Benefits of Automation in Food Processing Industries

Food and Beverages | Monday, January 16, 2023

Food processing industries are automating hazardous and repetitive tasks to improve ROI by reducing labor costs and optimizing processing outputs.

FREMONT, CA: Food processors and industries are increasingly looking towards technology to meet labor shortages, time spent in training new personnel, and reducing labor attrition. With labor shortages and rising demands for certain consumer products, processors find it challenging to meet demands, given present workforce conditions.

In the past, industries thought twice about investing in new technology. Automation is now a popular solution that reduces costs in the long run, increases returns to investments (ROI), and operates efficiently. Automation only replaces human involvement partially but benefits labor involvement as well. Equipment improves workplace safety.

Automation does not take over a process entirely, but individual parts are automated. The following uses of automation improve food processing:

Shift in market: The food production market shifted primarily from commercial food services to consumer consumption after the pandemic. The shift from commercial food markets to customer-centric demands altered production activities. Many food industries are focusing on staying in business than compounding their ROI. Industries need to meet new demands for different products effectively. Automation is meeting the challenges of replacing labor, retraining existing labor, and reducing time spent managing and supervising labor.

Packaging: Automation in packaging is a solution to labor shortages and increasing labor rates. It reduces the need to hire more personnel for packaging when automated solutions improve productivity in a shorter time. Human labor introduces human errors and inconsistencies, which automation eliminates. Automation does not replace human labor completely but makes it safer by taking over potentially hazardous tasks. Certain equipment tracks and measures leaks in sanitizers, auto-sealers, sorters, and overhead power rail systems.

Labor attendance tends to improve, and personnel is encouraged by equipment that reduces repetitive and hazardous tasks.

Material handling: Food and beverage industries are increasing their ROI by automating many processes. Manufacturers are investing in newer equipment, robotics, and material handling solutions such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Labor rates are increasing while technology costs are reducing, which frees up other personnel to undertake more specialized tasks.

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