About one-tenth of the food-sector jobs in the US are expected to be replaced with automation tools and software by 2025. Food and beverage conferences 2018 say that the labor-intensive environment of this industry will soon be transformed with higher levels of automation.
While food manufacturers have long looked at automating their processes, artificial intelligence technology has also found its way into the packaging segment of the industry.
Packaging is claimed to be among the most important steps in food processing in all international conference on food processing and is an important point of discussion.
It is deemed highly important in maintaining the food items consumable by preventing contamination and spoilage. The packaging also has aesthetic value. Along with all these qualities, it is also crucial to remember that the packaging must have a very minuscule contribution to the cost of the end-product.
Will technology be able to preserve all these qualities of the traditional methods?
Robot-assisted packaging and its reliability
Conferences on food processing and packaging, as previously mentioned, often discuss and state the importance of tamper resistance, compliance with food safety regulations and low costs of the packaging materials and process. Traditional approached have been fulfilling these requirements but not as great as they must.
Another reason why the conventional methods actually require a change is that demand is increasing. Production time needs to be decreased to be able to serve this demand effectively. Moreover, with newer materials being adopted, there must be processes that suit them and also keep a check on their safety and suitability for the food item being packed.
In this context, robot-assisted packaging, or in general, all automation processes are much more reliable than the current-day methods. This is because the functioning of robots can be constantly monitored, processes can be linked, and there can be a single point of control. Such better-optimized process will allow the recognition of problems in real-time and there will be no delays.
The benefits of integrating technology with food processing
A food processing conference in Czech Republic 2018 will address the key trends of the present day and the plethora of benefits that can be reaped by integrating technology in the food processing sector. The key points of consideration include
- Lowered costs
In the world of rising utility costs and soaring raw material prices, it is definitely not economical to pay a few hundred employees for a job. The neck-to-neck competition that companies face today, cost-cutting becomes important as a pricing strategy. With automation, a single robot can perform tasks for longer hours and redundancy will be seen to decline.
- Better replication ability
Humans are prone to err. But with machines working as programmed, replicating packaging becomes easy. This is particularly important when most consumer goods today are mass-produced.
- Improved raw material traceability
Automated data capture and software systems to track components from raw materials to finished assembly reduces wastage and improves the efficiency of various processes.
However, it is a formidable challenge for robots to handle multi-ingredient food items to check their quality and integrity along with testing each component for their ability to react to the packaging material. Machine sanitation becomes important with automation which is another labor-intensive process.
Such problems are expected to be resolved in food science conferences 2018.