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The Future of the Food Industry with Cobots

Food and Beverages | Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Today, nine out of ten food manufacturing companies rely on AI and other technologies to improve food safety, reduce employee injuries, and increase efficiency. For the past few years, food manufacturing companies have been investing money in technologies like AI. Through automation, cobots have been taking a crucial role in the food industry. According to PMMI Business Intelligence reports, when compared to the last five years, there has been a drastic change in the development of AI and cobots.

Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that packing meat is a dangerous job. Not only the meat industry, but the entire food industry has been facing issues like repetitive tasks, tiring and strenuous movements. Cobots can help the food manufacturers in manufacturing and packaging. It becomes the helping hand for humans thereby making the work done easier. Swedish Sugar producers automates the repetitive task in the food industry using three collaborating robots. The cobots used in the task have a gripper that lifts 45,000 containers at a single shot. Cobots also perform scanning, stacking of the eggs and spraying bedrolls too. At the Italian Cascina, 2.5 million eggs have been packed daily using cobots grippers. The grippers stack the eggs in boxes, which aids them to pack 15,000 eggs in an hour. Cobots can be carried anywhere at ease without any disassembly. Hence, the cobots have been used in the multiple tasks at stock keeping units.

Six-axis-robot arm cobot has been introduced in the food industry to ease the package-related hurdles. In the food products manufacture, the humans and machines integrate each other. During the integration, accidental mishaps are bound to occur. In order to avoid such consequences, the cobots have been programmed with complex safety techniques using AI and ML programs. Due to the safety sensors, the cobots recognize the obstacle in the environment at the real time.

The active sensors including a capacitive sensor, optical sensor, and tactical sensors help in identifying the presence of nearby humans. Cobots with grippers provide many advantages in the manufacturing and packaging food products. As cobots prove to provide huge benefits, it has become the fastest growing segment of industrial automation.

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