Vision system for model based control of cryogenic tunnel freezers

Nazrul I Shaikh, Vittal Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a novel solution, using a vision-sensor, to a challenging control problem in cryogenic food freezing industry. This industrial application is characterized by significant variation in input food products because cryogenics-freezing technology with its inherent process flexibility is typically used in low volume/high mix applications. Current industrial controllers use PLCs for regulating the belt speed of the tunnel, which leads to conservative set-points and consequently significant operational cost and frequent over-freezing. Servo control of the process is difficult because of the complicated non-linear dynamics of cryogenic freezing caused by phase-change, and thermal dynamics between the frozen products and the tunnel. The solution presented in this paper uses a vision-sensor to estimate the shape, size, and heat load of food products that will enter the freezing tunnel. An analysis of the sensor location and its impact on disturbance feed-forward control is also presented. Efficacies of these developments are verified in an industrial case study using a commodity webcam for capturing and processing two-dimensional streaming images, and integrating the processed information with an industrial control system using model-predictive control architecture. The proposed solution is especially attractive for the food industry because of the low-cost and non-contact features of webcam, operational cost savings through reduced consumption of cryogen, and improved quality through reduction in variation of temperature of the frozen products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-786
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Industry
Volume56
Issue number8-9
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Freezing
Cryogenics
Tunnels
Sensors
Costs
Feedforward control
Model predictive control
Programmable logic controllers
Thermal load
Industrial applications
Industry
Sensor
Control systems
Controllers
Processing
Food industry
Food products
Temperature
System model
Commodities

Keywords

  • Image processing
  • Sensor integration
  • Sensor positioning
  • Sensor selection
  • Vision-sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Vision system for model based control of cryogenic tunnel freezers. / Shaikh, Nazrul I; Prabhu, Vittal.

In: Computers in Industry, Vol. 56, No. 8-9, 01.12.2005, p. 777-786.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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