Robotics is the new way to get ahead in the food industry. This article talks about some of the most common ways that restaurants and grocery stores are using robots, as well as how their use (instead of human labor) can benefit food businesses and consumers.
The conventional wisdom goes something like this: with a workforce declining in numbers, machines will be necessary to harvest crops, churn out products, and fill orders. Well, that’s not exactly the case.
Automated equipment has been used in the food industry for decades. With advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, these machines are becoming smarter every year. There have been numerous developments that will alter the food industry.
In the beginning, automated equipment was used to free up human labor, but this method of production has become outdated. Robots are now becoming a more efficient alternative to humans. Ready-to-use food processing equipment can help companies reduce operating costs, increase food safety, and improve product quality.
According to UBS’s Food & Beverage Robotics: Technology and Expectations for the Future report, 5% of restaurants are using robots for their operations.
Here are the top 5 ways how Robotics is changing the food industry
Artificial intelligence is already used to improve efficiency and predictability. Food technology companies use artificial intelligence to optimize production lines, increase the shelf-life of products, and boost efficiency.
Robots that can learn through self-learning – As robots become smarter, they will also become more autonomous. As per an Artificial Intelligence development company, they will be capable of changing and adapting to their experiences and surroundings.
Changing the food manufacturing
When food producers use automated machinery, they can enjoy advantages like increased capacity, quicker production, increased safety, and lower energy costs.
For example, manufacturers are using automated equipment for mixing dough. It produces the ideal consistency quickly and without inconsistency. This method is more precise than hand mixing.
Another significant advancement in robotics is the automatic insertion of flavoring into chocolate pieces. Along with being precise and accurate, it also cuts down on human error and waste by up to 80%. Such robotics and types of machinery are managed and operated by applications.
Robotics in Food Packaging
Final packaging filling and nesting of smaller packs into larger packs can both be done by robots. Automation is used in the food industry to process a lot of data that can be easily accessed and analyzed. This speeds up processes, reduces product errors, and increases efficiency.
Vision-guided systems can use a machine vision camera to evaluate the quality of products by detecting color consistency, size proportion, shape, and texture. This data can then be used for predictive maintenance and process control. Drones are playing a key role in the changing environment of the modern food supply chain.
Food delivery by robots
Robotics can assist food producers by automating the process to deliver food in a more effective, timely, and economical manner. Examples include automatic sorting, packing, labeling, and distribution of perishable food.
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Consumers are looking for convenience and speed when they order food. Most consumers are willing to pay more for their food if it is delivered faster, especially if it is delivered during off-peak hours. For example, many consumers in the U.S. order online instead of going through a counter to pick up their orders at restaurants and grocery stores.
Robots can be used to deliver food or small products so that they can be placed on the table by waiters. This removes the need for human labor and improves efficiency. Waiters and waitresses at three-star hotels have been replaced by automated voice-based systems.
Food manufacturers can improve product quality, increase shelf-life and eliminate contamination with robots. Food inspection has become a tedious task that requires manual and subjective testing. Using robotics can reduce the time it takes to complete tasks such as product inspection, grading, packaging, and labeling.
The use of cooking robots is becoming increasingly common in China, Japan, and Korea. A robot chef named Brigadier General is one of the best examples. It has been used to cook for the royal family in Saudi Arabia and the Japanese Imperial family.
The cooking robot has also been used to manage other tasks, including grilling and frying. Meals prepared by the Brigadier General robot will always be accurate and consistent in terms of temperature, texture, and flavor. It is capable of doing so while using the same amount of oil and producing the same results every time.
In the future, robots will be able to cook more complex meals with more ingredients by recognizing more complicated recipes as well as different types of food products.
Robotics in agriculture
Robotics can help farmers improve productivity and safety. It can also help to provide a more efficient way to save time, increase yields, and increase labor efficiency during harvest.
Robots are used to improve labor logistics and accuracy in agriculture. They can be used for spraying pesticides, collecting fertilizer in containers, and weeding. They are also useful for planting an area by using GPS or laser technology, which is accurate and precise. In addition, it often helps with harvesting crops such as rice fields or row crops on farms.
Robotics can help farmers improve productivity and safety. It can also help to provide a more efficient way to save time, increase yields, and increase labor efficiency during harvest. Automatic equipment that is used in crop farming includes tractors, harvesters, sprayers, and irrigation systems.
The application of robotics in the food industry may present some obstacles. The advantages it offers to both consumers and businesses, however, make these difficulties manageable.
These roadblocks may include:
- Training employees in new technologies can be a challenge
- Businesses must develop a strategy to overcome employees’ fear of losing their jobs to robots.
- Employees need training and education on how robotics can make their jobs easier and more efficient.
- The development of infrastructure around the new technologies will be necessary for robotics to have a substantial impact on the food industry.
As technology has advanced, so too has automation in the food industry. In factories and kitchens across the nation, robotic processes can increase output and efficiency while lowering costs and raising safety. So, if you are interested to proceed on and learn more about the same, then you should connect with Artificial Intelligence solutions providers. They would assist you with best of their knowledge.