Baking

Artificial intelligence helps bakeries in many ways

Companies use systems to link data from multiple production lines across multiple sites around the world to improve processes, said Jon Gilchrist, director of engineering at Sightline Process Control Inc., a brand of KPM Analytics. , which provides, among other things, vision systems for bakeries. .

“We have seen deployments of these data systems where, across the world, specific rows are pulled into a data structure that is presented for both decision-making and analysis purposes as well as surveillance purposes,” he said. “So being able to extract things like counts and common production issues from the data is a critical part of that.”

Collecting and analyzing data allows companies to make better decisions and identify causes of inconsistencies that they might not otherwise have been able to identify, Gilchrist said.

“The real benefit is in that data, analyzing it and being able to identify where things are going wrong and fix them to really reduce waste and increase your production,” he said. “That’s the critical side of it.”

The benefit of AI is helping bakeries break down a lot of complex data and make it useful, said Liran Akavia, co-founder and COO of Seebo, now part of Augury.

“Waste and quality are the two biggest challenges we see bakery manufacturers in particular want to address most urgently – and this is where we see artificial intelligence bringing major value,” did he declare. “These losses can take many forms: from overweight to size and shape inconsistencies, color variations, packaging errors and more. But the common thread is that these losses are always due to inefficiencies within the production process itself, as opposed to asset-related issues, for example.

Using AI in a bakery starts with setting business goals, Akavia said. This is the most critical phase because it allows all parties to focus on a concrete and measurable business objective, which is essential to see the value of AI.

“I have to emphasize that you don’t need to extract all possible data,” he said. “In fact, an important part of the adoption process is that our team guides the manufacturing team to extract precisely the data they need, making time to benefit much faster.”

Once implemented, the company’s algorithms learn the process and start providing information.

“Process experts understand why losses occur and how to prevent them, and operators receive real-time alerts on when and how to act to prevent inefficiencies and process losses before they occur” , Mr. Akavia said.

As bakeries delve deeper into data collection and information sharing, cybersecurity will be paramount.

“These sites have a duty to their own business and to their customers to maintain data security,” Gilchrist said. “That often means working with established processes or establishing new processes to deal with some of the changing requirements that come with integrating such a large pool of data. … We’re seeing this increased push to get these devices on the network, to access them from both external and internal resources, and that certainly requires a lot of planning and consideration.

He suggested safety-conscious bakeries partner with their suppliers, as they’ve likely helped others with similar issues.

“The more we can align as an industry on solutions and adopt shared practices, I think that’s the best way forward and makes life easier for everyone,” Gilchrist said.

As companies set ambitious goals for sustainability, increased production and efficiency, they have many tools to help them improve their business while helping employees and the planet. They just have to decide what their bakery of the future will look like.

This article is an excerpt from the August 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on Centennial Report: Bakery of the Future, click here.