Modern food manufacturing facilities face unique challenges in today’s unprecedented marketplace. Businesses owners are under constant pressure as they juggle FDA regulations, legal compliance, labor shortage, and supply chain disruptions.
Despite these obstacles, companies focused on reducing costs while increasing profits are turning to automated solutions to relieve these pressures. Automating manufacturing facilities, across all industries, is a singularly proven approach to enhancing traceability, increasing efficiency, and accuracy while ensuring uninterrupted regulatory compliance.
While food manufacturing plants have relied upon automation for quite some time, small and medium-sized businesses are looking into it now more than ever. Most companies understand they must increase automation at the facilities over the next decade to remain competitive. Yet many still struggle with finding a good place to start, even questioning, “where industrial automation companies near me”?
Partnering with automation and integrated control systems experts like EzSoft in Pennsylvania is a great way to begin navigating the complex terrain of implementing automated procedures. They work with their clients by performing a comprehensive analysis of your operation to expose any vulnerabilities and understand the concise problems that require immediate solutions. Their specialized staff assists with product and tool selection to ensure you are finding the right industrial automation solutions for your unique manufacturing facility.
Automated solutions enhance nearly every stage of the food and beverage production process. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways automation can benefit your food manufacturing company now:
Unlike human operators, automation works around the clock with only occasional work stoppages for maintenance to drastically reduce your facility’s downtime. Additionally, mechanized processes unfailingly outperform manual procedures, often by tenfold. Not only is your production line more efficient, but valuable data collection from your facility improves drastically as well.
These data can improve line procedures and stay on top of critical maintenance. Predictive maintenance takes advantage of real-time data to isolate specific issues and alert operators before something goes wrong. These tools help realize substantial costs savings by reducing production downtime.
Enhanced traceability and better visibility
The most efficient food and beverage operations can trace products in real-time, end-to-end, from any connected location in the world. This is vital to food safety and brand protection because it permits operators to collect and destroy contaminated and recalled goods before making their way on retailer shelves. Furthermore, automated technology allows you to track products in every phase, from processing to distribution and all the way to the racks of merchandisers. Should a problem with a specific batch order arise, operators can identify and isolate that exact shipment before the products are retrieved to avoid brand reputation issues.
The live-time data supplied by automated tracking software ensures accuracy so the food manufacturers always stay in legal and regulatory compliance. Similarly, detecting issues downstream in the supply chain guarantees consistent quality control, site safety, and cost savings.
Brand consistency and protection
A company’s brand is the primary means of communicating its mission and identity with its customers. Most businesses depend on brand recognition for customer retention and projecting future business. Given that customers expect to repeat the same experience again and again, at each brand interaction, product accuracy and consistency are vital. Food items must possess the same shape, texture, taste, and flavor, among other qualities, throughout every consumer experience.
While automating production line processes is one the best ways manufacturers can ensure consistency, it also helps lessen several common risks. The more humans come in contact with foods, the more susceptible to they are to cross-contamination. Because automated equipment is doing most of the work, food production requires significantly less human interaction.
Better site safety
Industrial automation solutions reduce human exposure to repetitive and hazardous tasks. Roles that require picking up heavy items and long shifts of monotonous and repetitive motion tasks are easily replaceable by robots and other automated equipment. Subsequently, operators are at less risk for workplace injury. Automation allows you to allocate these human resources to areas that add more value toward carrying out core business functions.
Quality control assurance
Few considerations are more important to food and beverage manufacturing than optimizing quality and control. Safe products are vital to upholding a stellar brand reputation. Industrial automation solutions reduce the potential for cross-contamination, but they also lower the chance of human process errors to ensure final product outcomes are consistently the same.
Automated machinery and software elevate your facility’s capacity for mass-reproducibility while, at the same time, allowing for early detection of problems that could prospectively impact the quality of your goods. To better serve their customers, companies must be both efficient and safe. Integrated automated equipment implemented in several key areas consistently improves accuracy, efficiency, sanitation, and quality for the best possible product outcome.
Why automate your packing process?
Food packing companies need a consistent packaging process that can operate at high-cycle rates. Human operators simply can keep with today’s sheer volume of packing attributable to unprecedented consumer demand. Companies that can scale up into robotics and automated software solutions for their packing lines only benefit from enhanced throughput, safety, and efficiency. Automating packing processes is typically one of the quickest areas to realize a high return on investment.
With the expanding popularity and presence of e-commerce, packaging has become increasingly complex. Requests for varied pack counts and oversized packaging are increasing exponentially. Automation is much more efficient at handling these items and completing repetitive tasks such as bin picking and tray loading, alike.
New automated technology for food packaging emerges continually. As more and more companies adopt it, automated solutions are not just a luxury -they are the tools you need to assure lasting success.
Choose EzSoft for your automated industrial solutions
Regardless of which food product you manufacture, EzSoft has the right inventory control products and tools for your facility. To learn more, dial (484) 568-5040 to connect with a dedicated client relationship specialist now.