Discover how Corso’s Cookies incorporated automation to create a new product line while fighting labour shortage struggles.
Corso’s Cookies’ Story: How they Reached the Big Leagues
Thanks to their passionate team of bakers, decorators, and packagers who are all dedicated to producing top quality cookies, Corso’s Cookies is America’s Favorite Decorated Cookie Company.
This business started from humble beginnings, as it was originally set up at a small home kitchen in Syracuse, New York. People were initially attracted to the beautiful and artistic decorating on these cookies, but after tasting them, many customers told their friends about these delicious treats. It didn’t take long for these cookies to become a “must have” for parties and special events, and by 2001, this small home business was upgraded to a commercial bakery to keep up with demand. By 2006, both national retailers and online gift companies started calling to inquire about selling Corso’s Cookies to their customers, and the company once again moved into a much larger manufacturing facility.
The Striking Impact of Labour Shortages
They’ve only continued to grow in popularity since moving into their larger manufacturing facility, but keeping up with all this new customer demand wasn’t a simple task. “Our company started by hand decorating cookies,” says Peter Hess, CEO of Corso’s Cookies. “Finding people to hand-decorate and keep going at a particular speed is not easy. It’s very challenging in Upstate New York to find people who want to work in manufacturing. It’s tough.”
To address these labour shortage struggles, Corso’s Cookies implemented a variety of automation into their operations. “We wanted to be able to produce 100,000 cookies a day,” Hess explains. One of their recent installations to help achieve this goal was a high-speed printer that could quickly decorate cookies with wet frosting. However, there was one small catch: this technology was designed to print one cookie at a time. Before being inserted into the printer, their cookies would be prepared in batches of six at a time, so Corso’s Cookies needed to find a way to feed these batches into the printer one at a time, without losing any capacity.
Stepping up to the Plate with Automation
Corso’s Cookies had experience working together with Apex Motion Control for past automation solutions, so it was only natural for Hess to approach Apex again when confronted with this production dilemma. This application was unique, since this new automation solution would need to work together with Corso’s Cookies’ high-speed printer. As a result, Apex decided to create a specially tailored solution for their production line.
After some planning and R&D, Apex presented their new idea to Corso’s Cookies. By integrating a new conveyor system in combination with an efficient cookie transfer system, their high-speed printing technology could effectively work together with their batches of cookies. This transfer system would quickly shift these batches of six into a single-file line, thus allowing the cookies to be quickly fed into the printer from a conveyor one-by-one without any trouble.
Thanks to this new and improved production process, Corso’s Cookies was able to start pumping out new types of cookies at speeds they’ve never seen before. “This new product line would only be possible with this automation,” Hess says. Now, they can create all kinds of new cookie designs in an instant, giving their team more time to focus on other tasks within their production line.
After achieving such positive results, this won’t be the last time Corso’s Cookies works together with Apex on an automation project. “I recommend Apex Motion Control’s equipment to people all the time!” Hess proudly states. “They’re the most responsive people I’ve ever worked with, and their team is awesome!”
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