SMIP to Optimize Continuous Cooling Tunnels for Industrial Food Processing

Project Lead: G-W Process Optimization
Partners: Nutrition Bar Confectioners (NBC), Central NY Tech Development Organization

Member % Cost Share: 50%
CESMII % Cost Share: 50%
Duration: 6 Months

Problem Statement

Industrial cooling tunnels are intrinsically in need of sophisticated real-time adjustment since they are long – tens of feet – open containers influenced by both the external environment and the variable products passing through them via conveyor belt.  NBC is challenged with manufacturing an increasingly wide variety of bars. As a result of uncorrected temperature variability, production is adversely affected, suffering from reduced throughput, off-spec product, and resultant energy losses. 

Project Goal

The goal of this project is to utilize the CESMII SM Innovation Platform to collect and contextualize this data; create and implement a data-driven algorithm that predicts product quality based on operational performance all along the enclosed seventy-foot cooling tunnel; predicts when conditions are suboptimal, threatening product integrity; and advises what interventions are needed to assure on-spec product.

Technical Approach

Install sensors before the tunnel to characterize the product. Create an SM Profile. Generate a predictive algorithm, Utilize the CESMII SMIP collected data to verify the newly generated G-WPO predictive model. Create dashboards for visualization. Utilize predictor to manually intervene in real-time.

Deliverables/Outcomes/SM Marketplace

  • Developed visualization dashboards showing process performance parameters
  • Developed and delivered human-machine interface at process edge
  • Cooling Tunnel Smart Manufacturing Profile
  • Mixer Smart Manufacturing Profile
  • Kettle Smart Manufacturing Profile
  • Training methodology for small and medium sized manufacturing production personnel

Potential Impact

Successful implementation at NBC can have broader applicability in industries that use Cooling Tunnels or industrial mixers and kettles in addition to Food & Beverage, such as Cosmetics, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Water & Wastewater, and Minerals Processing.


A reusable SM Profile for Cooling Tunnel and the associated Kettle and Mixer that can be configured and/or adopted by other manufacturers, technology providers and researchers for development of SM solutions. 

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