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How cobots are helping to change the food industry in a better way

Can cobots really help in foodstuff automation?

Let’s dive into this complex topic and find out where cobots can make a difference and what to look for in a robotic gripper.

Introduction

In food production, work is primarily done out on such a large scale, implying that factories would’ve been impossible to meet the amounts of product necessary without automation. Versatile in usage in various applications, the cobot soft gripper may be used to sprinkle bread rolls, detect things, and arrange and box goods. Apparently, employees are more subject to mistakes while working with large amounts of delicate products such as eggs; thus, cobot gripper assist minimizes wastage in food manufacturing.

Robot food grippers are great for food production because they can operate swiftly in settings that are difficult for humans to work in, including high temperatures and toxic chemicals. They also enhance health & wellbeing by reducing the danger of damage and stress on employees by performing repeated activities. Fundamentally, cobot soft gripper is becoming progressively crucial to the food industry in logistics operations since they provide higher uniformity, high quality, and lower risk of spoiling and contamination.

This article is worth reading for anyone interested in future technology and might benefit from a bit of assistance at home. We will undoubtedly assist you in identifying an appealing option for all those who want help at home. In addition, if you have a party, the cobot gripper will perform excellent operations for you.

What are Cobots?

Collaborative robots, often known as “cobots,” are intended to work mainly with people and interact. Cobots aren’t designed to take the place of people; instead, they’re designed to supplement and improve human talents. In general, cobot’s universal grippers or collaborative models are mobile problem solvers. They’re tiny and compact, making them easy to transport about a factory floor or building. Operators may easily transition between jobs once they arrive at their new location thanks to straightforward user interfaces. Most cobots can be trained to do new tasks by directing the arm through a series of steps at the time of necessity. Small and medium-sized businesses will benefit from this versatility. Built-in controls to promote smooth handling are another distinctive characteristic of cobots. These features include customizable settings for creating “zones” of higher or lower speeds, automatic braking, and sensors that halt the device if a finger or other item reaches an unexpected region. Mainly, a cobot helper can boost ergonomics as well as protection. This is highly crucial when employees become older, lack flexibility, and experience the consequences of standing, carrying, and twisting early in the day. It also provides alternatives for expanding the variety of talents and skills required to complete a work, such as training the robotic arm to execute a task, adjusting important parameters on computer data, or performing a job whilst seated. You may expand your industrial staff with any of these skills.
cobot with gripper and controller

Why do you need Cobots for Food Industry?

Cobot Soft Gripper plays a crucial part in helping the food industry in a much better way. Interestingly, instead of completely replacing human employees, cobots are typically integrated into the components of a repetitive or boring process to cause mistakes or harm. Their small size and deft mobility make them ideal helpers for activities requiring small components or delicate positionings, such as those performed by people on work stations and the production line. Examples are:

Several applications are developing in the food sector and assisting employees properly as devices and technology advance. The activities that comprise a person’s employment will alter with each new manner of employing cobot technology. However, there will still be elements of the work that automation equipment cannot accomplish. Universal Robots shows countless instances of collaborative effort in action on its website, including in this instance of the injection molding process and more.

Another important reason for choosing the cobot soft gripper is the enhancement of ROI (Return on Investment). Because they are smaller and need less technical skill and time to install, program, and operate, they are less costly than their giant industrial relatives. Further, you’ll be able to observe the cobot’s immediate influence. When cobot improves your hourly production rate, you will see a rise in revenue or the capacity to complete bulk deals. As an outcome, your income rises, assisting in the immediate offset of the new equipment’s cost and associated expenditures. Lower unavailability due to worker tiredness or injury, chances to evaluate existing processes for inadequacies, and discovering other work cells or divisions from which to reinstall the cobot are all indirect impacts on ROI. All of these factors lead to time and resources savings as well as a positive return on investment.

Cobots In The Midst Of A Pandemic

It has been seen that various industries are badly affected by Covid-19; the food industry is one of them. As the food sector continues to recover from the Coronavirus, it is clear how critical automation and technology are to this process. Just after Coronavirus, the cobot gripper presents a great chance to revolutionize the food industry in a better way. Follow the below steps that let you know how it can help during the pandemic.

Employment in a food factory or on a manufacturing line typically necessitates employees operating machines and doing duties in close vicinity. However, if the requirement for social distance grows, this functioning method will no longer suffice, necessitating the development of an alternative. Because cobots operate alongside people, they encourage social disengagement because fewer employees are needed. They provide a specific option that does not jeopardize productivity in the manner that employee reductions alone might.

After a period of unemployment caused by the epidemic, companies will obviously want to get back jobs done effectively as feasible to make up for the lost time. Better regularity, higher precision, and quicker procedures can be accomplished by utilizing a robot food gripper to augment human work. This is necessary for high-quality output and guarantees that demand increases are fulfilled without being hampered by job losses, illness, or personal mistakes.

Cobots are an automated solution that can be rapidly and easily installed. Manufacturers may employ cobots in a versatile fashion by swiftly reusing them depending on new conditions because setup takes just a few hours. After Covid-19, this flexibility will be crucial since a flexible gripper can be redistributed on multiple manufacturing lines and for varied purposes as needed. Unlike typical robots, cobots are frequently considerably smaller and take extensive less training sessions, allowing for greater flexibility amid difficult times. This adaptability and easiness are great for many sectors, and it might be especially appealing to smaller businesses that have never utilized automation before.

Hygienic gripper for unpacked producs

Cobot revolutionizing the Food industry

The food sector is transforming. Food production continues to increase as the world’s population exceeds 7.5 billion people. Suppliers of food are being pressed to operate more efficiently. Consumers also demand higher-quality, fresh food that is accessible at their comfort.

Autonomous food production might be the answer to addressing growing food demand. The worldwide food processing sector is anticipated to quadruple in size in the next five years, reaching $2.5 billion by 2022. The production of food may be divided into two stages:

Primary processing – include cleaning, sorting, transporting, and blending raw food items. 

Secondary processing – Cooking, roasting, freezing, and other methods are used to mix ingredients to create new food items. 

Because the food is more uniform by then, soft robotics gripper is better suited to secondary processing. On the other hand, Primary processing robots are becoming more common.

For a long time, food processing machines have been used in various sections of the food chain. However, the most recent advancement is the ability to digitize the entire packing process. There are three phases to food packaging:

Individual foods are packed in primary packaging. For instance, a pick-and-place robot food gripper put candy into plastic containers.

Individual products are bundled together in secondary packaging. Now, a flexible gripper arranges the plastic tubs into a more extensive package.

Secondary packages are bundled for transportation in tertiary packaging. A palletizing robot, for example, stacks numerous boxes onto a box.

Robotic packaging is expected to remain one of the most popular applications in the food sector.

Robotic meal service has lately received a lot of attention. Dominos Pizza reported earlier this year that automated driving vehicles would use to deliver pizzas.  Self-driving food delivery may appear to be “simply the newest craze,” which addresses a growing industry demand. There has been a significant increase in demand for dining, home-delivered, precooked meals in recent years. It’s questionable if automated delivery will become commonplace, but our appetite for takeout transforms the food sector.

Factors Influencing Cobot Security and Risk

Collaborative robots are sometimes marketed as “inherently safe.” This generally refers to the constructed safety measures found in most collaborative robot models, making them safer than standard manufacturing robots. The emphasis is on how these robots may be operated without caging or fence and softened edges and corners.

ISO 10218 offers basic mechanical design and production information when developing robots that can perform tasks alongside people. ISO Technical Specification 15066, which was revised in 2016 to meet the latest advances and contemporary technologies, provides more detailed criteria.

In terms of guaranteeing human safety, ISO/TS 15066 identifies four main qualities that make a robot collaborative:

  1. Security monitoring cease (when anything activates the robot’s predefined security parameters, the robot comes to a halt until it is expressly ordered to restart)
  2. Manual guide for coding and “educating” a set of procedures
  3. Checking for speed and distance (i.e. A human’s location can be tracked with sensors, and safety zones may be set.)
  4. Tracking of speed and distance (i.e., sensors are attached to detect a person’s location, and safety zones may be set so that the robot performs at a specific speed within each zone.)
  5. limitation of strength and force (the presence of sensors that decrease the speed and force delivered in the event of a probable collision or force overflow)
Four finger parallel soft gripper

Pros of Cobots

The past few years have seen a steady increase in the manufacturing company’s productivities. Using cobots is one approach to enhance productivity. They are soft robot grippers that work alongside people in a shared environment, such as an office. Here are some of the benefits of cobots :

It takes a lot of effort and expertise to program actions into traditional robots, and they can typically execute only one action. Cobots are easily manageable than the typical industrial robots already in use. Cobots may learn new behaviours by using software and mobile apps that are easy to use. Manually place a cobot in a specific place and store them in the programme is another option you have. The ease with which a cobot may program means that it can be easily integrated into a process, and it can even do multiple jobs.

Installation of the robot usually takes several days before being ready to use. On the other hand,  Installing a cobot takes around half an hour, and with the help of fantastic software.  Moreover, a cobot may accomplish its first work in under an hour. As a result, a cobot may be used as a temporary employee who can do various duties in several sectors.

Cobots are highly precise, as compare to humans.  For instance, cobot soft gripper can perform excellent activities precisely. A cobot will never divert from its course of action and consistently execute tasks with the same strength. 

Unlike robots, cobots are meant to work with humans rather than a substitute for them. Also known as “people-focused robots”, cobots can assist humans in their daily tasks and helping them to improve them. Robots can do dirty, dangerous, tedious, monotonous or repetitive activities, allowing workers to focus on other things. Assembling a product might be done in collaboration with cobot.

Cobots primary objective is to optimize a process. Obtaining the best result with the lowest expenses. In the end, this leads to a superior operational outcome. The cost of setting up and outfitting a cobot is evident, but it pays off in the long term.

Bottom Line:

Cobot soft grippers are productive, adaptable, and cost-effective. While automation and robots have been on the rise lately, the Coronavirus epidemic is hastening this shift as firms seek to minimize downtime while maintaining production and quality. Collaborative robots with modern technology have unrivalled sensory skills, allowing them to be aware of the people, place, and context around them. As a collaborative technology, cobots are designed to operate alongside people safely and productively. In recent years Collaborative robots are becoming increasingly prevalent as more businesses adopt automation and artificial intelligence. In short, we have put together the above guide to understand how cobots are transforming the food industry into better way.

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