Why should you automate your food production with robots?
Are you thinking of automating your food production with robots? Historically the benefits have not been widely appreciated by the food processing sector compared to other manufacturing industries. Reasons often cited are a lack of in-house engineering expertise, short production runs and regular product changeovers and the volatility of contracts to supply. When you factor in a perception that robots are expensive, hard to program and lack the flexibility of manual labour, the challenge to automation suppliers is obvious.
The good news is that attitudes are changing. Manufacturers are realising the benefits of robotic automation right through the production process. They are no longer restricted to the established end-of- line palletising and packing, but are now increasingly extending back to the ‘wet end’ of the process. By automating portioning, depositing and decorating, robots can add huge value to your business. With the right design and planning, robots will future-proof your operation whilst increasing flexibility, lowering costs and boosting productivity – what’s not to like?
It’s not just about saving labour and replacing workers with robots – far from it. If you need convincing that robots can be good for your business, you’ll find some compelling arguments here. And if you are sold on the idea of automation but not sure whether robots fit the bill, then check out why the robotic route could be the best for you here.
Just as the food industry is coming to grips with the benefits of robotics – we have seen an increase of 300% in the demand for industrial robots over the last 5 years! Equally, robot manufacturers and integrators are doing their bit by adapting their robots for the food industry. For example, leading supplier ABB have wash down and stainless steel units specifically designed to meet the strict cleaning requirements demanded by the ‘high care’ food handling environment. This highlights the hygiene benefits of robots doing the work for you – no risk of contamination through illness or foreign bodies, which means less manual handling and a safer way to get food to the consumer.
Business leaders are no longer asking ‘why do I need it?’, but ‘ how will my business be affected if I don’t?’ Now, be honest – are you asking yourself the same question?