Top Robotic Applications In Food Processing

Sep 14, 2023

Read about the most popular robotic applications in food manufacturing and how these processes benefit from automation.

Food man­u­fac­tur­ers focus on either pri­ma­ry or sec­ondary food pro­cess­ing. Pri­ma­ry food pro­cess­ing con­verts raw agri­cul­tur­al goods into con­sum­able food prod­ucts, like butcher­ing meat. Sec­ondary food pro­cess­ing takes the pri­ma­ry food ingre­di­ents and com­bines them to cre­ate new con­sum­ables, like hot­dogs. Food pro­cess­ing is con­stant­ly evolv­ing to be quick­er and more effi­cient to meet increas­ing demands. Automa­tion has sig­nif­i­cant­ly advanced food indus­try appli­ca­tions by increas­ing san­i­ta­tion, increas­ing pro­duc­tion, and improv­ing qual­i­ty. As a result, food man­u­fac­tur­ers turn to automa­tion for butch­ery, pick and place, and palletizing. 

Robot­ic Butch­ery Cut­ting Applications

Butcher­ing requires pre­ci­sion and knowl­edge of the ani­mal’s anato­my to remove all unwant­ed parts and cre­ate the best cuts from the car­cass. Meat and poul­try man­u­fac­tur­ers uti­lize automa­tion to increase cut-effi­cien­cy and prod­uct qual­i­ty. Auto­mat­ic meat pro­cess­ing uses auto­mat­ed tools and pre-pro­grammed out­lines of the ani­mal car­cass to make the appro­pri­ate cuts to meat and remove the bones. 

TIE, the par­ent com­pa­ny to Robots​.com, takes this a step fur­ther, using x‑rays, vision tech­nol­o­gy, and auto­mat­ed machine learn­ing to enhance the robot’s cut accu­ra­cy, recre­at­ing the qual­i­ty of an expe­ri­enced butch­er. TIE’s robot­ic assem­bly line first devel­ops a 3D mod­el of the car­cass and iden­ti­fies where the robot­ic tool will need to cut. The longer the sys­tem runs, the more it will learn and apply when mak­ing cuts to the prod­uct. An exam­ple of TIE’s inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy is its case study on auto­mat­ed lamb bone removal. This break­through would replace the man­u­al labor of mak­ing cuts by hand with an auto­mat­ed machine. Advanced meat automa­tion from com­pa­nies like Scott elim­i­nates excess waste, ensures safe­ty for assem­bly work­ers, increas­es san­i­ta­tion, and improves pro­duc­tion out­put. It is clear why so many meat and poul­try man­u­fac­tur­ers are turn­ing to automa­tion for auto­mat­ic processing. 

Pack­ag­ing Pick and Place Applications

To keep a high stan­dard for qual­i­ty con­trol, food man­u­fac­tur­ers need to sort and pack­age batch­es of prod­ucts quick­ly and effi­cient­ly. Top robot­ic brands have devel­oped their series of robots, specif­i­cal­ly designed for the food indus­try, that allow these man­u­al process­es to be auto­mat­ed. Pick and place robots can use a com­bi­na­tion of vision tech­nol­o­gy and food-spe­cif­ic tool­ing to sort through prod­ucts, putting them in their pack­ag­ing or on a con­vey­or belt. The speed and accu­ra­cy of pick and place robots are unri­valed, del­i­cate­ly han­dling prod­ucts like fish fil­lets at 100 per minute, with­out dam­ag­ing or affect­ing their qual­i­ty. Just nine of these robots in an assem­bly line would pack­age up to 900 fish fil­lets per minute. At the same time, vision soft­ware allows the robots to per­form qual­i­ty con­trol, avoid­ing under­sized or mis­shapen fil­lets. The design of these robots is made to han­dle unpack­aged food with­out con­t­a­m­i­na­tion and with­stand heavy san­i­ta­tion com­pli­ance with food safe­ty stan­dards. The pre­ci­sion and adap­ta­tion of pick and place sys­tems are ide­al for food man­u­fac­tur­ers to keep up with the rapid­ly increas­ing demand for food prod­ucts, mak­ing the appli­ca­tion so pop­u­lar with­in the industry.

Trans­porta­tion and Ship­pingPal­letiz­ing

Pal­letiz­ing is at the end of most man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­duc­tion lines. The food and bev­er­age indus­try is no dif­fer­ent, need­ing pal­letiz­ing to stack and send off goods to be trans­port­ed. These prod­ucts are then shipped domes­ti­cal­ly, inter­na­tion­al­ly, or both. With robot­ic pal­letiz­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers can move prod­ucts at a faster rate with­out the risk of prod­uct dam­age. With the advance­ment of robot­ic grip­pers, even frag­ile prod­ucts can be pal­letized at the end of the line. 

Automa­tion In Food Processing

Food pro­cess­ing sec­tors see rapid growth in the mar­ket, with it being esti­mat­ed to reach $4.1 tril­lion by 2026. In response, robot­ic appli­ca­tions being used in food pro­cess­ing will con­tin­ue to increase as well. For more infor­ma­tion on auto­mat­ed inte­gra­tion, con­tact the experts at Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

Let's talk!

Request your quick quote today.