By Milane Haboon on February 4, 2020
Food packaging and handling have traditionally been the most difficult industry to automate. The variability of products, regulatory requirements and the challenge to handle food safely and efficiently are all roadblocks for food producers. Pressures to increase productivity, consistency, and revenue are all reasons to automate, like yesterday. Robotic automation has come a long way to addressing these challenges and these are the five reasons why you should automate your bakery operations.
From tiny frosted sprinkled donuts to pistachio filled croissants to formless pizza dough, bakery goods vary dramatically in size, shape, weight, and form but have no fear, robotic technology can easily handle these production challenges. The misconception that robotics can’t handle these variations are outdated and simply not true. With the right, adaptable end-of-arm tooling, product variability can be solved quickly. Our gripper technology enables us to pick and place varied food products using just one application. Because of these advances in technology, we can now automate repetitive tasks in industries that haven’t before seen automation, solving labor constraints, and food safety concerns. Learn more about how robots are the answer to manufacturing labor shortages.
Soft Robotics end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) is opening an entirely new market to handle products that were previously impossible to automate. Our adaptable grippers are made of soft components, ensuring the delicate, yet secure handling of even the flakiest, most malleable food products. Not all EOATs are created equally. Learn more about how to choose the right EAOT solution for food processing and handling. Just Born Quality Confections’ has had great success using our soft, reliable grippers to pick up their marshmallow Peeps. Using our technology, Just Born is able to pick and place 13 different marshmallow products – free from marks and damages, at a rate of 450 Peeps per minute. That’s a lot of Peeps! Read about their story here.
It’s no surprise that food safety tops the list of challenges facing food manufacturers, especially with end-of-arm tooling – as these devices have direct contact with food products. With the growing pressure of regulations, choosing the right EOAT solution will support the goal of food safety, and help to prevent against the high-cost food recalls and food waste. Our grippers meet both FDA and EC 1935/2004 requirements for food contact and handling. This means when you’re handling delicate baked goods with loose sprinkles and crumbs, none of it is getting into internal places that are hard to see and clean leading to unsanitary conditions. This is the single, best recipe for avoiding food contamination and recalls.
There’s no question that robotic automation allows for production quality, consistency and most importantly, food safety. By leveraging robotics, you can achieve faster, cleaner and more efficient operations. If you’re not convinced on why you should automate your bakery operations with robotics, download our white paper and find out the other two reasons.