Collaborative robots market finds use in the food industry
Robotics is a result of automation, which has penetrated numerous industries. Like the other industries, even the food supply chain has started using robotics due to the various advantages offered by these solutions. For instance, in the food industry, there are several automated products such as robot butchers, pizza-baking manipulators, and cake decorators. Also, robots can handle packaging of products such as creams, milk, lettuce, and cakes. Besides packaging, the robotic food manufacturing trend is also on the rise. Moreover, there are predictions that the value of the global food automation industry is believed to rise shortly.
Here, you will get to know the various signs of progress and advancements of collaborative robots market in the food industry in multiple aspects such as packaging, processing, and manufacturing. While it was harder to automate the manufacturing and agriculture processes, it has become possible with the recent advancements.
Collaborative robots market is changing the food industry
Agriculture is the foundation of the food industry. The precision agriculture industry plays a huge part in the food industry. With the advancement in technology, agricultural drones are deployed to handle identifying, sorting and planting seedlings. There are autonomous tractors, harvesting robots, and weeding robots as well. These cobots are also used in non-plant agriculture such as
- Dairy and poultry farming
- Egg collection and sorting
- Autonomous milking and feeding
- Autonomous cleaning
Automated food manufacture is believed to be the key to tackle the increasing food demand. The food manufacturing process is split into primary and secondary processing. Of these, robotics find use in secondary processing that involves combining ingredients to form new products by baking, cooking, chilling, etc.
Robotic food delivery is also increasing these days, and it uses drones to deliver pizzas. It is seen to be the latest fad in the food industry right now as there is a massive increase in demand for home-delivered and ready-to-eat food.
Collaborative robots market trends in food manufacturing
Talking about food manufacturing, the primary processing involves cleaned, sorted and packaged food products. The raw vegetables undergo primary processing before being packaged whereas the other food items undergo secondary food processing. With recent developments, cobots with soft gripping and sensing are used to handle raw foods. When it comes to picking and placing fruits and vegetables, it is quite challenging, but cobots handle the task delicately without causing any damage.
In the food industry, cutting and slicing tasks are also automated with the implementation of automation. While a food processor can handle simple tasks, more advanced slicing and cutting are handled by cobots. Before the evolution of robotics, these tasks were handled by the human workforce.
The other progressing application in the food industry is robotic cake decoration. It involves the use of a robotic arm to pipe icing onto cakes. Even cake cutting is automated and done robotically. It is used to cut intricate shapes in cakes with the help of high-pressure water.
Robotic food processing can reduce the involvement of human workers. Robot manufacturers have been striving hard to make robot casings smoother so that it is easy to clean them thoroughly. This allows them to be washed thoroughly at the end of the processing task.
Food packaging applications of collaborative robots market
Food packaging is one of the critical applications of robotics. The involvement of the collaborative robots market makes packaging uniform and simpler. The use of collaborative robots is a popular solution to pack products. They can identify, align and place products with the pick and place action. In the primary packaging process, raw and processed food products will be wrapped. The packages will vary in terms of size and shape based on the food item that is getting wrapped. With robots, it is done properly along with quality analysis.
One of the challenging tasks is de-molding a cake as it is tricky. Mass produced baked goods will be baked in large pans. This is where robotics comes to play as it removes products from pans with a specialized depanning tool. Small pins or vacuum grasp the baked products. The other common packaging tasks that are handled by collaborative robots are boxing, denesting, palletizing and warehousing.