Our customer wanted more efficiency and reduced labour for its cake and muffin production. They currently operate a Multi Station, and it requires 2 operators, one loading the baking tray onto the conveyor and one to take it off. 35% of the customers products also have toppings such as blueberries, nuts or chocolate. All these are added after the batter has been deposited. The person taking the filled tray off the Multi Station will load it into a baking rack, and once the rack is full, it will be moved to a large work table where 3-4 people are manually adding the toppings. This process is slow, and there are a lot of bottlenecks where humans decide on the production speed, as it includes a lot of manual handling. The other problem is the very limited space.
We built them a compact bi-directional conveyor with a transfer station at the end: this allows the trays to return 180 degrees back to the Multi Station operator, so he can return the filled trays to the rack. While the trays are returning, the products can be decorated with the topping by 1-2 staff members that stand alongside the return conveyor.
The customer increased its efficiency by 20% and reduced the staff by 50%.