How Automation in the Food and Beverage Industry Increased Safety and Efficiency

On today’s episode of Conveying Progress, a Benda Manufacturing Podcast, our guests helped us explore how automated robotics and systems support operations in the food and beverage supply chain.

Coming off a year of challenges accelerated by COVID, including those surrounding worker safety, food safety, supply shortages and more, food processing and packaging plants are seeing benefits from automation, easing the weight of some of these challenges by helping manage people, processes and machinery with more efficiency and care.

Giving insights on this episode are guests from Benda and our strategic partner, Advanced Equipment Company. From Benda, Mark Battista, Sales Manager and Jose Martinez, Territory Manager joined the conversation, as did AEC’s Brian Hester, Material Handling Specialist, and Charlie Williams, Material Handling Specialist.

The industry is diving headfirst into automation. At a high level, both BMI and AEC create innovative automation solutions for a variety of industries. However, the core one we’re exploring today is food and beverage and its supply chain. Both companies are also shifting to automation at scale on the industry’s food packaging and processing side.

“As we see in the food and beverage industry, there are a lot of people handling your food, and they’re all on top of each other … and automation is key to keeping everyone safe and healthy,” Battista said regarding one of the reasons why automation is being pushed in the food industry. COVID-19 also pushed the industry’s hand when having to socially distance workers.

With the push toward automation, high-quality equipment is more important than ever. AEC uses BMI for its stainless-steel food grade and sanitation-type conveyor systems. Williamson gave an example of how using a conveyor in a sausage manufacturing setting. The company was able to consolidate functions and have two people do the work of six.

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