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Food Manufacturers Top Two Improvement Priorities

Operational improvements that impact food manufacturers the most continue to focus on automation and robotics.

Automation and Robotics are Top Two Operational Improvements for Food Manufacturers
Automation and Robotics are Top Two Operational Improvements for Food Manufacturers

According to “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing,” when looking at developments in operational improvement data over the last two years, automation installations retained the leading position, with more than half of food manufacturers using automation to fill gaps in worker availability.

Robotics rose to the second position on the list with 2 in 5 food companies deploying robotics currently, compared to 1 in 5 companies two years ago.

Said one Packaging System Development Engineer, “Installing more robotics depends on each business model, the line, the product, and the plant; we need greater involvement from our suppliers with robotics integration. “

Cost justification is the greatest obstacle to implementing more automation and robots, with 36% of respondents mentioning it. Lack of technical skills at 22%, and the need for more training at 14% are also considerations.

A related recommendation regarding robotic installation and integration services is to build a value proposition that includes a comprehensive ROI. With regard to training using augmented reality, food manufacturers would like to see intuitive enhanced reality tools and training for machine operators in all areas of the plant.

A focus on OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) also made the top five on the list of operational improvements, rising from 18% a few years ago to 32% today. See OpX OEE guidelines here.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing”

Download the FREE Executive Summary below, or PMMI Members can download the entire report here.

Make plans to visit PACK EXPO East in Philadelphia, March 3-5, to see on-trend food processing and packaging machinery and materials.

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