Industries such as food and beverage are very sensitive as they can directly affect the wellness of human beings. Consequently, the laws and regulations that govern this industry are quite stringent. Robots are therefore in demand in industries such as this one for continued success.
Industry players know that the margin for error in handling food and beverages should be nonexistent. Human workers are likely to mess up time and again because they can be easily distracted or get bored or fatigued.
Robots on the other hand do not have such limitations. Therefore working with a small industrial robot to handle the most sensitive aspects of food processing it could turn out to be a very good idea.
Reasons Why Robots Are Best Suited for the Food Industry
Here are a few reasons why you should get a small industrial robot or two for your plant:
Preventing Food Contamination
Eating contaminated food causes health complications for the consumer. If your business has even one incident where a customer fell ill because they ate your food, you could get shut down by health inspectors.
The backlash from this could cause you to lose your customers as they will lose confidence in your product. Rebuilding trust takes a lot of work and patience. Modern robots are built with improved sanitary designs which make them the perfect choice for applications in a sanitised environment.
They come with smooth surfaces that are not vulnerable to cleaning agents and the corrosive effects of their chemicals. They also have tight seals which do not allow contaminants in.
Robots with a small footprint are the most suitable as they also improve your throughput rates.
Picking and Packing
These are tasks which are performed repetitively and would therefore be exhausting as well as monotonous for humans. Pick and place robots are also ideal for primary packaging applications which include the following:
- Tray loading
- Bottle handling
- Bin picking
Packaging has quickly become a part of the competition as businesses seek to make their packaging better and more spectacular than the next one. It is in high demand. Robots provide flexibility, speed and efficiency on the primary packaging line.
This is an industry that is growing exponentially. There are scores of different tasks that a robot can undertake on the secondary packaging line. Use of robots is set to increase especially in the beverage industry. Food manufacturers also want to up their use of robots.
The best ones to use for secondary packaging lines are robots whose end of arm tools features vacuum grippers and clamps. Clamps that come with sensors are the best choice as they must know if the product is gripped safely.
Raw Food Packaging
Raw and processed food products are taken and wrapped during the primary packaging process. The packages are different because they depend on the size and shape as well as the food being packaged.
Not all products are suitable for robot handling as some like the raw foods may not be uniform in size. In addition, some of them are quite delicate.
Once packaging is completed, robots are required to ready the products for shipping. Almost every self-respecting manufacturer has invested in palletizing robots to ease the process of getting the products quickly loaded onto trucks for transport.
Humans would find the tasks involved not only boring and monotonous, but they could be potentially hazardous especially if the products are bulky and heavy. Many industries not only have a number of palletizing robots but they also plan to install more.
Palletizing robots provide solutions such as the following:
- Help in saving costs
- Enhance end-of-line efficiency
- Improve flexibility
- Improve speed
The cost of robots will continue to fall making them increasingly accessible even to small and medium businesses. Food manufacturers must remain on top of their game if they are to break even in the industry.
One sure way to make this happen is to invest in emerging robotic technologies in order to ensure continued productivity success as well as sustaining their customer bases. These robots are capable of handling multiple or even single products depending on the requirements.