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Food and Beverages | Monday, December 21, 2020
Automation could solve many of the food industry’s problems, but several implementation challenges can be looked at and remediated.
FREMONT, CA: The current health pandemic and the crisis has added a mountain of challenges across the food and beverage industry, as customer buying patterns are changing, and both production of goods and other business operations have been drastically disrupted. Food companies are pressed to improve and demonstrates how they can deploy automation practices to innovate their processes to create an efficient supply chain and profitability. Automation offers countless opportunities for manufacturers today. But the implementation of automation involves several challenges. Here is more about the top challenges involved.
Unsurprisingly food safety and traceability top in the list of automation challenges that face food manufacturers. Food manufacturers have a responsibility of care to make sure that food is safe for people to eat, and thus the potential of automation to ensure traceability is vital. Through discussions with respondents, stricter compliance and complexity challenges ensure full traceability through existing food production systems. Tracking products through all stages of sourcing, processing, and distribution with the complex nature of supply chains is no easy feat.
The packaging is the second most highlighted challenge that food manufacturers face. Packaging has always changed, but recent years witnessed the boom of healthy eating, and manufacturers have been under ever-increasing pressure to make sure that food packaging appeals to customers. This dynamic consumer landscape has raised issues in the flexibility of automated packaging systems to react to change. The rising number of packaging changes has heightened the wrong product's risk of being placed in the wrong packaging. Incorrect packaging could have fatal consequences.
• Cost of Implementation
Finally, the least surprising problem in automation adoption is cost. The starting cost of implementing automated solutions is high, but legacy systems have often lacked flexibility. The flexibility of the systems is vital in allowing soft reconfiguration to accommodate evolving consumer tastes; attempts at previously gaining automation have often missed these vital components resulting in costly white elephants. Combines with the cost of robotics and automation dropping because of strong adoption, and it is believed that the challenge of implementing automation can be overcome..