As we have entered the 21st century there has notably been a rapid increase and greater abundance of technology being used and seen all around us in our waking lives. Whether it’s through our leisure time of scrolling through our phones or technologies used to help support a business, humanity has become so ever increasingly and importantly reliant on machinery.
The confectionery industry is no different, over recent years especially there has been as sharp increase in the number of production companies utilising machinery and robotics to bolster confectionery creation, product control and packaging. With statistic suggesting that 1/3 of all food operations are now being conducted by robotics, and with consumer demands becoming ever growing alongside the impacts of COVID-19 – robots may be our only way for the confectionery industry to survive.
With this information outlined, it’s time to assess the different cutting-edge solutions and new gadgets being created and why these robotics are necessary now in a post COVID-19 and climate aware society. Industry response to this robotic influence is also paramount in gaining an understanding to the potential benefits and maybe even downfalls of relying on technology for our future.
So what developments are occurring?
One of the main robotic developments occurring within the industry is with regards to how goods are being packaged. Originally, food products were usually handled by workers as they were pivotal in individually packaging and wrapping confectionery items. However, many issues arose from this type of food packaging system. With population sizes increasing leading to greater confectionery demands, the food market had to respond to this competition. Food manufacturing prices are sensitive, meaning that because of the cost of a workforce alongside the lack of efficiency to meet the demands, business owners have had to find alternatives. Not only that, COVID-19 has meant that packaging and food handling needs to be more hygienic than ever, and human contact with food production causes a danger which can be eradicated by robotic intervention.
Companies such as Syntegon have responded to this demand quickly with the introduction of Syntegon Pick and Place Platform RRP. The Syntegon’s Pick and Place Platform was recently developed to promote cleanliness and greater efficiency. Other companies such as Schubert and Cavanna also have become more innovative in creating more agile Pick and Place Platforms. A Pick and Place Platform is a type of robotic technology that picks up any food item, whether it be biscuits, chocolates or candy, and places them into any section of the machine, whether it’s placing them onto a belt to be wrapped or to be placed in a container. These types of machines are becoming more popular, and it is estimated that use of Pick and Place platforms will triple within the next ten years.
Read the full article in our Novmeber-December issue here: International Confectionery (pagesuite-professional.co.uk)
Editor, International Confectionery
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