Food & Drink Process & Packaging Issue 7 2016 - Page 20

Mitsubishi Electric The Art Of Slicing ROBOT KEEPS NEWTECH AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF CAKE SLICING When automation OEM Newtech looked to design a new ultrasonic cutting machine for the bakery industry, it turned to Mitsubishi Electric for a fast, efficient, flexible and clean robotic solution. The result is an innovative machine design that can cut cakes to the highest levels of precision, working flexibly for different portion sizes and quantities, and eliminating problems of damaged product. Based in Bedford, Newtech is a specialist supplier of standard machines which provides today’s food manufacturers with cost-effective, high quality automation systems, with the highest levels of flexibility to meet ever-changing market demands. One of the company’s innovations is the adoption of ultrasonic cutting technology, giving best-available cut quality for products which are difficult to process using conventional methods. With a new machine design, Newtech set out to overcome these limitations by combining ultrasonic cutting with robotic actuation of the cutting blade. For an out-of-the-box solution which would be easy to integrate into the machine, Newtech turned to Mitsubishi Electric. The solution offered by Mitsubishi Electric was built around an RF13 13kg payload, six axis robot, mounted within a stainless steel cell. One of the fastest robots in its class, the RF13 is also highly dextrous, being capable of reaching all the way behind itself and also very close to its base, giving a highly flexible and compact working area. The robot is controlled via the Mitsubishi Electric MELSEC iQ Platform. The iQ Platform is a multi-functional automation environment which incorporates Q series PLC control and uniquely, an integrated robot controller within the same rack.