Businesses require flexible, accurate, and agile supply chains to boost productivity and enhance efficiency. With customers expecting faster service and labor issues, companies in the cold food sector are turning to automation to improve their supply chains and keep their frozen foods fresh.
Artificial intelligence is making robots smarter. Machines are handling order picking and packing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is refining the accuracy and movement of equipment.
However, before integrating automation into the cold food supply chain, it’s vital to grasp how these advanced systems can be implemented and their implications for the packaging used in transporting, storing, and organizing product loads.
Automation Enhances Operations
With the rise of e-commerce in food sales, it’s crucial to move frozen food brands and cold food supply chain items efficiently and safely. It is where automated systems and processes simplify operations at various supply chain stages.
Within manufacturing and production facilities, automation ranges from primary conveyors to advanced robots, all geared towards boosting capacity, ensuring employee safety, and enhancing quality and consistency.
For instance, automated stackers and pickers can navigate intricate racking systems to move pallets, decreasing picking errors and labor requirements and enhancing warehouse space and overall productivity.
Within the warehouse, automated packaging comes in various degrees of complexity. Simple automation involves machinery and vehicles to boost the number of items picked per worker. More advanced systems incorporate artificial intelligence and robots.
For instance, retailers can employ conveyors, sortation systems, and other tools to ensure quick and accurate order fulfillment. Automated quality control can be a solution for companies seeking quicker and more precise order fulfillment.
Products can be evaluated through a combination of scanners and cameras to determine if they meet quality standards. These automated packaging machine technologies are adept at detecting and resolving concerns related to food safety, product integrity, and traceability efficiently and accurately.
Why Frozen Foods Must Use Automated Packaging
1. Increasing Production Efficiency in Less Time
Automated packaging systems are a better choice than hiring extra workers when there’s a need to speed up production or make more products in a shorter period of time.
Compared to traditional ways of making food, automation and robots offer several advantages. For instance, automated packaging systems can do the same task repeatedly with high precision and minimal variation. Unlike humans, these machines don’t get tired, ensuring a steady work pace.
This combination of accuracy and speed has been shown to improve the performance of food production companies while meeting industry standards for frozen packaged items.
2. Enhanced Food Safety
Concerns over food safety are growing every year. Research shows that nearly one in ten people worldwide fall ill from consuming contaminated food. Even more alarming, around 420,000 individuals die yearly for the same reason.
Despite improvements in frozen food packaging and safety standards, diseases caused by contaminated food remain widespread, even in developed nations. Food manufacturers can address this critical issue by integrating automated packaging machines into their facilities. How does this help?
Workers involved in food packaging, especially those handling raw materials, can quickly transfer different types of bacteria from one product to another or between different areas within the factory. By minimizing human contact during food packaging, companies in the food industry can significantly decrease the risk of food contamination.
An automated packaging machine is stationed in a fixed location, reducing the potential for carrying bacteria from other areas. While there are still slight cross-contamination risks if these machines are not cleaned properly, adhering to strict hygiene requirements significantly lowers those risks.
3. Improved Precision in Operations
Humans are prone to making mistakes. It’s a reality. However, in many cases, these mistakes can lead to significant costs for a company. It explains why quality assurance is paramount for food production and packaging organizations.
Minimizing errors and defects is the most efficient approach to boosting profitability and efficiency. And the optimal way to achieve this is through automated packaging equipment.
Automated food packaging machines can readily prevent some of the most common human errors, such as inaccurate weight calculations that result in product waste or incorrect labeling. These machines play a pivotal role in preventing such slip-ups by ensuring more precise operations.
4. Decreased Company Costs – Lower Labor Expenses
By introducing automated food packaging systems in factories, companies can achieve significant cost reductions, and here’s how it works.
Recruiting dependable workers to handle high production and packaging volumes in food factories can be challenging. Automating these processes using an automated packaging machine doesn’t eliminate jobs — it simplifies the work.
With these machines, you only need to familiarize your team with their operation and teach them how to use them. When there are changes in your team, training new members to use the machine is far simpler than instructing them in various manual techniques.
5. Minimized Risks of Delays and Downtime
Manual food packaging processes can lead to production delays due to human errors. In such instances, automated methods can help prevent these delays. Custom automated packaging machines are designed to match the production line’s pace, reducing the chance of packaging errors and minimizing downtime and delays.
Furthermore, manual labor often involves breaks, causing production to halt during these periods and resulting in lower manufacturing efficiency. Automated food packaging machines can help optimize break times. These machines work automatically and require minimal monitoring, which helps minimize the time lost during breaks.
Keep Your Frozen Goods Safe With Plan IT Packaging
Partner with Plan IT Packaging if you want to streamline your packaging system or shipping frozen food process. Your customers deserve only the best quality products from you. This expectation is the main reason why you should take food safety seriously.
You need a partner that understands the demands of your industry and the needs of your clientele. That partner should also have your best interests at heart, suggesting solutions that are cost-effective and efficient.
We can offer this and more. Let us improve how you handle your inventory and shipment of frozen foods. Call us now for a free case evaluation.