Robotics can reduce the capital expenditure of food manufacturers by improving the utilisation of high-value assets. Our experts discuss how and why automation will lead to a more flexible and lean supply chain. Learn more about the impact of robots on food at https://april.oalgroup.com/cooking/
Now, I'm a bit of a numbers man Steve and I don't like spending much money on things - We noticed Harry. You know how tight I am. When I'm going out and talking to customers, what, what, from a capital point of view why is it costing less for this type of system? Well when we did our analysis, what we found was that some of the high-value capital equipment is actually only used for a very very short period of time in your process.What we can do with this is we can utilise that to a much greater extent. Ok so it costs, we're saying it's costing less, I don't, you know, I'm an engineer, why, why is it less? Well, what we're able to do with the robot is we're able to move pans around, because we have the lifting capacity, we can pick up big weights and we can move the pans around so that you can do multiple things at the same time. So I can have two pans cooking and I can have one pan homogenising and then swap them around and continue that. I don't, I don't totally get that Steve. I've got a plant or a plant that I've been working on. It's got ten kettles, it's got ten homogenisers, it's got ten pumps. Why has your system only got two? Because I don't need to have my pan on my cooking processing station all the time. If I want to do something else on it, I move it. So whereas on your traditional system you're having to do everything in the one place. That's really interesting because what that means is if I want to do a new process, is it just a case of moving a new module in there? Absolutely so we develop our new process and we can slot into your production environment the new process and it becomes a new cell in our environment. We can then add that new function into our recipe and there it is ready for you to use. So, if on trend perhaps we wanted a, perhaps a soup that was aerated and such like, how would you do that? Well, we can develop a new aeration system and more than likely, the equipment is already out there but we can integrate it into this robot environment into our automation and we just add it as a new cell. That's cool. And what's really interesting there Steve is you know, you know the problems we have working on live food machinery, it's running 24 7. Are we saying basically, we can move modules in and out in such a short space of time? Absolutely, because we're not playing with the rest of the equipment. Whereas on a traditional system we're having to break into existing production lines, you're having to disturb that production process to get a clean environment in which to work. With this, we can build offline and at the appropriate time, we can slot our new equipment in. And with a soft logic of programming that's actually creating the path that a product would take through the process, are we basically saying there's almost infinite flexibility there? Pretty much, we're saying that as long as we've got the function available in our recipe, we can connect, connect those functions together in any order or as many times within that recipe we wish. Just like you do at home.
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