The Future, Past, and Present of The Automation in the Food Industry

The Automation in the Food Industry

The food industry is the one industry we can’t do without. This automation process has been around for many decades, and the business is still going strong year after year. There is no other option than eating. I should clarify that I am not in the food industry, but I am selling equipment to food processing plants. Therefore, my comments are more tech-focused than food-focused.

We see that food processing plants are thriving in an industry that is growing year after year. This means that we need to find ways to reduce costs. Most food processing companies don’t believe that lowering the quality of their products is the best way to reduce costs. Food companies, just like other industries, are looking for ways to increase productivity in their plants through the use of automation. Food packaging automation is everywhere today in modern food plants, whether it’s in the actual processing or else.

To show my age, I can recall watching “I Love Lucy” when I was younger. Lucille Ball worked in a chocolate factory for one episode. She was responsible for picking up the candy from the machine and wrapping it on paper. She was wrapping one piece of chocolate every five seconds, which was a good start. Soon, she couldn’t keep up with the pace, and the chocolates began to fall on the ground. She was also eating the product she couldn’t wrap, which caused a huge mess and cost the company a lot in lost product. Everything that could go wrong did.

Food processing and packaging today are so different. The efficiency standard has been raised. Food packaging automation has replaced humans where they were once common. Industry decision-makers know that plant systems must constantly evolve to meet consumer requirements/demands. This can mean upgrading or buying new equipment. This can be difficult when the fixed cost and cost per square foot for a food plant are so high. Although the decisions about how to proceed are not easy, they aren’t difficult.

A modern food processing and packaging facility will have a wide range of machinery, including automated ovens, cutting machines, sortation equipment mixers and blenders, filling equipment, and wrapping equipment. Automating the food industry is necessary and for the restaurant business and commercial kitchens to meet the requirements of quality control, productivity, labor shortages, and overall profitability.

The Automation in the Food Industry

For all the same reasons that we moved from the “I Love Lucy” era production line to today’s modern methods, you can expect more automation at the food processing factory floor in the future. Expect to see faster adoption of new, sensor-enabled automated equipment. Manufacturers are aware of the challenges and are constantly developing innovative products to automate all processes.

Food processing jobs will shift from manual labor where workers work on conveyors picking, sorting, and packing food items to operator monitors who keep an eye on quality control, equipment efficiency, speed, and overall performance. The food industry cannot operate in the dark. It will always need human intervention.

The shortage of labor in the food processing sector will remain a major challenge. This will drive even greater automation.

While automation will not replace humans, it will increase the skills needed to keep pace with technological advances. To meet machinery production requirements, new skills will be required of food processing workers.

The Automation in the Food Industry

Automation has made its way into every sphere of the food industry, regardless of what product it is or how it is packaged. Automation on the plant floor is good for the food processing sector, as it keeps costs low and improves food quality.