P15711: Cheesecake Depanning Improvement
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Project Summary Project Information

Wegmans desires that the cheesecake desserts produced in their Rochester bakery can be easily removed from the pans in which those cheesecakes are baked and frozen. This process would have minimal ergonomic concerns for the employees who must arduously complete this task. Food quality constraints would be met while keeping the appearance of these cakes the same. Employees must warm the cakes for approximately one minute and slam the pan onto a working surface to finish the removal process.

The goals of this project are to analyze the current design and to simplify the removal process as well as make it ergonomically friendly for the employees. If any additional staff is required, an ROI analysis must be done to show it makes sense to add them to the line. The end result must not involve repeated heating/freezing of the cakes, nor affect the quality of the product. It must also keep up with current production rate. Solutions should not be capital intensive, as the budget is to be determined.

For an detailed visual of the Wegmans cheesecake depanning process, copy and paste the following link into your browser: www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0NnX3C_IcU

Wegmans Large Plain Cheesecake

Wegmans Large Plain Cheesecake

Customer & Sponsor

Customer & Sponsor

Project Name
Cheesecake Depanning Improvement
Project Number
P15711
Project Family
Process Innovation
Start Term
20141
End Term
20142
Faculty Guide
John Kaemmerlen
Primary Customer
Jose Guzman, Shawn Hart, Eric MacCormack
Sponsor (financial support)
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Key Stakeholders
Bill Holden, Dave Schneider, John Antinore, Paul Adams



Team Members

Member Role Contact
Casey Bauman Mechanical Engineer email
Garth Sinclair Industrial Engineer email
Zachary Alsheimer Industrial Engineer email
Matthew Gundrum Mechanical Engineer email
Left to Right: Matt Gundrum, Casey Bauman, Garth Sinclair, Zach Alsheimer

Left to Right: Matt Gundrum, Casey Bauman, Garth Sinclair, Zach Alsheimer

MSD I and MSD II Summary

Semester 1 Breakdown
Weeks 3-6
The teams focus during this time was conducting initial testing and speaking with subject matter experts for topics relating to the project. These topics included ergonomics, heat transfer, as well as previous experiences with depanning frozen items. Along with this the team also starting conducting initial testing which included the vacuum effect test, the mallet test, and also the gravity test. Along with this the team also conducted its first ergonomic assessment to get a baseline for the current process. Most of the content from this section of MSD I can be found here: Problem Definition
Weeks 6-12
During this time the team continued to focus on testing, running the first insert test. The team also took advice from an ergonomist and videotaped the process to more accurately analyze each aspect of the process. Initial heat transfer simulation was started using computer software. There was also an expanded focus upon the process as a whole, rather than focusing simply on the depanning process the team also started looked for additional improvement areas. Most of the content from this section of MSD I can be found here: Systems Design
Weeks 12-15 Description
During the final weeks of MSDI, the team focused on continuing to test no cost solutions. Multiple tests were conducted, including the grease test, re-running the insert test, and also the spatula test. From these results, specifically the spatula test, the team realized it had to adjust the focus of the project to include side adhesion which had been neglected originally. From this the team started brainstorming possible ‘cookie cutter’ solutions to eliminate side adhesion. Another focus these last few weeks were to develop an initial schedule for the start of MSDII. Most of the content from this section of MSD I can be found here: Detailed Design
Semester 2 Breakdown
Weeks 3-6
The team's focus during this time was conducting further, more complex tests. These tests included a preliminary water-bath test, stainless steel pan inserts and temperature manipulations on the pizza oven. While also conducting these tests, the team has also been going in and collecting more data about the time it takes to depan the cheesecakes. Over the winter break, Wegmans switched the cheesecake recipe to include Greek yogurt. Information about the tests performed can be found here: Build, Test, Document
Weeks 6-9
During Weeks 6-9, the team ran a multitude of tests. These tests included: Pizza Oven Manipulation, Stainless Steel Inserts, Water Bath Testing The team also created a problem tracking table to aid the updated risk assessment. During this time period, the team sat down with Wegmans to discuss moving forward to a stage where more cost-intensive solutions might be considered. To see the most up-to-date information, please visit the Build, Test, Document page.
Weeks 9-12
During weeks 9-12, the team had 3 major focuses: finishing up RIT deliverables, Imagine RIT and getting ready to hand off the project to Wegmans. In the final few weeks, the team completed a larger scale test for the water bath and switched over to aluminum for the metal inserts. Those tests were completed and presented to Wegmans. The team also completed a return on investment analysis on the chance Wegmans wanted to switch to a disposable pan, similar to how the public purchases pies from Wegmans. To see the most up-to-date information, please visit the Integrating Testing page. The team created a poster and a final presentation for the MSD program. Those can be found on the Publications & Presentations page.

Table of Contents

MSD I & II MSD I MSD II

Planning & Execution

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Build, Test, Document

Integrating Testing

Publications & Presentations

Acknowledgements

Name Concentrations Affiliation
Nancy Laurie Ergonomics Wegmans
Beth DeBartolo Benchmarking RIT
John Antinore Artisan (Mallet Greases) Wegmans
Rob Stevens Heat Transfer RIT

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