Streamlining a Food Factory with Automation

Food industry is one of the most demanding industries and often requires near perfection and consistency to survive and thrive. Consumer requirements like higher quality standards, lesser costs, more accountability, more product variety as well as industry requirements like regulatory compliances, ability to meet increasing labour costs and sustainability pose the challenges for food processing companies. Processes in the food industry were traditionally considered difficult to automate. Robotic automation has made its mark in agriculture eliminating several back-breaking tasks for the farmers. However, as food moved down the production line in a factory, automation would take a backseat. But in the last few decades, as technology advanced and food companies started realizing the benefits of automation, this scenario changed and automation slowly but gradually started making its strides in the food industry. It streamlined the industry in several ways and helped tackle many challenges faced by the industry. Quality & Safety  Food industry is one of the most quality-sensitive industries. Even a single instance of contamination can significantly affect sales and impede business growth. Automation provides a reliable solution to fulfill the quality and safety requirements in the food industry. Automated food processes are easier to standardise and the chances of deviation from the standard process are considerably reduced. Automation eliminates the possibility of contamination caused by human intervention. Faulty products can be more easily isolated and prevented from entering the marketplace. Automation can also help in maintaining a uniform taste throughout the production process. The demand for different variants of a product can be fulfilled by bringing in more flexibility in the automation systems. Enhanced Traceability  Automation makes it easy to track down a product from the start to the end of the production line. Enhanced traceability helps maintain the product quality and companies are better equipped to protect their brand. Consequently, it also reduces the cost of regulatory compliances. More Storage Space End-of-line automation systems like palletisers help in better utilization of the available storage space. Smart methods like matrix formation and utilization of vertical space result in increased storage capacity for factories. This helps in inventory management and scaling up production capacity. Creating Safer Work Environment  Food production when carried out on industrial scale can be potentially dangerous to humans. Industrial applications like deep frying, boiling, cutting and peeling make employees risk their life and limb. Automation helps in shifting humans from harmful tasks to safer work environments. Starting the Process of Automation As companies decide to automate, they have several questions. One of the main concerns is flexibility that is needed. But some processes like mixing, bagging and palletising are indeed generic and can be easily automated. Along with the companies that opt for complete automation, there are as many companies that decide to take a hybrid approach. Cybernetik offers both turnkey solutions and individual systems for automating specific processes. Get in touch with us to know more.

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Implementing Automation Through Project Management Approach

Acquiring and implementing state-of-the-art automation systems in a manufacturing company poses multiple challenges with the varying levels of difficulty. Some of these challenges can be so daunting that they become a main reason for companies to delay the decision of getting advanced technologies. Implementing automation with a project management approach is one of the best ways to tackle these challenges. Through project management, we are able to predict the timelines, costs, performance, ROI and other important metrics. This can help companies in making the important decisions like whether they should go for an end-to-end solution or an automation system for a specific operation. Project management also helps in proper execution and delivery of the project so that our clients can get the best returns on their investment. The main stages in the lifecycle of an automation project are explained in the infographic over here. Click the image on the left to see the complete infographic. Our project management approach makes it easier for you to take the right decision at the right time. Whatever your requirements, Cybernetik can provide you with end-to-end services starting from project initiation to after-sales maintenance and support. Here are some Case Studies of the projects that we have implemented. Communicate your requirements and let us figure out the best course of action for your company to benefit from the advanced automation technologies.

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Hiring: Technical Proposals & Marketing Engineer

Get in touch if you fulfill the following requirements and wish to work on exciting projects in industrial automation. Education: DME / BE or equivalent. Experience: 2-3 years in Industrial Automation in Automobile/Food/Chemical/Pharma industry. Technical Knowhow: Conveying systems, packaging systems, robotic systems and applications, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. Languages: English, Hindi and Marathi (spoken & written) Willing to travel across India. Work Profile: As a Technical Proposals & Marketing Engineer, you need to handle the following and other related job responsibilities. 1. Visit client sites with the marketing team for understanding requirements, feasibility study, input data collection and capture site details.2. Prepare layouts on 2D/3D CAD software.3. Write technical proposals as per standard templates.4. Study existing systems and suggest improvements, if any.5. Handle costing and purchase of items and collect technical data from the respective supplier. 6. Collect commercial offers from sub-vendors (mainly bought-outs).7. Collect data of previous projects from ERP systems and verify from the respective project / design person. 8. Interact with the project person to verify technical and commercial aspects of the requirement. 9. Interact with the design department and verify the parameters suggested to the client before submitting the quote.10. Standardize quotations, costing and revisions as per client requirements. Send your resume to: career.automation@cybernetik.com

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Innovative Technique in Agro Processing: Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE)

Innovations in food processing industry are comparatively slow, as safety and quality are always the primary concerns. Supercritical Fluid Extraction System from Cybernetik fulfills these criteria and provides a safe and profitable solution for the agro-processing industry. What is Supercritical Fluid Extraction process? SCFE is one of the recent techniques used for agro processing. It is used primarily for decaffeination of tea / coffee, fractionation of polymeric materials, and extraction of oils, oleoresins, flavours, fats, spices and many other ingredients. When a substance is heated and pressurised above its critical point, it transforms into its supercritical state, where it is neither liquid nor gas. In this particular state, a substance can effuse through solids like a gas and dissolve materials like a liquid. Thus, it becomes a powerful medium for extraction of ingredients from raw materials.  Why CO2 is a preferred fluid for SCFE process? Carbon dioxide in its supercritical state is non-toxic, non-flammable and chemically inert. It also provides higher extraction efficiency and is ideal for high value extracts. There is no need for solvent removal. As CO2 is considered safe for humans, it is a preferred supercritical fluid in agro and food processing. Why use SCFE system from Cybernetik? Cybernetik’s SCFE system provides higher extraction efficiency, high product purity, consistent product quality and prolonged product shelf life. It is easy to clean and maintain and significantly reduces the operating costs. The system uses USFDA approved process for extraction of ingredients from organic raw materials in agro-processing industry. The system consists of high pressure and heating system, where liquid CO2 is transformed into supercritical CO2. The supercritical CO2 is mixed with the raw material in the extraction vessel. The mixture is further transported into gas-liquid separation chamber, where supercritical CO2 transforms into gas and is easily separated from the extract. This gas CO2 can be conveniently reused for further process. Using Cybernetik SCFE systems can offer several other benefits in your industry. Know more about SCFE system and other agro-processing solutions from Cybernetik.For further information, contact our representatives.

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Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) - An Essential for Optimum Delivery

Delivering quality and exceeding the expectations of our clients is always a requisite at Cybernetik. Factory Acceptance Testing or FAT is one of the project milestones that helps us meet our goals and ensure smooth functionality of the system through its entire lifecycle. Systems that go through rigorous FAT enable our clients to achieve optimum productivity and be the frontrunners in their respective industry. What is FAT?Prior to the delivery and shipment of any automation system, we build the entire system at Cybernetik, just as it would have been built at the client’s place and perform a comprehensive scrutiny, also known as Factory Acceptance Testing or FAT.  This scrutiny includes checking the system for a number of factors like Functionality, SLA adherence, Legal & Compliance accuracy, P&ID and quality certifications. Going further, at Cybernetik we also prepare the system for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as production rate (cycle time), process flow, user interface, workmanship and safety. When is FAT performed?  FAT is performed before we dispatch the system from Cybernetik. It helps us ensure quality and safety of the system. It also saves on time and cost. Issues can be identified and rectified while the system is still in our factory. This reduces the initial hassles while setting up the system at the client’s place and reduces the time to make it run smoothly and to its full capacity. In addition, it gives client a clear idea of the physical layout and if there is a need for alterations and reconfigurations, they can be implemented prior to the delivery. Who should be present during FAT?To ensure the success of FAT, we recommend the presence of personnel from client’s side on the shop floor. The personnel could be Project Managers, Operators, Plant Engineers and Maintenance Engineers. This helps everyone understand the environment where the system is being tested enabling better troubleshooting in case of breakdowns during run-time. Why is FAT important?FAT helps identify non-conformities in the system while the system is still at Cybernetik, so that problems can be addressed before installation of the system. This offers more flexibility to our technical experts for providing optimal solutions, without affecting the project timelines. FAT also eliminates ambiguity around the KPIs set for the equipment. Though Cybernetik incurs considerable costs simulating real-time shop environment for the system to be appropriately evaluated, this lowers the risk of breakdowns during shop time as well as the need for repetitive servicing. At Cybernetik, FAT is not billed to the client separately, as it is included in the scope of delivery established earlier. We clarify and lay down the requirements and measures that will compose a customised FAT, and these are carefully implemented to ensure the success of FAT. Just like before delivering any product, the manufacturer checks it for quality, FAT is performed before the shipment of automation equipment to ensure its quality standards and full functionality. It is also important for ensuring safety of equipment and personnel. After all, creating safer workplaces is one of the most important aspects of industrial automation. Click here to read more.FAT is a standard procedure that helps us deliver robust and consistent results and enables our clients to gain optimal benefits from Cybernetik systems. Contact us to know more about how you can optimize your processes through automation systems from Cybernetik.

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Creating Safer Workplaces through Industrial Automation

Safer working environment for humans is one the biggest boons of automation. Everypassing day, innovative automation systems are being created all over the world to keephumans away from dangers. These dangers might pose an immediate risk to the life or bodyparts of humans or they might be in the form of tasks which put human health at risk if theycarry out these tasks over a long term. Here is how automation can help in eliminating thesedangers.Preventing loss of life or body partsIn automotive manufacturing, press shop is one of the most accident prone areas. There areinnumerable cases where operators have lost their fingers or even hand while working withthe press machine. In fact, in one of the unfortunate accidents, a maintenance operator losthis life while doing the routine maintenance of a press machine.Press machines require an extremely high level of eye-hand / foot coordination. Not tomention, the machines are absolutely unforgiving of mistakes. A single blink of an eye andthe operator can lose a precious part of his body. Press loaders and unloaders fromCybernetik can help manufacturers keep workers away from this accident prone area andmake the workplace safer for them.Eliminating cumbersome tasksCertain industrial tasks need to be done and need to be done at a specific speed to continuethe production line without being interrupted. This is also necessary to achieve economies ofscale in price-sensitive markets like automotive manufacturing or FMCG products like snackfood items.Such tasks and their speed requirements make them too cumbersome for humans. Imaginea shop floor worker lifting and moving a 100 kg bag several times a day. It not only puts theworker’s health and safety at risk, it also negatively affects the manufacturing line as humanswill inevitably work at reduced speed after some time. This creates a bottleneck in thesystem, which can be easily and efficiently avoided through automated systems like roboticpalletizing.Production of food items may not be an obviously risky or unsafe process. However, whenfood items are produced on the industrial scale, it can quickly transform into a cumbersometask. Take the example of a worker who is working in a factory that produces savoury friedsnacks and who has to deep fry the food items. He needs to work in the dangerous vicinityof an enormous quantity of boiling oil. Besides, the fire and heat also pose the risk ofdehydration.Apart from this, the highly repetitive task can quickly become a boring chore for humans.Bored humans may or may not follow the standard procedure while doing the task. This notonly puts humans in the close vicinity of a danger, it might also lead to the production ofsubstandard quality food items, which again becomes a health risk for consumers. Snackfood automation helps in avoiding these risks, making human resources available for moreskilled tasks.Keeping humans away from hazardous materials and environmentsIn industrial manufacturing, humans need to work with all kinds of materials. Some of themare not safe for humans and might put their health at risk. For example, there might behazardous chemicals, which need to be packed in bags. Exposing humans to thesechemicals might put their health at risk in the long term or sometimes even in the short term.Automatic bagging systems help in eliminating this risk.In certain cutting tasks, the dust produced during the process is harmful for humans. Itbecomes a health risk for them when it enters their eyes, mouth or nose. To prevent this,completely automated systems are designed, which are then covered with a canopy so thatthe dust does not get spread into the atmosphere.There are several such examples of automation systems that help prevent or reduce safetyrisks to humans in different industries. Cybernetik can work with you to design and createautomation systems to enhance safety in your industry. Get in touch with us to know more.

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Six-Axis Robots: What are they? Their Benefits & Integration

Robotic manufacturers have designed and developed several different types of robots to fulfill the automation needs of various industries. The standard Six-Axis Robot is one of the most widely used among them. Axis: The Facilitator of Robot’s Movement A major factor in an industrial robot is the number of axes it has. Each axis allows a degree of flexibility and enables a robot to reach to the desired point. The six axis robot, can move in three dimensional space across x, y and z planes. Different types of robots are suitable for different industrial applications. Certain tasks like part picking, material handling, sorting, stacking and palletising can be accomplished with fewer axes. Robots with fewer axes provide more stability, are simple to operate and maintain and also reduce energy consumption and overall cost. Certain other tasks like assembly may require a robot with as many as 15 axes, where more flexibility is required. But these robots also tend to be more expensive. Six-Axis Robots Most of the industrial applications can be carried out with the help of the standard six-axis robots, also called articulated robots. These provide a good combination of power, stability, flexibility and value for investment. Here is how each axis allows flexibility to the robotic arm. Axis 1: Located at the base of the robot, it allows the robot to move in the range of 180 degrees from left to right. Axis 2: Facilitates the forward and backward movement of the robot’s lower arm. Axis 3: Allows the robot’s upper arm to move in upward and downward direction. Axis 4: Known as the wrist roll, this axis rotates robot’s upper arm and working together with axis 5 positions the end effector. Axis 5: Allows the robot’s wrist to move in upward and downward direction with pitch movement and move from side to side with yaw movement. Axis 6: This is the robot’s wrist and enables it to rotate freely in both left and right directions. Benefits  Optimum flexibility Easy programming Multiple mounting options Easy maintenance and repairing Adaptability  Integration Cybernetik offers complete integration of all types of six-axis robots from the well-known manufacturers like ABB, Kuka and Yaskawa. There are many different types of six-axis robots, both large and small. According to the specific requirements of the task, different factors need to be determined like size, speed and payload. Cybernetik offers end-to-end assistance in this regard from selecting the right robot to installation and after-sales support. Contact us to know more. To understand the benefits of robotic automation over SPMs (Special Purpose Machines), click here.

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The rise of Industrial Robotics in automation

Industrial Robotics has come a long way since its inception back in the 1960’s. It has now become one of the key elements of competitive manufacturing and production, which helps achieve high productivity, quality and adaptability at minimal costs. Recent advancements and research in automation has helped industrial robots far supersede over Special Purpose Machines (SPM’s) in executing tasks and operations of varied nature across multiple industries.Lets look at some of the fundamental benefits of working with robots over standard SPM’s:FlexibilityRobots add immense flexibility to factory operations. May it be a change in the floor space layout for space optimization or changes in product properties or addition of product variants, a robot can be easily programmed to adapt to these changes while its counterpart SPM’s do not offer such flexibility.Multi-FunctionalityRobots have a much higher multi-functional capability compared to SPM’s, which can be very restrictive to execute multiple tasks. A single robot can carry out several complex tasks accurately while it would take multiple SPM’s to accomplish the same task.Ease of use and maintenanceUnlike SPM’s, robots are comparatively easier to operate and require minimal human interference and maintenance. They also have a better and more intelligent monitoring system, which helps optimize processes by analyzing data at regular intervals thus making it more efficient. Reduced costsLower energy consumption, multi-functionality, optimization due to better monitoring systems, lower maintenance costs and better space utilization on the factory floor all add up and help reduce cost of operation and products.One of the key projects we executed recently was for an automotive client with a requirement for a robotic pick and place system for handling delicate ceramic parts. This robotic system we developed was multi-functional and integrated with vision-based systems, barcode readers and part identification system which gave the user complete control over monitoring the operational effectiveness of the system.You can read the detailed case study of the project here.At Cybernetik Technologies have successfully delivered more than 100 turnkey robotic automation solutions companies around the world. We offer complete integration of all types of 6-axis robots like ABB, KUKA, Yaskawa. We also provide high-end complex robotic solutions including vision based and 3D laser scanning based solutions as well as high-speed welding and paint robotics.

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Super critical fluid extraction: Its wide range of applications

Among the different extraction techniques used, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is one of the oldest and the most used separation technique. The use of supercritical fluids in the extraction of volatile components has increased during the last two decades because of its higher efficiency compared to other extraction methods.Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most widely used supercritical fluid. This is because CO2 is cheap, chemically inert, non-toxic, non-flammable and readily available at high purities and at low costs. Besides, the critical point of CO2 is easily accessible (critical temperature 31°C and critical pressure 74 bar) allowing the fluid to be used at mild conditions of temperatures (40-60°C) without leaving harmful organic residues.With advances in process, equipment and product design and realization of the potentially profitable opportunities in the production of high added value products, industries are becoming more and more interested in supercritical fluid technology. It has found applications in many industrial sectors including food, cosmetics, pharmaceutics, materials, chemistry, energy and waste treatment.Here are a few innovative applications of supercritical fluid extraction across different industries:Food & Beverage IndustryOne of the methods to improve the flavor of a beer is to enhance the intensity of the hops. Supercritical CO2 hop-oil extraction enables to obtain hop oil extracts with high concentrations and better quality.The association of high blood cholesterol levels with heart diseases is the motivating factor in recent works on the reduction of cholesterol levels in consumed meals that include meats, dairy products and eggs using supercritical fluids.Pharmaceutical IndustryAmong the varied extracts obtained from plants; antioxidants, phytosterols, or even the carotenes, which are used in the pharmaceutical sector, can be easily extracted using supercritical CO2. Supercritical fluids are utilized for the production of fine powders, in particular for the formulation of active principles. Pierre Fabre Laboratories (France) have developed the production of fine powders by supercritical CO2 and they were awarded the Pierre Potier 2009 "Innovation in chemistry for sustainable development" for its Formulplex process. This process uses supercritical fluids to increase the bioavailability of active principles.Medical Cannabis IndustrySupercritical CO2 extraction of cannabis oil is gaining momentum in the USA as the process gives concentrate makers the ability isolate, capture and scientifically understand the medical effects of more elusive cannabinoids besides THC and CBD. Wood IndustrySuperwood (Denmark) has industrialized the impregnation of wood with fungicides dissolved in supercritical CO2 ensuring a lack of mold, avoiding long baths and saving substantial amounts of fungicides.Textile IndustryConventional textile dying methods pose ecological and economical challenges. This issue can be tackled by using supercritical CO2 as an alternative solvent. FeyeCon (Holland), have been successful in the field of supercritical CO2 dying (DyeCoo process) which has been widely acknowledged and grown steadily since its inception.Energy productionExtremely promising developments in the areas of liquefaction and gasification of biomass from agricultural wastes in subcritical and supercritical water has opened up the access to unique and sustainable energy sources.At Cybernetik Technologies, we have developed completely customizable, state of the art and cost effective SFE systems that match international standards and help businesses in reducing batch times compared to traditional solvent based extraction processes, lower operating costs and achieving higher product purity. Watch this video to get a closer look at the SFE systems developed at Cybernetik Technologies.

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Effectiveness of automatic bagging systems

Effective bagging and packaging solutions provide higher efficiency and safety in movement and handling of products, which makes them an extremely vital process on any factory floor. Automatic bagging systems have varied applications across different industries including food, beverages, pharmaceutical, chemicals and electronics. In the last couple of decades, automation has helped revolutionize the packaging industry globally and has made it accessible for businesses of all sizes to have appropriate bagging and packaging systems.Here are a few ways in which automatic bagging systems increase efficiency and productivity in the packaging process: Higher efficiency:Automatic bagging machines help achieve higher efficiency by substantially increasing the rate of production compared to traditional bagging methods. An ideal example would be of an automated candy packing machine, which can pack hundreds to thousands of candies in minutes.Reduce losses and achieve consistent product quality:Automatic bagging machines help in eliminating losses due to errors in size, volume and labeling and provide a consistent quality in packaging.Labor optimization:Automated bagging systems significantly reduce labor requirements for tasks like lifting, sorting, folding and processing, making them available to perform other essential functions. Workplace and environmental safety:Especially in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, it protects workers from health issues due to exposure and handling of hazardous substances. It also helps in ensuring hygiene by preventing contamination in food and medicines by eliminating human contact in the bagging process.Cybernetik Technologies develops fully automated packing lines for low, medium and high production capacities that deliver precision filling and ensure the highest level of performance and reliability.  We provide complete solutions for automated bag filling, conditioning, sealing and quality checking which can be combined with any palletizing system.

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Cybernetik Technologies is an Indian industrial automation company that designs, builds and installs turnkey automation systems to address the material handling and processing needs of the agro process, food, automotive and environment sectors. Our expertise lies in providing innovative solutions for conveying, processing, robotic handling and end-of- line packaging. We are a single source solution for all automation requirements by providing services ranging from concept generation to installation, commissioning and after-sales support.

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