Ultrasonic uses high frequency vibrations/oscillations on a special cutting blade to allow it to pass cleanly through a product being cut or portioned.
Cakes, cheeses, chocolate bread rolls
Martin Frost, sales manager, Telsonic UK, told BakeryandSnacks, mechanical cutting blades are commonplace within the bakery industry but they have limitations on certain types of product, such as soft and delicate variants.
“Soreen is a much loved UK product, which whilst delicious to eat, is difficult to cut cleanly with conventional knives,” he said.
“Telsonic supplied the Ultrasonic systems used in the production of the Soreen Loaves to cut them cleanly into individual portion sizes.”
The oscillations can range from 20 kHz to 35kHz depending upon the application and this, combined with defined variations in amplitude, can be used to process foods from cakes, cheeses, chocolate bread rolls, sandwiches and snacks such as flapjacks and cereal bars.
Typical configurations include “cut and move” where following the vertical cutting process, the sonotrode is moved horizontally, separating and spacing the cut portion from the parent product. Ultrasonics can also be integrated to robot systems.
Telsonic UK worked in conjunction with the Soreen production team to perform a series of cutting trials prior to installation.
The cut cycle was simulated using a 6 axis robot system
For the Ultrasonic cutting tests, the cut cycle was simulated using a 6 axis robot system, which allowed a series of parameters to be developed.
The outcome of these trials made it possible to determine the optimum configuration for the production system, and gave the Soreen production team the confidence that the system would deliver the anticipated results of high productivity and consistent quality, whilst avoiding product retention on the cutting sonotrodes.
The production cutting system, is an inline guillotine comprising dual Telsonic 20kHz ultrasonic units, driven by Telsonics’ 2kW SGM generators with sealed air cooled convertors and titanium boosters and sonotrodes.
Baked loaves are presented for slicing in four lanes at the back of the machine and are then indexed into the cutting/guillotine station on a pusher plate and conveyor system.
With the front edges of the loaves detected, the dual sonotrode ultrasonic system makes the first cut to remove the waste end of the loaf, before the loaves are indexed at a fixed distance and the portioning process begins.
The combination of vertical servo head movement, integrated blade tilt articulation and the cutting systems, ensure repeatable cutting speed, portioning and downstream presentation for final packaging.
Benefits includes: optimised waste cuts, superior portion consistency and a higher quality cut through the loaf constituents, together with greater productivity and throughput.