Relying on operators at the critical points of food handling and processing introduces the possibility of errors in the process, which can result in dangerous contamination by germs, pathogens and foreign bodies. Compromising the quality of food and food products can lead to costly waste or unusable goods and, in some cases, cause the total withdrawal from the sale of products that have already been sent to market.
In the United States alone, diseases resulting from contaminated food account for $ 55 billion annually, according to Fortune magazine (data for 2019).
Reducing contamination in food is therefore both an economic and social imperative.
Automation represents an effective response to the problem. The great degree of precision and repeatability of the cobots eliminate the risk of error and product waste, introducing efficiency and savings for companies.
The food product is continuously exposed to the risk of contamination, also due only to the presence of the operator who breathes, manipulates and moves around it. This risk is compensated by wearing protective clothing, washing hands thoroughly and avoiding direct skin contact with food. These are the only ways to prevent cross-contamination of germs and pathogens.
Despite all these precautions, the risk of contamination persists and the automation of processes is therefore essential to avoid it. Robots are increasingly used in the food sector and their use has undergone variations and expansions over the years. In the first instance, their use was limited to packaging and palletizing, as their physical conformation potentially exposed them to contamination by germs. This is the case, for example, of some companies in central-northern Italy, the confectionery and food sector that have turned to Casarini Robotica to automate these processes. Now these customers are using cobots in canning and packaging operations. Today robots, especially collaborative ones, can play an important role in every phase and in any sector of food production, even the most delicate ones and in which the risk of contamination must be averted at any cost.