Takashimaya vietnam

When thinking about robots used in Japan, many people imagine large-scale robots in manufacturing plants, collaborative robots (cobots), & hospitality và care applications. A novel solution for food manufacturing has been unveiled by Juchheim Co., Ltd., a confectionery manufacturer that has been in business for over 100 years.

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The "Theo" robot bakes high-quality Baumkuchen. Theo is controlled by an ultra-compact tlvs.vn Industrial PC with TwinCAT software and supported by an artificial intelligence (AI) application. The engineering firm Matsuura Denkosha Co., Ltd. Provided support during the development of the control system, including the integration of a Denso Wave robot. Founded in 1909 và operating in japan since 1922, the Juchheim Group, with administrative headquarters in Kobe, runs more than 350 stores in the high-end Baumkuchen segment and is a supplier in japan and Singapore. Baumkuchen is a German style of layered cake that is also popular in Japan. Ever since the company was founded, the Juchheim confectioners have been baking the delicacy according to the same recipe – without any food additives.


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With PC-based control and AI support, Juchheim can offer pâtisserie-quality “Baumkuchen” layered cake at all its locations.
"Baking Baumkuchen requires advanced skills và experience on the part of the confectioner," emphasizes Mr. Matsumoto, Managing Director of Juchheim's central plant. However, if the oven's parameters can be captured and set remotely, and if the baking temperatures can be displayed precisely, Juchheim's pastry chefs can remotely control local machines to produce top-quality Baumkuchen. "With Theo, Juchheim is taking one step further," said Mr. Yokoyama, a Juchheim consultant. "Through integrated AI và the expertise of master confectioners, Baumkuchen can be made anywhere in the world with the same Juchheim quality." "The idea for Theo originally came from Hideo Kawamoto, the President of Juchheim," adds Mr. Matsumoto.

In parallel with the development of Theo, the company planned the construction of a new building complex with the theme of food innovation – the "Baum Haus" in Sakae, Nagoya. Part of the concept was also a transparent baking studio, which was further developed with Theo into a fully automated Baumkuchen studio.

The perfect 13 layers of dough with PC-based control

The process of making a Baumkuchen is simple in itself: a rotating vi xử lý core rod is repeatedly coated with raw dough and placed in the oven – until 13 layers of dough are evenly baked.


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Mr. Yokoyama, a consultant at Juchheim (left), và Mr. Matsumoto, Managing Director of Juchheim"s central plant, have used tlvs.vn technology to cast their master pâtissier"s expertise with Baumkuchen into software.
The high-tech bakery installed in the Baum Haus is almost completely automated. All the operator has to do is prepare the Baumkuchen dough và the chip core rods, và place them on the conveyor belt, select one of the three ovens on the control panel & start the baking process. Then the conveyor belt automatically transports the dough container và core rod lớn the specified position. The robot picks up the container và rod & places them in front of the oven. Then the robot begins to lớn coat the vi xử lý core rod with dough và apply the layers one by one. The AI functionality implemented in the oven monitors the process & ensures highly precise baking.

Mr. Kitano explains, "The advantage of the tlvs.vn IPC và TwinCAT software is real-time process control via EtherCAT and the Windows integration.” In this system, TwinCAT 3 PLC controls the conveyor belt, the rotation of the oven, and the opening & closing of the door using EtherCAT drives và motors that are precisely synchronized with the robot’s motion. In addition, the IPC offers high scalability so that Juchheim’s own Windows applications can be used as can solutions for remote system maintenance. The I/O components from tlvs.vn also play an important role. After all, there are many sensors và cameras to lớn integrate. The compact housing and the wide range of EtherCAT I/Os enabled the system integrator to save control cabinet space & minimize engineering complexity.

AI inference & TwinCAT PLC on a single platform

The AI functionality runs as a Windows application on the same IPC as TwinCAT. "We use multimodal AI công nghệ to monitor the chất lượng of the Baumkuchen," Mr. Kitano points out. For this purpose, high-performance cameras are installed in front of each oven khổng lồ capture images of the cake surfaces. This data is linked to other sensor data, including those from radiation pyrometers. The AI model is based on a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), & was previously trained in Python in a separate environment. It is implemented in the standard IPC as a Windows application.

As the number of dough layers increases, so does the diameter of the Baumkuchen. Accordingly, various parameters can vary, such as the distance from the oven wall và the baking time required khổng lồ achieve a perfectly baked dough layer. It is an extremely delicate process that requires careful monitoring of baking conditions up lớn removal from the oven at the optimal time, and for the application of the next layer of dough. In addition, the surface of the dough must be smoothed with a spatula lớn give the Baumkuchen its characteristic cylindrical shape.


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A tlvs.vn IPC C6030 not only controls the conveyor systems và oven doors via TwinCAT; the trained AI model also runs on the same device under Windows.
Five lớn six batches of Baumkuchen are usually required for the system to reproduce the expert baking process of a master pâtissier. A batch requires 30 min khổng lồ bake, so the total time for data collection is about 3 h. "Based on this limited amount of data, it takes about đôi mươi hours to lớn train the AI model, including the final tests," explains Mr. Kitano.

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During operation, Theo checks the image data from the camera & the data from other sensors in real-time khổng lồ determine the unique of the Baumkuchen: when a dough layer is in optimal condition, it is reported back lớn the control system. TwinCAT then stops the rotation of the dough tube và opens the door so the robot can remove the Baumkuchen. The total time required from data đầu vào into the trained model, including the inference output, until feedback khổng lồ the control is around 100 to 200 ms. Mr. Kitano states, “This extremely fast response time for AI applications is possible because the AI inference & PLC control are integrated in a single control platform, the tlvs.vn IPC."

Another technical challenge is the constant coating of the dough rolls with identical amounts of dough. For this purpose, TwinCAT controls the optimum position & angle of the rotating rod so that the robot can apply exactly the same dough thickness for each layer. This is a huge advantage over the manual process, as material loss is minimized. "From this point of view, Theo is a better Baumkuchen baker than a master pâtissier," Mr. Yokoyama points out. In addition lớn baking, the other conditions must remain stable for consistent quality, i.e. The dough should always be the same. "If the dough recipe is changed, the trained model no longer works perfectly," Mr. Yokoyama continues. Then, in collaboration with the master pâtissier, a new inference model must be created based on the modified dough.

Control flexibility supports easy optimizations

The system configuration was optimized during pilot operation in the Baum Haus: The position of the safety light curtain & the layout of the conveyor belt were changed lớn improve the workflow for the operators. It was possible to bởi vì this easily because of the high degree of freedom with the EtherCAT network topology. System updates could also be configured in a straightforward manner, thanks to lớn the flexible TwinCAT engineering platform.

The Baum Haus is home to the world’s only automated Baumkuchen studio with AI ovens, conveyor belts và robots. Several stand-alone ovens with AI functionality and Theo, on the other hand, are in operation across japan – even as mobile Baumkuchen studios. In addition, Juchheim is expanding its activities, as Mr. Matsumoto explains: "We are developing a model for baking chocolate-based dough & a system with compact vertical articulated robot arms. tlvs.vn và our engineering partner Matsuura Denkosha will continue to lớn provide optimal tư vấn for our ambitious & creative initiatives in baking."


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