Ice cream aficionados know that nothing beats the taste of fresh ice cream. Unfortunately, really fresh ice cream is hard to find. The process of making this delicious desert has not significantly changed since the 1840s. Batches of freshly made product are frozen and stored in freezers for months until shipment. Eventually, refrigerated trucks transport the frozen product to grocery stores or ice cream shops. Because of this time lag, however, ice cream is not exactly a fresh product.
Freezing degrades the flavor. Even in an ice cream shop, unless it is made fresh on the premises and sold immediately, ice cream quality degrades in the time it takes to be prepared, sold and eaten. Aficionados have either had to accept reduced freshness and flavor or try to make their own, a time consuming process at best.
One ice cream lover saw an opportunity to change an old process. Paul Kateman came up with the idea of a machine that would produce fresh, made-to-order ice cream on demand. His idea was to simply press a button and receive a freshly made scoup of ice cream in about 45 seconds from an “ice cream shop” the size of a vending machine. To fulfill his dream, he started the MooBella company.
Designing this vending machine was not without its challenges. Not only did he have to develop a technique to flash freeze fresh, room-temperature raw product, he also had to develop the vending style delivery system.
In a device the size of a vending machine,
consumers can select their own choice of ice cream and receive fresh
product in about 45 seconds.
With the aid of Pro/Engineer and SolidWorks Office Premium software, Kateman and his team were able to create their dream ice cream machine. This collaborative effort was also made easier with integrated PDMWorks® and COSMOSWorks® software. The engineers were able to shorten the product design cycle by 33%, reducing development costs by 50%. Communication among the engineers was easy and fast.
The vending style machine produces real ice cream in real time. It uses less than ten square feet of space, measuring only 42 in. wide by 76.5 in. high by 33 in. deep.
With fresh, room temperature ingredients,
the MooBella machine creates ice cream and flash freezes the scoup in a
An LCD panel on the front is both informative and intuitive, guiding consumers in their selection of the type of ice cream (premium or light), flavor (with 12 to choose from) and mix-in (such as walnuts or chocolate chips). The machine produces a 4.5 oz scoop of mouth-watering ice cream in about 45 seconds. The technology eliminates the time lapse–and hence quality degradation–between making the ice cream and the consumer eating the finished product.
The modular design enables easy upgrades, changes and maintenance. The modules are coupled with distributed controls and managed by the Linux operating system. Comprehensive databases interact to aerate, flavor, mix and flash freeze the ingredients to produce the fresh, delicious product. The PC-based system enables consumer selection, operator interaction, and diagnostic activity. The Internet-based wireless communication allows the system to send accurate sales and inventory tracking data in real-time to MooBella headquarters, as well as receive machine alerts.
MooBella engineers also developed propriety ice cream mixes and flavors, which are packaged in shelf-stable disposable bags that do not require refrigeration. This means that the ingredients can be shipped by standard, non-refrigerated transport. It also eliminates the need for on-site freezer storage space, which is a huge benefit for food service operators. Existing retail food chains that do not sell ice cream have the potential to become ice cream shops overnight by introducing MooBella machines at their locations.
:: Design World ::
Filed Under: 3D CAD, Automotive