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Why do they use robots in the food and beverage industry?

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

In common with most other industries, robots are used in the food and beverage sector, because they allow companies to reduce and control costs, and they fill the gaps created by the lack of human workers, especially in the pick and place activities, and when it comes to secondary picking. 

Packing food is a 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.

The market for secondary packing, at the end of the line, where products are put into cases and then bundled for later use is, in North America alone, is worth over $26bn.

But, there is another fundamental reason why robots are being used extensively, and that’s hygiene.

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. 

The use of robots has allowed this industry to expand at a phenonment rate, creating a huge array of products that enrich society.  

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