Recently, food and beverage companies have been taking a closer look at industrial automation technology, and for good reason. As it turns out, there are a series of obstacles these companies face that can be helped, and even prevented, by introducing modern automation to their facilities.
Here’s a look at a few areas where automation can benefit food and beverage companies.
Controlling for quality is a never-ending effort. There’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to manufacturing consumables, making quality control extremely important. And in the case of food and beverage, the focus on quality just has to be there.
Every facility manages quality a little differently. Quality might be the responsibility of a single person, an entire department, or it can be built into the individual tasks performed by employees on-the-line. But those aren't the only options when you’re producing food.
Automation can be built throughout the process to prevent issues — like product inconsistency — from batch to batch. We’ve worked with food and beverage companies and automated quality control processes specific to their product and production.
One thing food and beverage companies never want to come across is issues with contamination. Luckily, contamination can be controlled and eliminated more effectively with the use of automation.
For instance, modernizing heating and cooling processes can ensure the product maintains appropriate temperatures throughout processing. Plus, collecting data during processing can provide answers if contamination does occur, making it possible to identify and eliminate the cause.
Automation, when combined with modern analytics tools, can make tracing products almost completely hands-off. This comes in handy when contaminated product is discovered after being shipped. Using the baked-in analytics, companies can trace exactly which batches were exposed to contamination, find out where they are headed, and intercept them before they ever reach the public.
Another area where automation benefits food and beverage production facilities is when demand is high. Whether a particular product experiences seasonal demand, or hits an unexpected popularity streak, rising to meet consumer demand can put a lot of stress on a facility and its staff.
Oftentimes, facilities meet demand by adding production shifts, approving overtime, and hiring additional workers. But the industry as a whole is experiencing difficulty hiring and retaining employees, making it difficult to increase production. With so many components of the production process able to be automated, custom automation technology can help facilities achieve higher yields without running into staffing issues.
In terms of the benefits automation can bring to the food and beverage industry, this is just the tip of the iceberg. At Knobelsdorff, we’ve built custom automation for numerous customers within the food and beverage industry, and we can do the same for you. Get in touch with an automation expert at Knobelsdorff Engineering to find out how your facility can benefit from integrating modern automation systems into its process.