Monday, 08 May 2023 22:42

Smart cocoa processing that hits the productivity sweet spot

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Ratingen, Germany 4th May 2023 Companies in the food and beverage industry are grappling with a number of challenges that can prevent them from thriving in today’s marketplace. However, there are real opportunities for these manufacturers to optimise and improve their operations using data science. Malte Schlüter, Global Director for Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) - Factory Automation at Mitsubishi Electric Europe, explores how during his exclusive videocast interview ‘Food and Beverage industry: Can cocoa be smart?’

Across the food and beverage value chain, businesses are encountering a number of obstacles that are holding back the potential for increased profitability, efficiency, throughput and, ultimately competitiveness. This is driving producers and packaging experts to look for technologies to help optimise product quality, uptime, productivity, costs, resource utilisation and environmental footprint.

These aspects can all be enhanced with the adoption of value-adding solutions based on data-driven digital technologies, according to leading expert Malte Schlüter. For example, it is possible to streamline and improve the results of product and packaging inspections using innovative vision systems that identify anomalies and remove defective or off-spec materials. These combine high-resolution, high-speed cameras, artificial intelligence (AI) image analysis platforms and automated machines, such as industrial robots. An additional benefit of these setups is the ability to continuously improve their detection performance over time, thanks to the data-led refinement of the models used.

Malte Schlüter, Global Director for Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) - Factory Automation at Mitsubishi Electric Europe [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Germany]Malte Schlüter, Global Director for Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) - Factory Automation at Mitsubishi Electric Europe [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Germany]

The potential gains that companies can achieve will be highlighted by one of Mitsubishi Electric’s latest demonstration units on show at interpack 2023 from 4th-10th May in Düsseldorf, Germany. Attendees will be invited to join the company at Stand A40 in Hall 6 to explore an open, modular and fully integrated quality inspection line for chocolate bars and their packaging.

The solution features a conveyor belt that passes three different stations. Firstly, the products go through an X-ray system that can spot foreign objects and impurities, subsequently, they are taken to a deep learning-based solution that evaluates packaging seal quality. Finally, an articulated six-axis robot picks, lifts, and turns the product around so that it can be weighed and then inspected by a vision system, which is used to perform a final check of the chocolate bars. All in all, this is a fully automated product and packaging quality inspection solution, that can be placed modular and highly flexible at many process steps on every production line.

To watch Malte Schlüter’s full interview on the Mitsubishi Electric Videocast and learn more about how data science can drive the performance of your food and beverage production lines, visit:

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About Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
With more than 100 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. Mitsubishi Electric enriches society with technology in the spirit of its “Changes for the Better.” The company recorded a revenue of 4.476,7 billion yen (U.S.$ 36,7 billion*) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.  For more information please visit

*U.S. dollar amounts are translated from yen at the rate of ¥122=U.S.$1, the approximate rate on the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2022

About Mitsubishi Electric Factory Automation Business Group
Offering a vast range of automation and processing technologies, including controllers, drive products, power distribution and control products, electrical discharge machines, laser processing machines, computerized numerical controllers, and industrial robots, Mitsubishi Electric helps bring higher productivity – and quality – to the factory floor. In addition, its extensive service networks around the globe provide direct communication and comprehensive support to customers. The global slogan “Automating the World” shows the company’s approach to leverage automation for the betterment of society, through the application of advanced technology, sharing know-how and supporting customers as a trusted partner.

About Factory Automation EMEA
Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., Factory Automation EMEA has its European headquarters in Ratingen near Dusseldorf, Germany. It is a part of Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. that has been represented in Germany since 1978, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan.
The role of Factory Automation EMEA is to manage sales, service and support across its network of local branches and distributors throughout the EMEA region. For more information, please visit:

About e-F@ctory>
e-F@ctory is Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated concept to build reliable and flexible manufacturing systems that enable users to achieve many of their high speed, information driven manufacturing aspirations. Through its partner solution activity, the e-F@ctory Alliance, and its work with open network associations such as The CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA), users can build comprehensive solutions based on a wide ranging “best in class” principle.
In summary, e-F@ctory and the e-F@ctory Alliance enable customers to achieve integrated manufacturing but still retain the ability to choose the most optimal suppliers and solutions.

*e-F@ctory, iQ Platform are trademarks of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Japan and other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
*All other trademarks are acknowledged
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