Are you ever randomly in the mood for a cheeseburger? I know I am! Oh wait, it’s raining outside, I don’t want to go out there to turn on the barbecue! Lucky for you all out there, we have created the JAM Burgernator to solve all of those problems! This machine is designed to cook your burger, melt some cheese on it, dump on some condiments and toast the bun all while staying indoors! Fascinating! I know right?
What really happens is that you would put the raw meat on the conveyor belt, where the meat is probably about room temperature or colder. On the machine face you can pick how well you want the burger to be cooked, let’s say you want medium which is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also choose what type of cheese you want as well as the condiments such as ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, relish and barbecue sauce all with ‘small, medium, large’ options to designate how much you want. The meat would slide into the machine where it would travel slowly and then stop at a place where a heated press drops down conveniently with a thermometer inside. Simultaneously, the press will cook the burger as well as ensure that it is the perfect temperature to maximize user satisfaction. Once the burger is cooked, it moves over to where a slice of cheese will land upon it and melt due to the heat of the burger. The next part is where all the condiments will squirt over the cheese, and the lettuce and tomato will gently be placed on top before two perfectly toasted buns complete the wonderful burger.
Normally, to make a perfect burger you would have to shape the raw meat on a plate where blood juice would get everywhere, stain your clothes, and just make a complete mess. Then you would carry the meat plate all outside, rain or shine. It is important to keep track of the time or else the burger will burn and you will also want to go back outside to flip the burger over. Then, later you have to remember to put a slice of cheese on top in enough time so that the burger doesn’t get too well done but also so that the cheese has enough time to melt. Then you would have to time exactly how long the bun needs to be in the toaster, say when the burger has approximately two minutes left, the buns need to go in. To grab the burgers off the grill you would need a clean plate and serving grabbers which means more dishes to clean afterward and then you have to carry all the supplies back inside. This process definitely takes much more time than our machine, and uses many more serving pieces than necessary. On top of all that, you would need to put out on the table all of the condiments and vegetables, but at the right time so that what should be served cold, is still cold and not room temperature. The machine eliminates all of these worries and lets people just sit and relax while the burger is in process.
This machine needs to be controlled to ensure that the meat is cooked properly. It is a safety hazard if a restaurant served uncooked burgers, so it is very important that the temperature is right, although, the temperatures of all types of burgers do fall into a range of 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Families would not buy this machine if burgers were not cooked up to their standards and customers would stop going to the restaurants with unsatisfactory burgers as well. As a result, the color of the burger/how well the burger is cooked is the control variable which is based on consumer preference. A person who likes medium rare burgers would be very unhappy if this machine spit out well-done burgers and vice versa. The manipulated variable is therefore the temperature or the heat going in because the temperature of the press manipulates the temperature of the burger but the temperature of the press is determined by the amount going into it. The machine changes the temperature of the burger depending on what the consumer chooses to be their color of meat. As a result, it is designed so that the user puts a slab of meat on the conveyor belt, presses the button for how well they want the burger done, and the machine does the rest. This means that there has to be some communication between the thermometer on the press and the control panel. The thermometer tells the control panel the specific temperature of the meat while the control panel tells the thermometer what temperature the meat should be at. This is a process that goes on and on until the burger is cooked to perfection. This is a feedback loop because the temperature of the meat is measured and then this information travels back to the control panel which is a good set up so that the temperature can change based on the disturbance variables such as if the temperature in the burger is very low going into the machine, the controller makes a decision, and then the amount of heat going into the burger due to the press will increase to compensate.
How often do you go to a restaurant or fast food place and get too much of a given condiment or they put something on your burger that you don’t want? With the JAM Burgernator customer’s preferences of what and how much of a given condiment will be placed onto the burger will be controlled for maximum customer pleasure. On the JAM Burger there will be a button on the machine where you can choose which condiments you want as well as how much you want such as small, medium, large. The machine will be able to tell relative to the size of the burger and how much is really a ‘large’ versus a ‘small’ amount. The control panel will tell the compartment of condiments how much of everything needs to be applied and they will communicate to produce a burger with the correct amount of stuff piled on top. It is important that the ratio is correct so that the burger isn’t too soggy or too dry. The size of the burger also needs to determine the correct portion of condiments that need to go on top. If the burger if very small and a lot of ketchup falls on top, you’re going to have a big mess! It will allow customers to put on extra of certain condiments, and eliminate others. This will also allow industries selling these burgers to save money by not putting on extra condiments that will go to waste, and to be able to control the exact amount that goes onto each burger. In this instance the manipulated variable will vary depending on what condiments are to be placed onto the burger. For solid condiments such as lettuce or tomatoes there is not much control to be done. It will be controlled through a motion sensor that detects where the burger is and that would trigger a lever that would allow a certain number of that specific topping to be placed on top of the burger. The hardest part would be to control liquid condiments such as ketchup or mustard. In order to control this the manipulated variable would have to be the rate at which ketchup or mustard shoots out onto the burger. This would work best with a feedforward loop with a sensor measuring how much of the condiment is coming out. A feedforward loop would work best in this given scenario because it would be very difficult to measure the amount of ketchup that goes onto a burger after the process takes place with a feedback loop. Therefore, in order for this to work the measurement of the flow rate of the liquid condiments coming out has to be carefully measured because the end result is too difficult to measure.
A possible source of disturbance could be the type of meat itself. Some meat may be more dense or need to be cooked different ways in order to be cooked thoroughly such as a turkey burger versus beef. Another source of disturbance could be the size of the meat. If you just throw in a slab of meat the press will still come down and cook the burger, but different sizes could affect the cook time or the meat may spread out past the heat press. It is important that all parts of the burger get cooked the same amount so it needs to be heated evenly. Other sources of disturbance could be if there is a problem with the thermometer. If the thermometer is malfunctioning the entire system will fall apart because the burger would not be cooked well enough, the cheese would not be melted, and the bun probably would not be toasted. Another possible source of disturbance could be the condiments. The size of the burger also needs to determine the correct portion of condiments that need to go on top. Based on these variables, possible problems could be that the machine needs to be refilled with the cheese and condiments and buns. One way to store all of these items in the machine could be having their compartments more like a refrigerator so that everything is cold and fresh. The difficulty with this is that the machine will be very hot because it needs to cook the burger so the compartments will need to be located as far from the heat source as possible to ensure that they are dispensed properly and fresh.
Based on all of these aspects of our fancy burger machine, everyone should want one of these! Have no fear of uncooked meat! Buy the JAM Burgernator!