Integration of custom equipment into existing line technology