The application of automation & robotics has financially benefited several industries. It is only recently that awareness on advantages of automation in food industry has been increasing. In this context, few important aspects are worthy of special mention.
- Bringing in automation & robotics will not eliminate the need for laborers. On the contrary, the former will significantly enhance productivity of the latter.
- Automation renders yeomen service in timely detection of flaws, thus facilitating the plants in initiating prompt remedial measures.
- Robotics & automation enables product trace-ability in all stages and, this is a highly important element in food processing.
- Automation will prevent the workers from undertaking tasks that greatly endanger their well-being.
The worldwide sector of food processing automation is segregated based upon type of products, precise functions and exact applications. To elaborate further, rotary products, motor controls and linear products, etc. are few of the above product types. In the same manner, processing, palletizing and sorting & grading are few examples of the functions. Similarly, beverages, dairy, meat & poultry and fruits & vegetables, among others, are some of the aforesaid applications.
- It is being projected that there is going to a substantial rise on the food processing plants/units relying on automation. The related sector (food processing automation) is thus likely to register a growth of roughly 15 percent over the subsequent two years, globally.
- It has been observed that, almost 40 percent of investments in food processing automation are driven by the primary goal to minimize cost of labor.
- The cost of bringing in automation and robotics in food processing is expected to decrease to a significant extent. This is because; there is going to be a marked increase in the total production of the industry (automation & robotics for food sector), courtesy the endeavors of several big players.
- Discrete controller systems, programmable logic controller, distributed control system and human machine interface, etc. are few forms of automation that will be in great use, over next five years.
- It has been mentioned earlier that there is now added emphasis on the vital aspect of food quality & safety. Consequently, the industry providing services of testing food for safety will display a phenomenal growth in next couple of years.
Global food automation sector – market predictions: Some zone-wise predictions for the global food automation sector are:
- It is expected that over the next five years, Europe is going to be the leading region of the World, in terms of growth of the food processing automation industry. This is because; the regulations pertinent to quality and safety of foods are likely to become more stringent than ever before.
- The North American sector providing services/products of food automation & robotics will grow in an exceptional way, with USA being the major contributor. The strict approach of agencies like FDA (Food and Drug Administration), towards consumer safety and product quality, shall boost the development of this industry.
- The same favorable picture is predicted for the markets in the Asia Pacific zones. Here, there will be a striking augmentation in the entities involved in food processing and, this shall escalate the demand for automation & robotics.