Food Processing

Industrial robots mainly perform tasks such as food processing, sorting, palletizing, and packaging, and can improve production efficiency, reduce material loss, ensure product consistency, and shorten delivery time.


 

The manufacturing industry has entered an important moment of transformation and upgrading, and more and more factories are using machines to replace people to enhance their competitiveness. Industrial robots liberate human labor from harsh working environments and maximize factory production efficiency. So, the application space of industrial robots has further opened up. From automobile manufacturing to 3C electronics, food packaging, logistics and other fields, the number of industrial robots in use continues to grow. From 240000 units sold in 2015 to 381000 units sold in 2017, it is expected to reach 630000 units by 2021.


The food industry is a very large part of the manufacturing sector and an important market for robot applications. In recent years, the market environment of the food manufacturing industry has undergone new changes. In the context of the rapid development of e-commerce and the continuous growth of order demand, customers demand more efficient and flexible packaging production. Enterprises need to increase production capacity while ensuring quality. In addition, personalized needs pose new challenges for enterprises. In response to this change, more and more factories and enterprises are starting to use industrial robots.


The use of industrial robots will fundamentally change the food industry, ultimately moving towards an intelligent manufacturing production model that can complete customer orders within a few hours. At present, industrial robots mainly perform tasks such as food processing, sorting, palletizing, and packaging, and bring many potential benefits, including improving production efficiency, reducing material loss, ensuring product consistency, and shortening delivery time. The new production model has high flexibility and meets the production needs of small batch personalized products.


Replacing machines with people creates new advantages for enterprises


Compared with traditional manual production models, robot automation solutions bring higher production capacity, making production services more economical and efficient. Moreover, as the demographic dividend gradually disappears, labor costs will become increasingly expensive. Factories will prioritize robots to perform production tasks, not only to reduce costs, but also to reduce the probability of work-related injuries, improve production efficiency, and increase enterprise profits. The requirements for food safety and hygiene are very strict. Traditional manual methods may cause food pollution, but the use of robots can effectively solve this problem. The automated food processing process is not affected by humans. Robots in the food industry, after being treated with hot water and disinfection, can effectively prevent the spread of bacteria and ensure food safety.


Robots can operate normally in environments such as extreme cold, high temperature, and even oxygen deprivation, which are not suitable for humans and are not a problem for robots. Some food manufacturing may require processing at freezing temperatures, so the use of robots can improve the quality of food. In addition, robots have higher accuracy, which not only ensures product consistency but also reduces food waste. In addition, the use of robots can also improve the safety of workers. The food processing process utilizes sharp and dangerous equipment, allowing robots to take over work tasks in these dangerous environments without the need for worker participation, ensuring worker safety. The production process can cause discomfort for humans, as well as repetitive tasks that can easily generate unpleasant emotions, and robots will be more suitable for these positions than humans because they will not feel bored or tired.


Application scenarios of robots in the food manufacturing industry


Robots can be used in many places in the food industry. Currently, robots are mainly used in packaging, palletizing, sorting, processing and other processes in the food industry. Among them, palletizing robots are the most widely used part, accounting for almost half of the share of robots in the entire food manufacturing industry.


Stacking refers to stacking products with similar shapes according to certain requirements, commonly found in production lines, warehouses, and other scenarios. For some heavy items, it is not appropriate to stack them manually, which can easily cause sprains. Robots can quickly and efficiently stack heavy products, becoming the most common application in the food industry at present. At present, domestic food and beverage companies such as Yili and Wahaha are using palletizing robots to improve production efficiency. In addition to palletizing, food packaging is also a field where robots are widely used. With the development of food refinement and diversification trends, the demand for small batch and diversified packaging is becoming increasingly apparent. Industrial robots have high flexibility and can package products of multiple sizes and shapes on the same packaging line. With just a few adjustments to parameters and end tools, they can complete new tasks. Therefore, industrial robots have been favored by food packaging companies.


There are still many applications of industrial robots in the food industry, such as food processing. Robots can replace workers in cutting, cutting, cleaning, grinding, and other tasks. Combined with IoT sensors and artificial intelligence technology, robots can be more precise than humans and meet higher and higher process requirements. There is also ingredient sorting. Through machine vision recognition technology, robots can pick and classify ingredients, which not only saves manpower but also improves efficiency.


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