Automation potential in the food industry

“Demand for robot systems has grown particularly fast in the food and packaging industries,” explains Joachim Rohwedder, Chairman of the VDMA specialized section “Robotics and Automation”, when asked to elucidate the most profitable growth market in the industry for the use of automation processes. The on-going optimization of robotic systems meanwhile makes it possible to use robots even in critical system sections in direct contact with food. Today’s high-tech robots with protection classification IP 67 are particularly suited to such tasks: they are already used, for example, in deep-freeze production systems. Robots made of stainless steel or so-called wash-down robots fitted with a special hygienic protective suit are guaranteed food-compatible. The cold chain between production and shipping must not be broken. This poses no problems for these robots. Cold-resistant KUKA robots reliably and safely perform the tasks entrusted to them at temperatures as low as minus 30 °C.

The use of KUKA robots is also productive and efficient in the field of “high-speed picking”: robots guided by vision systems correctly sort and package in-coming goods at a conveyor belt more quickly than dedicated picking cells with mechanical ordering systems. This special task requires robots with highly sensitive sensor systems. KUKA robots are real champions when it comes to high-speed picking.

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Automation in the food industry

To everyone’s taste: the food industry

To everyone’s taste: the food industry
Extreme temperature conditions, fast processing, and stringent hygiene and quality regulations. These are just three of the countless requirements facing the food industry. And consumer-friendly prices often go hand in hand with fierce competition. That is why it is necessary to think and act with attention to cost-effectiveness – as well as handling a wide range of foodstuffs with care – from the butcher to the packager and from the cereal industry to the industrial bakery.

Robots in the food industry

Success-oriented companies in the food industry rely on sophisticated automation processes – and KUKA robots. The integration of different automation stages into the value-creation chain ensures long-term competitiveness. KUKA robots in the food industry bring major advantages to manufacturing, packaging, storage and logistics. They work reliably, precisely and fast – even under adverse working conditions. They are also easy to clean: thanks to their compact design, the meet the highest hygiene requirements in accordance with protection classification IP 67.

Areas of application for robots

The use of robots that can be deployed flexibly is also worthwhile in the food industry. Here they reliably relieve humans and machines of demanding tasks, such as the loading and unloading of packaging machines, cutting of meat, stacking, palletizing and quality control. Whatever challenges the KUKA all-rounders are faced with, they always work reliably, precisely and with little wear – around the clock and wherever you need them. For special tasks, KUKA always has a range of experts on hand in the form of special variants such as the KR 180-2 PA Arctic palletizing robot for temperatures down to minus 30 °C or the KR 15 SL stainless steel robot for processing meat, cheese and milk.

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