Teamwork makes for tasty results

A breakthrough instant ice cream-making and vending machine is the product of a remarkable design collaboration

A breakthrough instant ice cream-making and vending machine, now being deployed in the United States, is the result of remarkable collaboration between groups of designers all working together from widely dispersed locations.

According to Jim Baxter, vice president of engineering for MooBella, headquartered in Massachusetts, the idea is to be able to produce 96 varieties of ice cream on demand. “We can take advantage of an ambient temperature supply chain. Presently, ice cream sold to customers is up to six to eight months’ old, and has to be subjected to minus 20 deg C storage and transportation.”

Vice president of business development, Bob Brooks, states that the basic principle is to put the air into the liquid and freeze it very fast. That means, in effect, spraying it on to a freezing plate and scraping it off. This required highly innovative design, generating no less than 14 new US patents.

Much of the design work was done in Solidworks, with designs exchanged with eDrawings.

* Eureka’s Collaborative Engineering supplement is published with the March 2008 issue of the magazine.

Tom Shelley

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