Navigáció kérése

Objective:

In a highly competitive environment where it is necessary to ensure process excellence, such as the food industry, Vigap wanted to increase productivity by solving the bottleneck of cake cutting.

Solution:

Vigap has automated the cutting process, which was previously done by hand, with the introduction of a FANUC robot that uses an ultrasonic blade, in reduced space, bringing perfection and speed to production.

Result:

While Vigap previously cut 300 cakes per day, today, thanks to the robot cell developed by Demur, Vigap can cut up to 2,000 cakes per day (+650%). The staff who were responsible for this repetitive task are now employed in research and development functions.

 
Italy is universally known as the "Bel Paese" (Beautiful Country), but considering its varied food tradition it can certainly be celebrated as a "good" country. Food excellence translates into a vibrant food industry, a tightly knit fabric of companies made up of large groups as well as small local businesses that serve the territory.

Based in Alì Terme, in the province of Messina, Vigap is one of the most important bakery companies in Sicily. Since 1975, Vigap has been producing sweet and savoury frozen bakery products for the Ho.Re.Ca sector and for bars. Every day, Vigap produces croissants, baked cakes, desserts, semi-finished products (puff pastry, etc.), filled shortcrust pastry, all nutritionally balanced products, with no added fats and all natural, made according to traditional recipes and in compliance with the imposed quality standards.

Vigap has a real passion for tradition, a care for ingredients handed down from generation to generation, which today opens up to technological innovation in order to maintain high standards of quality and to achieve high levels of performance so as to be able to meet the needs of a foreign market as well.
The company is family-run; the vision of the second generation is to maintain a high level of quality while optimising resources. "Vigap is a company with strong ties to its territory, which never neglects the traditions of its land," points out Production Manager Massimiliano Pistone. 

"We chose to automate some production phases in order to be more stable and to increase our production capacity in view of our future projects. We didn't want to miss the opportunity to make our processes more efficient."
Vigap's project is ambitious: thanks to the optimization of processes and the introduction of robots in production, the company aims to be taken to a higher level of growth by addressing the demands of the foreign market. "Thanks to the perfect combination of tradition and innovation, Vigap will be able to meet the challenges of internationalisation and a constantly evolving market."

Vigap has chosen to automate the process of cutting baked cakes, which was previously done entirely by hand, by introducing a robot equipped with an ultrasonic blade into production, which allows for the clean and precise cutting of the cakes. 

"Now, with the technology, we are more efficient, more precise, and we can guarantee a clean cut of the product, as well as benefit from a concrete increase in our production capacity," Pistone explains.

The cake production process is thus a perfect hybrid of craftsmanship and industrialisation: the tradition of preparing quality ingredients by hand is maintained while productivity is increased.

As Carlo Depu, managing director of Demur, a system integrator specialising in industrial robotic systems based in Savoca (ME), explains, the bottleneck in the cake production chain was cutting the cakes. This was carried out with the help of a manual machine that could cut 300 cakes per day. Demur has replaced the machine with a cell consisting of an articulated robot and an ultrasonic blade. Vigap can now cut up to 2,000 cakes per day (+650%). The staff who were previously responsible for cutting the cakes have been relocated to the research and development department.
The protagonist of the cell that Demur developed for Vigap is the FANUC LR Mate robot. If Vigap sees itself as "the parenthesis between good morning and good night", FANUC can be defined as "the bridge between producing well and producing even better".

"We chose a FANUC robot because of its precision and reliability and the graphical interface that makes operations very easy for the operator". In fact, all FANUC robot teach pendants come with iHMI, an innovative, intuitive and ergonomic interface that makes it much easier for operators to interact with the robot. 
When cutting, the robot is guided by a machine vision system that is able to recognise the object and calculate its centre of gravity. This makes the machine versatile and flexible in its operations. 

The cut is made using ultrasonic technology, which vibrates the titanium blade at 20 kHz. In this way, the cut is precise, clean, fast and, as it meets the requirements of cleanliness and hygiene, no food residues remain on the blade.

The solution proposed by Demur and FANUC has not only improved the working conditions of the operators, but also increased productivity and efficiency, while guaranteeing the full integrity and tradition of the product.
"I chose the FANUC robot, but above all the FANUC team, because it is made up of highly competent people, with whom it is possible to talk about high-level technological solutions, for the development of complex applications that require articulated solutions in an economically and organisationally sound context," concludes Depu.