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.
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.