Rolls, loaves, croissants and pretzels – a warm and crispy variety of fresh baked goods tantalizes our senses each day from the shelves of our local supermarket. Harry-Brot produces these wholesome treats with state-of-the-art technology. When it comes time to package all this deliciousness, Harry-Brot calls on AFFELDT for whom B&R has been supplying controllers and components for years. Harry-Brot places great emphasis on ease of operation and reliability, so it was abundantly clear to AFFELDT what automation components were required.
Industrial production of baked goods involves numerous steps ranging from computer controlled dough preparation and processing in the oven or froster all the way to fully automated portioning and packaging. Throughout all of these processing steps, quality must be held at a consistently high level. Complex production lines assembled with AFFELDT packaging technology offer added reliability, hygiene and production safety. Situated outside Hamburg, Germany, in the town of Neuendorf, AFFELDT has been developing and producing machines for the packaging industry for more than 40 years. They have supplied Harry-Brot’s large-scale bakery with systems from their extensive portfolio for many years. These systems generally begin directly where the baked goods leave the oven or froster and prepare them in various ways for subsequent sale.
AFFELDT machines not only count, package and convey the items, they also print barcodes and more on the final packages. Finally, the rolls are prepared for delivery – in various quantities and variations – to shops and supermarkets.
High-speed processes demand reliable control
Harry-Brot needed controllers that could provide fast responses in order to maintain production speed despite the large number of parallel processes. They also wanted modern controllers with features such as touch panels to make operating the systems as simple as possible. Harry-Brot and AFFELDT found these qualities in the control solution from B&R.
AFFELDT machines have been equipped with B&R components for 15 years now. “We always select the most modern solutions for our customers,” says AFFELDT CEO Wolf-Peter Möller. “Another specified requirement was a communication solution with both the variability and flexibility to allow high-speed, simultaneous processing via multiple interfaces,” adds Thomas Voß, software specialist at AFFELDT. AFFELDT was especially impressed with how easily B&R components can be scaled. Over time, the company replaced all of its drive technology components with B&R products so that today they use exclusively B&R solutions. “Back then, we were on the lookout for products that would be a good match for our applications,” remembers Rolf Kahlke, who is responsible for construction, development and project management at AFFELDT, “and at B&R we found just what we were looking for.”
B&R products are easy to use
The solution is built around a Power Panel 420 and a Power Panel 65, which unite control, operation and visualization. Image processing is handled by a B&R Automation PC 810. Control is provided by the B&R X20 System, whose performance is best accentuated when combined with other B&R components. The X20 System can be implemented anywhere, from standard control tasks to the most demanding applications with the highest performance requirements. It can even master cycle times of 200 μs. As a decentralized I/O system, it is also exceptionally flexible: A wide variety of X20 slices can be mixed and matched according to the customer’s unique requirements.
Drive technology components were selected from B&R’s ACOPOS line. These have the speed and precision to react promptly to events in the application. Sudden changes in the production process are no problem at all. The ACOPOS servo drives work with very short sample rates and communication cycles of 400 μs, which only amount to 50 μs in the control loop.
Visualization and operation are provided by sophisticated B&R Power Panels with a custom AFFELDT user interface. These were designed with special attention to usability and clear organization in order to accommodate users who don’t have a background in control technology. This allows nearly every Harry-Brot employee to be able to make settings and select production programs.
Preconfigured production programs, known as recipes, can be stored on the Power Panels and easily selected using the touch screens. “Operating the control system is as simple as working a television set: Each operator has his favorite show,” explains Kahlke. Each line can store up to 100 different recipes, which can be modified or expanded at any time. When a new type of roll is added to the assortment, or when an existing type is to be packaged in a different quantity, the corresponding parameters can be quickly adjusted at any time.