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According to a report from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), more food processors are using robotic systems than ever. The recent success is, in large part, due to the penetration of the technology in new sectors. While robots have been utilized for some time in the auto manufacturing and industrial spaces, the technology has just started to gain some traction in other fields, such as food processing and packaging.
With health regulations becoming stricter every day, food processors are looking to robots to eliminate many safety concerns that go hand-in-hand with human contact, Robotics Online reports, which is the main reason for eliminating the potential for contamination.
“Robots do not sneeze or get colds," says Clay Cooper from Applied Robotics, Inc., Glenville, N.Y. “Reducing people in food plants reduces the propagation of germs and bacteria there.”
Robot manufacturers have been able to enter the food processing market by creating automated systems capable of being washed down with high pressure water and solvents-something that traditional industrial robots cannot withstand. Food processing plants need this capability to ensure that they are in compliance with newly-adopted health standards, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act, which went into effect earlier this year.
Source: Robotics Wire, www.robotics.tcmnet.com