Food safety has cast a laser-sharp new focus on Automation & industrial robotics

By Kobus van Zyl, a sales engineer at HG Molenaar

Our markets are powerfully motivated by the returns their investments are providing from reliable, dependable production capacities unobtainable from traditional labor-driven approaches. We are seeing a similar trend in our US market with some of the key manufacturers.

We experience that for the global market, especially our US clients, operational costs are a major concern. With quarantine being lifted, people are reluctant to return to dangerous and repetitive work.

Adopting new technology can give you a competitive edge whereas delaying innovation puts you at risk of falling behind. We experience this first-hand at our manufacturing facility where we continuously invest in automation that demonstrates solid returns.

The advantages of robotics materials handling systems include format handling flexibility, lower maintenance costs, and reduced operational costs that result in faster returns on investments, and with ever-improving integrated vision systems, the opportunity for robotic applications to increase exponentially.

Due to the drive towards automation by our major clients in the US, we established a center of excellence in California staffed by highly qualified mechatronics engineers and technicians. Further backup is provided by our team of engineers based in SA.

The challenge for customers, of course, is finding a single-source supplier capable of delivering a comprehensive solution for these many elements in-house. That includes skilled mechatronics engineers who can perform software simulations, technicians, and sector-leading equipment capable of reliably delivering profitable production capabilities. Skilled and experienced integrators provide conveyor systems that connect the dots. Once deployed, food manufacturers require the after-sales service that maintains high production availability.