Soft Robotics lead the way for next manufacturing boom
Flexible industrial grippers from Soft Robotics are an ideal food safety solution and are incredibly versatile for accurate Pick ‘n Place operations. Romheld Automation is the sole distributor in Australia & New Zealand for these Award-Winning modular grippers
Robotic Grippers for fresh food handling, tray fill, bags and more
Food processing, packaging and processing technology saw innovation with the introduction of Soft Robotics Gripper Systems from the USA. Romheld Automation has partnered with Soft Robotics in 2015; we launched their mGrip modular grippers at the Auspack 2019 Trade Fair.
These conforming robotic grippers with appropriate lifespan, speed capacity and food-safe hygienic components are ideal for use in unstructured environments to handle delicate products with varying size, shape and weight. Completely flexible, these grippers conform to the product instead of forcing the product to conform to the gripper.
What the global pandemic has meant to manufacturing
Coronavirus is changing the way we work in production environments around the world. Facing a new normal, robots play a major role to help businesses recover and move forward.
Both here and abroad, factory floors and food processing plants have become breeding grounds for the virus with closures or operations greatly diminished. We share views from experts in food handling here sourced from a recent Soft Robotics Meat Production Blog.
Food processing automation is a priority
Clearly the variability and sensitivity of food products, especially raw meat, are tricky to automate. Irregular shapes, slippery surfaces and delicate handling all make it difficult for robots to pick up especially where high-speed line-production is essential.
While automation technology has been limited, the increased emphasis on worker and workplace sanitation is critical to producing clean food products. Finding ways to avoid contamination transferred to food from workers is a challenge. One answer is to adopt contactless, robotic operation to help achieve clean food production. This solves the labour crisis of finding enough employees, socially distanced, to deliver on all processes.
What does post-COVID automated production look like?
Essential industries in manufacturing, production and distribution are all examining their operations now for long-term effects. Early signs say there will be a boom in automation. Highly adaptable products and systems are the key. This has created a surge of enquiries with potential adoption later in 2020. So much relies on COVID-spikes and local restrictions that it may be too early to tell. But there IS a sense of urgency.
Some suppliers and production entities forecast a major transition to automation will be underway by mid-2021. Pairing highly-skilled humans with advanced robotics will enable higher rates of production with better quality and consistency in safer work environments.
See more about the Future of Automation from Soft Robotics Blog, 21 August 2020
Explore more about Soft Robotics
We invite you to see many more resources & support available from Soft Robotics website. As their sole Australia & New Zealand distributor, Romheld Automation is proud to be your first port-of-call with questions or suggestions about how to adapt these adaptable systems into your workplace.
Photo credit: Soft Robotics Inc https://www.softroboticsinc.com/
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