Today’s customers want food that tastes good, is healthy, sustainable and of good quality. In addition, they should cost as little as possible. This combination of requirements poses major challenges for companies in the food industry.
Many companies have to make serious changes to their production in order to meet these requirements and offer food at a lower price.
Cobots, collaborative robots, are essential in this step. They are an important component of the so-called Industry 4.0 and help companies automate production.
The benefits for the food industry of efficient manufacturing are lower costs, greater attractiveness for employees and overall improved competitiveness.
Achieve higher quality with cobots
Production conditions in the food industry are often very challenging. Ambient temperatures can be very high, but also very low. For employees, these conditions pose a clear health risk. For cobots, however, places with these conditions are the ideal application area.
Another important aspect is the hygienic requirements in the food industry. The cobots from Universal Robots have cleanroom approval and are therefore ideally suited for use under the highest hygienic requirements.
The flexibly deployable collaborative robots result in an increase in output while at the same time reducing the workload of employees. The new robot colleague gladly takes over repetitive and ergonomically unfavorable tasks.
Cobots work hand in hand with your employees
There are many possible applications for cobots in the food industry. One important example is palletizing. As the food industry responds to the increasing number of single-person households with smaller packaging sizes, more palletizing is now required. In addition, this has to be done quickly and precisely. Cobots are particularly well suited for packaging and palletizing. They usually work alongside your employees without protective fences or enclosures. Should there ever be a collision with an employee, the robot switches off immediately.
How are food manufacturers using cobots?
Atria Scandinavia is one of the leading manufacturers of convenience products for vegetarians and gourmets in Northern Europe. The manufacturer supplies retailers and wholesalers around the clock.
In production they rely on two UR5 robots and one UR10 robot. This allows them to keep downtime to a minimum.
The cobots from Universal Robots help with packaging, palletizing and labeling of the various specialties. Overall, the use of the cobots with their extremely high repeatability results in 25% less material waste in the packaging department. In addition, the entire production is optimized.
Technical Manager Johnny Jansson is enthusiastic about the uncomplicated use of the cobots: “Previously, it took six hours to switch to a different product. With the UR robots, we can switch within 20 minutes.”
But Atria Scandinavia is not the only one to have had this positive experience. COVAP also uses a UR10 Cobot in its plant for original Iberian ham products. The cobot places plastic trays on the packaging line. This has sped up the entire packaging process without sacrificing product quality. In addition, working conditions improved and the investment paid for itself in just 16 months.
Cascina Italia also uses cobots in production. There, cobots prepare transport boxes for large orders. This relieves the staff of a strenuous task. At the end of the 24 production lines is a UR5 cobot that places 1.5 million eggs in egg cartons every day.
The key to more flexibility, adaptability and versatility is certainly automation with collaborative robots.
Universal Robots’ cobots can be quickly integrated into diverse production lines. If you want to increase your productivity and competitiveness, learn more about cobots here. Feel free to arrange a cobot demo, then you can see for yourself.