The global population will exceed 8 billion by the close of 2022, further exacerbating food supply issues. With growing demand, the food industry is under immense pressure to deliver supplies faster and more efficiently. The need for a convenient supply of quality goods has never been greater. It is not surprising that automation in the food industry using AMRs is growing fast.

In this article, we look at how exactly the food industry implements this AMR-driven automation.

 

Advantages of Automation in the Food Industry

Many challenges have befallen the food industry in recent times – for example, the global pandemic enhanced already existing problems with labor shortage. Food industry players have found several solutions for this problem, chief among them the application of automation.

The industry’s complex situation is also compounded by ever-rising utility costs. Some regions need to import ingredients, while others have to contend with local competition that prevents much increase in product prices. As suppliers are trying hard not to pass costs to their customers, they may find themselves losing on profit margin.

To meet this challenge that only became more difficult to manage over the course of the global pandemic, there is an urgent need for a solution that not only reduces food production costs but also promotes food security and quality. The application of automation may offer a beneficial solution, as it can promote significant improvements in cost reduction and production efficiency.

At a more advanced level, automation in the food industry can also introduce data analytics advantages. Digitized food manufacturing with enhanced data collection is an avenue for making the most of blockchain technology, sensor networks, and the Internet of Things, which can all contribute to data analysis that can optimize and greatly enhance vital processes.

 

Tasks that can be performed by AMRs in a Food plant

 

Production Flows 

Automated transportation for production processes is popular in many industries. AMRs are a powerful link for production flows because they elevate the flexibility and safety of production lines. They can adapt to any changes easily – for example, whether you wish to add or remove work stations, AMRs can adapt their routes quickly and intelligently, supporting your processes as needed.

Picking 

Many food factories still depend on manual forms of picking. AMRs can be excellent introductions in such facilities because this technology minimizes tedious travel times needed for the process. Instead of a person having to leave their station to move to a shelf and back, the AMR can transport the shelf to any location where its contents are needed.

Our AMRs can thus be part of an automation-supported process of selecting items and fulfilling orders. In supporting picking processes, they remove the need for manual journeys and allow operators to focus on picking and processing in a method called goods-to-person.

If you are looking for superior productivity in your distribution centre, a goods-to-person
solution with robots may be for you. In goods-to-person-processes that adopt AMRs, transit times and picking mistakes are minimized when compared to the person-to-goods option.

Material Handling

Material handling in the food industry traditionally often works with manual transport machinery that can be enhanced by the use of automation in the Food Industry with AMRs. They can offer a wide range of benefits, first and foremost their reliable, flexible, and safe performance. The flexibility of AMRs for material handling is remarkable, as they can easily connect to the data system in a facility and optimize performance according to changing material handling needs.

 

AMR ABB Robotics Skyline for Food Industry

AMR ABB Robotics has extensive domain expertise in the food industry, having served numerous customers from around the world. Our portfolio contains several models of robots that can transform operations in your food plant.

One line of note is our Flexley Mover for loads below 1000kg. This model offers your food plant benefits such as fast and efficient movement of your goods and space maximization. With this range in your food business, you can expect significant improvements in meeting internal pressures for operational flexibility, responsiveness, peak demands, productivity, and safety, and fully automate the delivery of racks, carriers, boxes, or pallets in confined spaces and narrow aisles.

You may also wish to have a closer look at our Flexley Stack for your reception & shipment processes, as well as line and vertical operations. We designed this model for adaptability,
precision, and smart connectivity. Clients who implement this product report increased storage efficiency and reduced costs and risks in their plants. This wide range of AMRs is capable of transporting and storing all types of pallets, empty pallets and containers.

AMR ABB Robotics also offers the Flexley Stack that is known for its great flexibility, suitability for different handling systems, and safe operation. It is an ideal robot for carrying light items between workstations. This line is also designed for supporting auxiliary flows, such as the supply of plastics, cardboard, and other materials. This line offers several different models to meet a range of different industry needs. AMR F203 with natural SLAM navigation technology can autonomously handle trolleys and roll containers up to 250kg payload by lifting them directly from the floor. Common intra-plant logistics applications for this innovative solution are the buffer station to line supply, inter process connection, line supply to buffer and handling the trolley loads to and from the supermarkets with or without rail-guided systems on the floor.

 

 

Would you consider adding a robot to your facility?

AMR ABB Robotics is a leading company working with facilities across a variety of industries on implementing automation solutions. We offer an informative Ebook on how our products suit intralogistics in the modern Food & Beverage industry. Download it here to learn more about the suitability of this technology for easy implementation, instant impact, and enhanced industrial productivity.