P12713: Wegmans Parbake Rounding Ergonomics

Build, Test, Document

Table of Contents


The fabrication of the design was initially set to take 5 weeks. However with the complexity of the design, the scope of fabrication needed to be cut back as well as the time table extended. We then had 8 weeks to fabricate the conveyor belt system with just a simple hinging or separation feature. The Fabrication Pictures show the final device.

Risk Assessment

The Risk Assessment was re-evaluated at the 15 week mark to ensure that the issues during fabrication were well represented. Also, to make sure that there were no additional risks in the final 5 weeks that were now visible but weren't originally present.

Test Plans & Test Results

A Test Plan was created to evaluate the current line versus the automatic rounder once, the automatic rounder twice, and our twister design. The testing indicated that bread type was significant with Tuscan bread having a higher reject rate than the seasonal breads. This meant that testing would be focused on the Tuscan bread type which is also the most common product.

The automatic rounder once was found to have a higher reject rate than the current line.

The automatic rounder twice was not tested due to scheduling conflicts.

The twister design will not be production tested due to the progress of fabrication and since the conveyor concept needs to be tested first.

The conveyor belts concept was tested by running a couple pieces of dough through the device.

Assembly Instructions

CAD drawings of the final device were created so that future engineering work could be done redesigning for integration onto the Parbake Line. Plus, only the conveyor belt system was fabricated so more design work needed to be done around the enclosure, hinging system, and electronics. Finally, it was necessary to document the fabricated components so that they can be reproduced as the team doesn't believe one unit will be able to keep up with the current operation.

Functional & Performance Review

There was a lot of learning done in the concept testing of the device. We documented the things that we learned in Testing Notes so that Wegmans and future teams can benefit from out work. Testing Pictures

The team learned a lot through this design process that it is important to document so that successes and not mistakes are duplicated:

Team lessons:

  1. Test components in stages, do not build a finished device before testing anything
  2. Get support in areas where the team recognizes it is not strong

Twister Design lessons:

  1. Design in off the shelf components where capable
  2. Get tighter tolerances on stainless components to eliminate places where flour can get to the motors
  3. Make the enclosure out of plastic or lighter material
  4. Shrink the overall footprint to better integrate on the production line

Ergonomic Evaluation

The rounding process was evaluated for potential ergonomic risks. The key focus areas were trunk torsion, reach envelope, conveyor height, and repetitive motion. The Ergonomic Evaluation was presented to Wegman's for potential implementation. Some of the recommendations included removing electrical boxes on the line, sit/stand stools, foot rests, and stretching.

Final Project Review

May 18th, 2012 @ 8:30am

This meeting was held at Wegman's Bakery to critique the overall project's success, document areas of improvement, and talk about the possibility of continuing the design.

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