How do they use robots in the food and beverage industry?
Robots are used extensively throughout the food and beverage industry.
Apart from the usual reasonings behind using robots in an industrial setting (labour shortages, cost and increased flexibility in the production process), they are particularly important when it comes to preventing food contamination and for pick and place duties, and secondary packaging.
For food manufacturers, contamination of food is a very real worry. When humans come into contact with food, there is always a risk of contamination which can cause multiple claims against the producer and potentially huge financial losses. Robots are ideal for clean food environments, although they do have to be rated for such purposes. Robots which are not susceptible to corrosion, have tight seals and small footprints, are especially well equipped to work in food areas.
Packing food is another key area for the use of robots, saving human workers from often back-breaking and monotonous work. Bear in mind that food packing, on a global basis, involves almost two trillion units a year. Robots can handle varied packing, high volumes and in a consistent fashion.
And then there is secondary packing at the end of the line, where products are put into cases and then bundled for later use. In North America alone, this market is worth over $26bn.
Robots are already an integral part of the food and beverage industry.