“In this study; systems that can perform simultaneous reading and evaluation of products such as biscuits, crackers, cakes etc. at high speed after baking. Digital color cameras for color, figure and geometry features, infrared sensors for detecting moisture; the physical properties of baked products were tested simultaneously and at high resolution (30 fps). The data obtained is processed through industrial computers and developed software to create infrastructures that can give feedback and report.”
ETİ Gıda Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
Head of Technology and Product Development Group
The product color, moisture, geometry and figures are of great importance to define product quality of the bakery products. It is unable to check the continuous quality of so many products that flow at high speed on conveyors in the industrial applications by manual. Additionally, it is not easy to eliminate quality defective products manually. Some special devices such as color sorter, optic sorter, x-ray and etc. are used that can control and sort at high speeds to automatically extract some quality errors in some applications.
In order to ensure the accuracy of these products and similar quality features by existing methods, laboratory-based measurements and statistical approaches made at regular intervals are used. For this reason, process settings for product quality can be made with a delay. Some analyzes may last up to 10 minutes meanwhile the products keep flowing on the conveyors in the current methods. Since the perceived quality defects can not be corrected simultaneously, products can be formed in a high degree of waste or inadequate quality.
In this study; systems that can perform simultaneous reading and evaluation of products such as biscuits, crackers, cakes etc. at high speed after baking. Digital color cameras for color, figure and geometry features, infrared sensors for detecting moisture; the physical properties of baked products were tested simultaneously and at high resolution (30 fps). The data obtained is processed through industrial computers and developed software to create infrastructures that can give feedback and report.
In the study, consecutive measurements were taken at high speed (30 fps) by placing cameras and moisture sensors covering the width of the conveyor. With a sufficient number of sensors which are assembled along the width of the conveyor including the high reading speeds used and 100 % product control has been achieved. The data obtained is compared to the reference data transferred to the computer, deviations from the defined intervals are determined, reported and feedback signals are generated. For precise color reading, dark and insulated cabins have been used. The received images were evaluated using known image processing algorithms. The diameter, circularity and the correctness of the figures on the products are taken into consideration with discrete color analysis of different regions on the unit products by cameras.
The water molecules that absorb energy (surface energy) on the adjacent layer of the surface of the product has been used for moisture control. The correlation between the surface energy and the moisture of the product made in the laboratory have been proved by a number of tests. The read data was converted into moisture data with the aid of the defined correlation and the improved software. Signals for automatic control of the process have been obtained with reference to moisture data. The obtained signals can be sent (speed, temperature, pressure, heat flux, etc.) to the related points of the process for automation.
As a result; it has been determined that faster and more continuous data can be obtained than measurements made by methods known in the laboratory. In addition, rapid processing of the read data is expected to result in less product waste and inadequate products, via automatic controlling of the processes. It has also been observed that color measurements at different areas of complex figured products are more discriminating and sensitive than the current laboratory conditions.
Instead of known process controls; it has emerged that a product quality control system can be used that is supported by proprietary software which provide repeatable, faster and more reliable results. In this way, product quality and process control will be managed better by fast, simultaneous, continuous reading and evaluation of moisture, color, figure and geometrical properties of baked products flowing continuously and at high speed through conveyors; reports can be generated in different formats.
The quality measurements of baked products such as color, geometry, figure and humidity can be done at high speed with the new combined system. The generated signals from the sensors applied on the line can be used for automatic control of the process and reports can be generated.