eBook: Efficient Operations: Propelling the Food Automation Market

May 7, 2024
For industrialized food production sectors, the megatrends of sustainable practices, digitalization and demand for skilled employees are underpinned by rising adaptability of automation, the need to stay competitive and safety. These go hand-in-hand when analyzing the next wave of automation, industrial robot applications and the requisite ecosystem of components needed to propel industries forward.

At least one in three CEOs of large food manufacturers in the U.S. are investing in robotics and artificial intelligence, and investment in highly automated production plants is climbing, too. That’s according to ING analysts, who noted that robot density is expected to rise to about 135 per 10,000 employees in the U.S. by 2025. Their estimates on operational stocks peg industrial robots in food manufacturing in the U.S. as ranging between 23,500 and 32,000 by 2025.

Robot density—the number of operational industrial robots relative to the number of employees—is one way to measure growth. As a point of comparison, we can look to estimates from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Global average robot density amounted to 151 robots installed per 10,000 employees, according to the World Robotics 2023 report.

How does a manufacturer stay competitive when the prospect of making large-scale changes such as investing in capital equipment is daunting?

Even the best approaches to bolstering future plans are constrained by internal barriers, such as updating processes, becoming versatile through automation and refining people and culture strategies. Technical advancements—ranging from soft robotics for robot gripping to AI-based automation—persist as key developments in food automation and bring efficiencies in unparalleled ways.

To compete in the current market, keep sight of the view ahead with two simple questions in mind: What trends matter most to the industry? And, what are the big moves needed for the long term success? 

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