Robotics are an important part of the baked goods industry and today’s society in general. Innovation in the food industry is highly dependent upon robotics and the development of new programs to fuel interest in our future generations. Look within your community and you might find a FIRST Lego League (FLL) or a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team for your child to participate on. What may seem like child’s play is actually helping fuel a passion for STEM and forming future engineers that will discover innovative products that will change all of our lives. In fact, in mid-April in Houston, TX bright high schoolers from across the world will compete in Houston, TX for the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships! These kids will grow into adults that will build the machines that could revolutionize the baked goods industry in the coming years! Let’s take a look at how robotics is changing the baked goods industry.
Robots Solving Production Line Problems
In today’s society, people want everything at their fingertips, faster, easier, healthier! It’s tough to meet the needs of today’s demanding consumer. Suppliers realize as they must supply more to meet demand, their workforce will suffer. This is not the case with robots. The rising costs of the labor force and the declining costs of robots make robots on the production line more and more appealing. In addition, robots do not need breaks or sick days, so they can work around the clock.
Uniformity and Speed
Hand application of toppings and finishes is a tedious and time consuming process and can yield inconsistencies in baked goods products. Robots can lend uniformity to baked goods with exact application methods, and can deliver stellar results quickly. Check out this short video of robotic decoration of baked goods.
Innovations in soft touch technology, like those made by JLS Automation, are allowing robots to handle more delicate goods than ever before. Imagine robotic arms with soft-actuating grippers that can handle the most delicate items like bread loaves, fresh dough balls, and cakes.
Check out their innovative soft touch technology handling delicate baked goods here.
Self-Cleaning Robots – New Food Safety Standards on the Horizon
JMP Automation is leading the industry with its innovative robotic designs. One of their recent innovations allows the same robots that pick and place items during the day, to clean their area and neighboring robots at the end of the shift.1
As you can see, robotics has already changed the baked goods industry. Innovation in automation will continue to improve the way we do business in a positive way, allowing manufacturers to deliver safe, uniform, delicious baked goods to the consumer consistently and quickly while keeping costs to a minimum. Robotics will continue to influence and improve the baked goods industry and many other verticals in the future, so we should all encourage the development of STEM and robotics programs in our schools and communities so future generations can continue to innovate our world.Jerry Couvaras serves as President and CEO of BakeOne.com, a baked goods manufacturer with a 120,000 square foot facility using innovative automation technologies to provide healthy, delicious baked goods to In-Store bakeries, bakery distributors and foodservice sectors.