More than ever, food and beverage processing construction companies are using robotics technology because it provides a slew of benefits. These benefits include lower food production costs, a higher food production output and an increase in food safety. If you choose to use robots for your food manufacturing operation, you should follow the five best practices for using robotics technology in a food processing plant listed below.
1. Equip your robots with grippers. It is essential for robots to use grippers when handling meat, cookies, bags of sugar and bags of flour because meat is generally greasy, cookies have the tendency to crumble and bags containing flour or sugar are often dusty.
2. Be diligent about preventing cross contamination. It is unsanitary to prepare foods that have residue from other foods that were handled with grippers. After your robots use grippers to handle cookies containing nuts, fully clean the grippers before letting your robots handle cookies that do not have nuts.
3. Use robots in pairs. One reason you must do this is that it will keep you from having to shut down a production line if one of the robots unexpectedly has to be repaired. Another is that it will extend the life span of your robots as a result of them being used at half of their full capacity and requiring less maintenance.
4. Consider the likelihood of getting a return on investment from using a robotic system. The fewer food products you make, the more cost effective it is to have a manual or mechanical packing operation instead of a robotic packing operation. If you do not make multiple products, it would be inefficient to use a robotic system. If you have a wide variety of foods to produce, it would make sense to use a robotic system.
5. Think safety first before letting robots handle large materials. Only robots that meet certain specifications should handle this task. Laborers who work around robots are likely to get hurt if the robots mishandle one of the heavy bags of food. Factor in how much higher the injury rate of your workers would be if they worked alongside robots. Also, the robots must not be used beyond their maximum weight capacity. For example, if the maximum weight a robot is designed to handle is 60 pounds, you should not use it to handle a package of food that weighs 90 pounds.
If you need more help with your food processing facility, we at Todd Construction Services are experts in food processing facility construction and we can answer any of your questions you might have. You can always call us at (800) 591-2535 or fill out the form on your right and we’ll respond to you ASAP.