Apex Motion Control, specialists in robotics and automation for the baking and food industry, has designed their Baker-Bot to support food manufacturers by automating the loading and unloading of trays and pans. The Baker-Bot is a collaborative robot that can easily integrate into an existing system to support tray handling tasks for conveyors and racks alike. The applications for the Baker-Bot’s tray management features are countless, including cookie production, bagel production, and more.
Jamie Bobyk, marketing manager, Apex Motion Control, explains that cookie stamping and other repetitive tasks are handled with consistency and high efficiency with Baker-Bot.
“Baker-Bot is extremely versatile and flexible,” Bobyk says, adding that no additional tools are needed. “It can be extremely precise and consistent – and saves labor costs.”
One important point is that Baker-Bot is built for consistency.
“With collaborative robots, it’s not about extreme speed. It’s about mimicking speed,” Bobyk explains. “It’s about predictability and reliability.”
Many will start with tray handling when employing Baker-Bot and then move on to multiple tasks. The machine will handle a tray of eight cookies across each row – decorated, iced, and drizzled.
For further ease of use, Baker-Bot can handle custom recipes; one client has 92 SKUs.
“The ROI is within two years on average. If it’s quicker, it’s a bonus,” Bobyk says.
One of the Baker-Bot’s previous setups involved a pizza dough conveyor. Once the balls of dough were on the conveyor, Apex’s Baker-Bot would quickly grab a tray, then perfectly catch the dough as they fell off the conveyor.
After the robot had collected enough dough, it would place that tray onto a stack of trays, then repeat the process as needed. This automation setup had allowed bakers to automate this part of the pizza dough production process, giving employees the necessary free time to focus on other tasks.
Here are some other benefits and features of the Baker-Bot:
- Collaborative, safe, and versatile
- Reduces repetitive strain
- Dual Racking — Once one rack is filled, it can be taken away while the Baker-Bot begins loading the other rack
- Increase productivity and consistency — works hour after hour without a break.