In an industry dominated by tradition, the MIWE Future Lab breaks with convention and leads the bakery into a new era of efficiency and automation. Here, the boundaries of what is possible are expanded by integrating state-of-the-art technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence into the baking process.

A centerpiece of the Future Lab is the MIWE autonomous baking centre (ABC), which is equipped with a floor conveyor system and a collaborative robot (Cobot). The last-named advanced helper is changing the way baked goods are made by automatically loading and unloading deck and convection baking ovens such as the MIWE condo and the MIWE FBC. But the Cobot does not stand for the replacement of the baker, but for valuable support. It takes over repetitive, physically demanding tasks, allowing bakers to concentrate on the creative and qualitative craftsmanship that makes their products unique. Combined with the floor conveyor, entire (rack) wagons can be automatically moved from the bakery cold into the oven and baked out again.

But this is only part of the innovations that the MIWE Future Lab has to offer. Another development is the MIWE voicebot. This intelligent voice control system transforms interaction with baking ovens. Using simple voice commands, bakers can intuitively control baking processes, making everyday work in the hectic environment of a bakery or in food retailing (LEH) much easier. The MIWE voicebot not only helps to increase efficiency, but also increases production safety by minimizing the risk of human error.

The MIWE Future Lab is thus not only a testing ground for new technologies, but a steppingstone to a future in which bakeries can work more efficiently, safely, and profitably. It represents MIWE's commitment to not only help bakeries adapt to the modern world, but to actively lead them into the future.

Design innovations

Empire Rack Ovens incorporate the latest design principles for great baking, safety, economy, and long-lasting reliability. These rack ovens are perfectly suited for everything from bagels and breads to the most demanding cakes and pastries around.

The FOX Single Rack Oven features a compact design perfect for small bakeries that may be limited in the amount of floor space. The LFR-1 Single Rack Oven is ideal for higher volume retail bakeries looking to produce more products more efficiently and consistently. And the LFR-2 Double Rack Oven is perfect for large bakeries, wholesale operations and supermarkets and restaurants.

Automatic production

MECATHERM helps its customers reach their ambitious sustainable development goals. The company demonstrated innovative solutions that enable manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint and advance energy transition at the iba trade show in Munich, Germany.

To MECATHERM, the first step is to explain to manufacturers how energy consumption can be reduced. During baking, the total energy consumption is always divided among useful energy (product, support), lost energy (walls, belt, fumes), and energy related to oven usage (such as airflow management). For each customer, MECATHERM’s aim is for this useful energy to be as close as possible to the total baking energy consumption.

Thermal energy lost during baking can occur through oven walls, conveying and fumes.

To minimize losses through the oven walls, MECATHERM optimizes insulation and can even propose very compact ovens, such as the very compact M-VT oven to be introduced at iba.

To reduce energy losses through the conveyor belt, manufacturers can act on three parameters: Reducing thermal inertia through choice of material and its mass; reducing energy loss through oven inlets and outlets; and finally, reducing losses on the conveyor belt return by ensuring good thermal insulation of the lower part of the oven. For example, the energy losses through conveyor are nearly zero with the M-VT oven, as its vertical conveyor remains inside the oven.

Finally, to reduce energy losses through the fumes, manufacturers can play on four parameters: the energy transfer mode (convection enables to bake at low temperature), heating technology (direct heating is an efficient method), heat transport circuit (for minimum quantity of fumes extracted) and electric heating. MECATHERM’s oven technologies enable to optimize energy efficiency acting on all these parameters.