P15711: Cheesecake Depanning Improvement
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Detailed Design

Table of Contents

Subject Matter Experts Interviews

Dr. Matthew Marshal (Ergonomics)

Nancy Laurie (Ergonomics)

Dr. Beth DeBartolo (Ice Cream Cake Benchmark)

John Antinore (Cheesecake Artisan)

Dr. Rob Stevens (Heat Transfer)








Problem Statement Overview

Simple Reiteration of Problem Statement

Simple Reiteration of Problem Statement

Testing Benchmark

Times tests were completed to have a benchmark for improvement in the overall speed of the process. One aspect of the project is to see if we could cut down on the time it takes to depan 2500 cheesecakes in one night. While it is not a requirement, it is something we need to continue to look at on top of the ergonomic portion of the project. Our initial time trials can be found here: Time Tests

List of Preliminary Tests to Perform

Vacuum Test - Wegmans has a theory that there was a vacuum effect taking place within the pans. According to this theory, the crust was being held into the bottom of the pan with a vacuum. This theory is to be tested to determine our course of action in regards to further testing.

Gravity Test - Pans are to be placed in the pizza oven upside down to see if the alternate heating would allow the cakes to fall out of the pans while still in the oven.

Tool-Assisted - A simple soft mallet is to be tested to see if it would provide relief to depanners. Employees would flip the cheesecakes upside down without the need to slam the pans onto the table. The hammer would be used on the bottom of the pan to see if the cheesecakes could be knocked out.

Insert Test - The procedures for this test are more involved so they were formally typed up and presented to Wegmans. The file is contained in this link: Preliminary Insert Test Procedure

Freezing Cycle Manipulation Test - Heat transfer analyses are being completed to see if there is a point in the freezing cycle where the grease still retains its lubricating properties and the batter has solidified for the optimal time of depanning.

Pizza Oven Manipulation - This test would also utilize heat transfer to find an optimal temperature of the oven and the optimal time the cheesecakes should travel in the oven for an easier depanning.

Grease Manipulation - This test would entail the modification of grease amounts being placed into the pans at the beginning of the baking process.

Springform Pan - A springform pan would be ideal for the depanning process, but poses some problems at other points along the baking line. We plan to test some pan modifications such as waterproofing.

Test Plans

Vacuum Test

Procedure Observations Conclusions
a. Run the cheesecakes through the existing pizza oven

b. Cut a hole in the cheesecake such that the bottom of the pan is visible

c. Hold the pan upside down to observe the effects

d. Repeat for all 3 cheesecakes

e. For final cheesecake, cut three holes in multiple locations to account for a variance

a. For 1 Large and 1 Small cheesecake:

i. Cut one hole approx. 0.5in in radius

ii. Held cheesecake upsidedown

iii. No observable changes occurred once holes were cut. The cheesecakes did not come out of pan any easier than before. iv. NOTE: Pictures Below

b. 1 Large Cheesecake

i. Cut three holes across diameter of the cheesecake

ii. No observable changes occurred once holes were cut. The cheesecakes did not come out of pan any easier than before.

We are going to move forward assuming there is no vacuum in effect and the reason the cheesecake sticks to the pan is an adhesion resulting from the pan materials and cheesecake ingredients.
Upside Down Cheesecake

Upside Down Cheesecake

Hole in Cheesecake

Hole in Cheesecake


Gravity Test

Procedure Observations Conclusions
a. Flip Cheesecake over so that it is upside down

b. Place Cheesecake onto baking sheet

c. Run Cheesecake on baking sheet through pizza oven using current settings

d. Attempt to depan Cheesecake using current method

e. Analyze effect of the new method on depanning

a. 4 Small Cheesecakes:

i. Operator 1: 6.8 seconds (5 slams) and 7.09 seconds (6 slams)

ii. Operator 2: 7.13 seconds (4 slams) and 7.25 (3 slams)

b. 2 Large Cheesecakes:

i. Operator 1: 9.9 seconds (7 slams)

ii. Operator 2: 9.12 seconds (6 slams)
The Gravity Test had an adverse effect on depanning. The process was actually more difficult than it currently is. It took more time and a greater number of slams to depan the Cheesecakes. It was concluded that the Cheesecake being placed face down on the baking sheet prevented the heat from the oven from properly reheating the grease on the pan.

Tool-Assisted Test

Using a Mallet

Procedure Observations Conclusions
a. Run Cheesecake through pizza oven as is normally done

b. Flip Cheesecake over and place on normal depanning surface

c. Hit the bottom of the pan with a rubber mallet at varying forces and locations

d. Analyze effect on depanning process

a. 2 Small Cheesecakes:

i. The Cheesecake was unable to be depanned using the mallet

As stated previously, the mallet was unsuccessful at depanning the Cheesecake. Using the mallet also damaged the bottom of the pans. The conclusion was that if a force is going to be applied to the bottom of the pan as it was in this experiment, it should be capable of applying an equal force across the entire surface area of the bottom of the pan.

Using a Spatula

Procedure Observations Conclusions
a. Run a spatula along the side of the cheesecake before it enters the pizza oven

b. Run a spatula along the side of the cheesecake after it exits the pizza oven

The Spatula Used for Testing

The Spatula Used for Testing

a. Before Pizza Oven: While the cakes were still frozen, we attempted to seperate the sides of the cheesecake from the pan in hopes that the crust would not be damaged while still frozen. Then, the cheesecakes were run through the pizza oven and depanned. The cheesecakes came right out of the pan, but still had damaged crust.

b. After Pizza Oven: After the cheesecakes went throught the oven, we used a small spatula to separate the cheesecakes, but we had similar results as before the pizza oven.

The cheesecakes were removed with great ease. They did not stick to the pans and when the pan was held upside down, the cheesecakes fell out without assistance. However, the cheesecakes were still a failure because as a result of the spatula, the crusts of the cakes were ruined and therefore unmarketable. The main takeaway from this test is that once the sides of the cheesecakes were separated from the pans, the cheesecakes came out of the pans very easily. This means, we may want to start focusing on the sides of the pans as being the main cause as opposed to the bottom of the cheesecake.
Crust Damaged by the Spatula

Crust Damaged by the Spatula

Summary of Cheesecake Measurements as a result of the Insert Test

Procedure Observations Conclusions
a. Measure diameter of cakes 3 times

b. Measure heights of cakes 3 times

c. Mass cake 3 times

d. Take averages of all measurements

e. Repeat for 3 cakes

For Large Cheesecakes:

a. Average diameter is 7.31in

b. Average height is 1.79in

c. Average mass is 3.24lbs

For Small Cheesecakes:

a. Average diameter is 4.81in

b. Average height is 1.98in

c. Average mass is 1.34lbs

a. The volume of a large cheesecake is 75.12in^3

b. The volume of a small cheesecake is 35.97in^3

c. The density of large cheesecakes is 0.043lb/in^3

d. The density of large cheesecakes is 0.037lb/in^3

Grease Test

Procedure Observations Conclusions
- Pans were labeled and three pans were sent through the greaser two times

- Another set of three pans were sent through the greaser three times

-Checked to make sure crust was spun well

- Three times through greaser

Avg. Time – 7.54 seconds

Avg. Slams – 3 slams

- Two times through greaser

Avg. Time – 8.06 seconds

Avg. Slams – 5 slams

- Added grease mainly accumulated on the bottom of the pan Seemed easier during depanning to the operator

- Larges: similar number of bangs and insufficient time data

- Current Average for Small Cheesecake: 7.3 seconds Smalls: Slower than the average

- Increased grease useless if it is not evenly distributed and if it has solidified Worth revisiting after heat transfer testing is complete

Insert Test

Procedure Observations Conclusions
a. Labeled 8 large pans (4 Foil, 4 Parchment)

b. Placed 4 aluminum foil and 4 parchment paper inserts in pans before grease

c. Checked to make sure crumb was spun well

d. Sent through bake process

e. Depanned as normal.

a. For 4 Large cheesecakes with Foil:

i. 6.7 seconds average

ii. 5 slams average

b. For 4 Large cheesecakes with Parchment:

i. 5.8 seconds average

ii. 4.5 slams average

Both the Parchment and the Aluminum Foil inserts made the depanning process faster. There are other aspects to consider such as removing the inserts after depanning. The team wants to try using a more rigid metal insert.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment Part I

Risk Assessment Part I

Risk Assessment Part II

Risk Assessment Part II

* Updates to Risk Assessment from Systems Design

Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes from 07 Oct

Meeting Minutes from 21 Oct

Meeting Minutes from 11 Nov

Design Reviews


Week 10 Sub-Systems Design Review Presentation: Presented to our faculty guide, John Kaemmerlen at RIT.

Week 13 Detailed Design Review Presentation: Presented to our faculty guide, John Kaemmerlen, our project champion, Jose Guzman as well as Eric McCormick and John Antinore at Wegmans.

Week 16 Complete Design Presentation: Presented to our faculty guide, John Kaemmerlen, our project champion, Jose Guzman as well as Eric McCormick.


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