Innovations in food production: The smart fut...
Innovations in food production

The smart future of meat and protein processing

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
Only three per cent of robots are sold to the food industry. Therefore, the degree of automation is still low compared to other sectors, and there is much room for improvement.
Only three per cent of robots are sold to the food industry. Therefore, the degree of automation is still low compared to other sectors, and there is much room for improvement.

GERMANY, Frankfurt am Main. Shortage of skilled workers, increasing product diversity and changing consumer behaviour pose significant challenges for the meat and protein industry.

The importance of an efficient and economical process chain that ensures product quality and safety is ever-growing. Digitalisation and process automation offer solutions. Innovative technologies such as AI, robotics and cloud computing open new opportunities for industrial manufacturing. Meat products require special handling and precision in processing and production. Where people reach their limit, automated solutions and digital processes offer advantages, especially since qualified workers are hard to find. Consequently, automation and digitalisation are essential topics at IFFA 2022.

A look into the future: the smart factory

Developments in automation and digitalisation are happening very quickly. At the top stands the smart factory, a digitised intelligent production facility that operates largely autonomously. Technological innovations connect people, applications, and machinery (Internet of Things) while enabling machines to analyse data and to learn, adapt, and create corresponding actions. Therefore, the smart factory increases process efficiency and cost-effectiveness and improves the overall effectiveness of the facility while complying with strict quality and food safety requirements. However, most meat and protein processing facilities are just starting to incorporate the possibilities of the smart factory concept in their manufacturing process.

Increasing requirements for food safety and quality control

Only three per cent of robots are sold to the food industry. Therefore, the degree of automation is still low compared to other sectors, and there is much room for improvement. Legal requirements to ensure food safety and traceability have become so demanding and complex that automated inspection systems are being applied, for example, to check barcodes or products for foreign objects and reduce risks of human error. The automated processes work quickly and precisely and remain reliable over a long period. The inspection systems range from simple sensors to intelligent, i.e. self-learning camera systems. This is where automation and digitalisation merge.

Source: Messe Frankfurt

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