The demand for efficient packing automation is growing as the food industry continues to evolve. Not only does this technology allow producers to improve productivity, but it also makes food processing safer for employees.
Still, how can you be sure that packing automation is right for your business? With so many machines on the market, it can be difficult to decide what you need.
Read on as our technicians at TDI Packsys help you explore your options by going over the importance of using automated food packaging equipment.
Understanding Automation for Food Packaging
Food packaging automation streamlines the packing process by using industrial robots to sort and seal items at high speeds. In the past, most food processing businesses relied on dozens of human workers to complete these tasks. Now, companies can increase production output while saving money on manual labor costs.
We can categorize the food packaging process into two phases: the primary packaging phase and the secondary packaging phase. The first phase secures raw food products, and the second seals them in branded bags or containers for distribution.
Collaborative robots use vision-guided technology to carefully and quickly pack products without damaging food integrity. In fact, automated systems improve food safety by removing human error that can lead to contamination and worker injury on the production line.
Types of Automated Food Packaging
Manufacturing companies develop and maintain various forms of automation equipment. Some businesses use one or multiple machines in their facilities. Let’s take a look at some of these food automation solutions.
Vacuum packaging machines use robotics to minimize the amount of air around food products and use heat to seal the container. Depending on their preferences, many manufacturers use transparent wrappings so customers can see the quality of the food while shopping.
Food packers often use the vacuum seal method on products like lunch meat.
Vertical Form-Fill-Seal Machines
This packaging system allows operators to prepare food for distribution within seconds. Vertical form-fill-seal machines create a long plastic tube of packaging into which the product falls. The machine then seals and separates the packaging from the rest of the plastic.
Technology like this is ideal for companies that don’t want to waste or contaminate products unnecessarily by shipping their products to other packaging facilities.
Checkweighers are essential to food packaging operations. These systems measure the weight of each product that passes through the packaging line. Food processing industry standards require some products to weigh a certain amount before distribution.
If the checkweigher finds a discrepancy, the system will alarm; optional reject mechanisms can be integrated for automatic product removal. Checkweighers use a complex internal algorithm to measure items quickly. This advantage prevents companies from wasting time recording each product manually during the food packaging process.
Cap Inspection Machines
The packing industry uses cap inspection machines to ensure that the tops of containers have a proper seal. Some automation machines specialize in a particular type of capping method, like corks or twist-off metal caps.
A business can enhance the capping process with state-of-the-art cap inspection systems. This technology will identify loose or broken caps and prevent them from entering distribution.
Benefits of Using an Automated Food Packaging Machine
The packaging industry relies on robotics to eliminate many of the safety risks associated with manual food packaging. Workers do not need to spend as much time operating heavy equipment, and consumers do not need to worry about inadequate seals.
Moreover, robots are cost-effective and help reduce downtime on the job site. The company will not lose out on profit when employees take breaks. Furthermore, these solutions eliminate the need for expensive, additional workers.
Which Machine Is Right For Your Business?
Choosing the right equipment for your business depends on the food and beverage products you produce. Ask yourself if you need a machine that packages plastic trays, baggies, or containers.
Furthermore, consider the space you have in your facility for such equipment. Some robots require more room to operate, like tertiary packaging machines that bundle large quantities of products for shipment.
Speaking to professionals from a reliable robotics company will help. These experts will assess your space and expectations and offer recommendations.
Compete in the Food and Beverage Industry
Fast-paced food production can be challenging if you don’t own the right packing technology. Speak to us at TDI Packsys about your system pain points, and we can help specify high-quality packing equipment, so you can begin increasing your output.
Additionally, take advantage of some of the best inspection technology on the market. Our x-ray and vision systems help you catch defective products before they go out.