8 Automation Trends In The Food Packaging Industry

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Utilising automation not only focuses on speeding up the process but also helps in achieving consistency, safety, and traceability of a product to ensure customer satisfaction.

The food industry is one of the fastest-growing industries globally and has contributed a lot to the economy and people’s sustenance worldwide. It has grown so much that automation and technology have mostly replaced manual packaging of food products done by humans.

Modernisation resulted in increased production yield, consistency in product appearance, a more sanitised method of handling, and a reduction in operating costs.

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In 2022, the food industry’s revenue in the United States alone was US$8.7 million, and it is expected to grow at a 4.8 percent annual rate. This isn’t surprising because food is the number one commodity globally, and new food discoveries and trends are flooding the business landscape every day.

The rise of the food industry is also attributed to the large segment of the population that prefers grab-and-go food, ready-to-eat meals, and many families’ need to have access to instant food that is easy to prepare.

Getting into the food business is an exciting venture for many entrepreneurs, as food is consumed every minute of every day. People are constantly eating, and it is a basic necessity.

As long as you have a great product and a reliable business framework, the food industry is a very lucrative money-making venture you can explore. And to help you out, here are some of the automation trends in the food packaging industry:

1. Robotic Packaging Systems

This fully integrated and automated packaging process is ideal for products placed in pouches like grains, nuts, and ready meals. It operates fast and efficiently, ensuring that the product is adequately filled, sealed, coded, and labeled.

Robotic packaging systems are deployed in high-yield food production industries to provide flexible and efficient operations. In addition, the system’s performance is optimised by harnessing its capabilities for programming. Moreover, its capacity for a high level of detection is enhanced by integrating other applications such as the ones used for inspection and x-ray systems.

This automated machinery will streamline processes in your operation, produce finished products at an unprecedented speed, and ensure the safety of products you’re serving to your customers. This technology is available at TDI Packsys.

2. Flow Wrapper

This technology is perfect for snack foods, baked goods, and confections. The machine will wrap the food in film. The system includes a conveyor and can wrap up to 120 packs per minute, a fast turnover that will yield high output and fewer personnel costs.

Products packed using a flow wrapping machine will allow consumers to see what’s inside the package, making it very critical in the purchase decision of consumers browsing grocery aisles.

They can immediately see the freshness and quality of a product, and it will be displayed aesthetically in the case. Not only that, the product will have some form of barrier to preserve its freshness and keep it from being contaminated, especially since it has been carefully sorted and cleaned before packing.

3. Case Packing System

The case packing system allows for the fast assembly of boxes towards the production line’s end. It fills boxes with the accurate number of food products and seals boxes in preparation for dispatch.

The system follows a programmed pattern of erecting, loading, and closing. And it can be utilised in packing bottled beverages, pet bottles, tetra packs, and aluminum cans. The system can also be customised for other food products, like food in pouches, or even pizza boxes.

Box assembly takes a long time to complete when done manually. With a case packing system, a box can be assembled in seconds. And as it is positioned at the end of the assembly line, it can organise food products meticulously inside the box before it gets sealed and stamped.

4. Tray Sealing System

 This application is used for meat products, ready-made meals, fruits, and vegetables. The trays are assembled in a straight line, and then a machine will accurately fill the tray with the product. At the end of the process, the product will be vacuum sealed and labeled for safety and accuracy.

The different sections of the tray were appropriately filled with protein, sauces, and side dishes, depending on the variety being produced. This technology has become widely used for TV dinners, frozen meals, and prepacked cafeteria lunches.

5. Stretch Wrapper

fruits and vegetables in packing
Photo: Fruits and vegetables in packing.

Stretch wrappers, also called cling film machines, were created to aid packers who had difficulty covering stacks of boxes with cling film for protection.

In the past, workers manually packed stacks of boxes with cling film, resulting in injuries because of their effort to use ineffective materials to reach the top of the pallet.

Stretch wrappers can now cover an entire pallet of boxes quickly and efficiently in preparation for dispatch. Cling films protect the exteriors of boxes from getting in contact with dirt and other contaminants during transit.

6. Tray Denesters

Tray denester is at the beginning of the food packaging automation system. It initiates the flow by lining up single trays along the conveyor for travel to the next stage of the filling area.

A portion of the speed and efficiency of production depends on how fast and organised the beginning of the production line is. This is why a denester is crucial in the food packaging process.

7. Scale And Dosing Systems

Scale and dosing systems are used for packaging food products like spices, powders, seasonings, and liquid and paste products. Depending on your production requirements, there can be multiple heads in a system to ensure the speed and efficiency of production.

8. Remote Access

Highly digitised and automated processes aren’t insusceptible to challenges and breakdowns. Today, collaborating with experts on the other side of the world to provide solutions to unique challenges in food packaging can be done through remote access. Through safe remote connectivity, remedies for any setbacks can be addressed.

Conclusion

Technology has optimised the flow and growth of the food industry through robotics and automation expansion. As new technologies are developed, modernisation will continue to soar. Utilising automation not only focuses on speeding up the process but also helps in achieving consistency, safety, and traceability of a product to ensure customer satisfaction.

 

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