Towards an accelerated introduction of collaborative robots in the food industry
Food companies today are being confronted more and more with increased product variety and the demand to produce faster and cheaper without compromising on quality. Moreover, finding and keeping qualified personnel is becoming more difficult. To remain competitive, the production equipment must be transformed into a flexible, responsive and adaptable system with high quality and optimum circumstances for employees and focussing on their well-being.
The production process in food companies still has quite a large number of manual operations that require a great deal of manpower but have little added value for the product. Traditional automation (typical industrial robot installations) is often not a solution due to the high investment costs, increased product variation, decreased series size and the need for technical personnel. Collaborative robots, developed to work together with humans in a safe manner, provide a potential answer to the above-mentioned challenges for food companies.
Cobots also offer food companies a potential solution to the challenge of automating a number of manual operations in a flexible and rather simple manner.
ColRobFood is a collective research project (type VIS-CO) that wants to examine a number of specific challenges still facing cobot:
The“ColRobFood” project is geared towards production companies in the food sector and the integrators/technology providers in the world of flexible automation.
The goal of this project is to bring both target groups closer together by, on the one hand, demonstrating the application possibilities of collaborative robots (cobots) and, on the other hand, making implementation in the food sector more accessible.
The “ColRobFood”project is aimed at the development and validation of several building blocks, concepts, proof of concept demonstrators and practical guidelines for the accelerated introduction and integration of cobots in the food industry. The project results must make it possible to bring cobot applications with great potential and immediate short-term impact to the companies (lower the threshold and accelerate rollout).
This project is a collaboration between Sirris and Flanders' FOOD.