How Automation in the Workplace Enhances Safety and Addresses Labor Issues

prepared meals

Automated food equipment has revolutionized many different facets of prepared meals production, including employee and food safety. Automation in the food industry has also allowed companies to solve labor issues. Automation in the workplace, especially in the food industry, has solved major challenges that have traditionally cost companies immense value and tons of resources. 

While food industry machines aren’t quite the C-3PO or WALL-E one might think of, they’re immensely helpful and have recently been transforming how companies make their prepared meals. Automated machines in the food industry are usually programmable machines that simplify repetitive tasks, such as conveying or applying ingredients to the prepared meals. They’re built with the latest technology to ensure consistency and quality, but they also enhance safety and solve challenging labor issues in the food industry. Here, we’ll discuss just how.

Workplace Machinery and the Food Industry

Workspace automated machines are quickly being implemented to simplify tasks and centralize human effort. In the past, food industry workplaces included many hazards, such as meat slicers, conveyor belt dangers, and food safety issues; workplace automated machines eliminate a great deal of these dangers. Because automated food equipment requires minimal staffing to operate, automation has also helped to solve low staffing rates and no-shows. While a smaller team of staff oversees production, maintenance, and restocking of the ingredients, workspace automated machines handle most of the steps in prepared food assembly. 

Progressing products down the line, slicing and applying ingredients, and keeping the products organized are just some of the jobs that these machines do in food manufacturing. And because we have the technology to implement these efficient machines in the workplace, companies can increase workplace safety and address labor shortages. We’ll elaborate on this next. 

Automation Enhances Safety

Automated machines in the workplace improve safety, especially in the food industry. The benefits of increasing productivity and streamlining production don’t stop there with automated food equipment! Automated equipment increases safety in multiple ways, including employee safety and food safety. Let’s explore what both of these mean in terms of this new technology.

Employee Safety and Automation

Incorporating automated machines in the workplace reduces the number of hazards that employees may face in the food industry. Automation helps to eliminate poor ergonomics and dangerous equipment handling. Automated machines handle many of the repetitive motions that can cause strain, such as dispensing cardboard circles onto the assembly line, slicing and applying ingredients, sorting products on the line, and organizing the products as they progress through assembly. These tasks also often require employees to either stand or sit and lean over the assembly line, which can be dangerous and cause muscle strain. An automated production line requires minimal staffing for oversight and restocking ingredients, allowing the equipment to handle the repetitive tasks instead of staff. These automated machines also decrease the need for employees to do the more dangerous tasks on a production line, such as slicing ingredients and risking limb crushing by organizing products on the assembly line. Luckily, new technology allows automation in the food industry to keep employees away from this dangerous equipment, since the machinery handles ingredient slicing and application and product movement along the assembly line. 

Food Safety and Automation

Besides protecting employees from equipment hazards, new automated food machines also protect customers from foodborne illnesses. Pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses can contaminate food in many ways, including from employees with bad hygiene, poor food handling methods, and dirty equipment. Because fully automated production lines require minimal staffing, this limits the number of employees handling the ingredients and products, decreasing the chance of contamination. At Quantum, we build our automated food equipment to be easily maintained and cleaned, encouraging staff to follow proper maintenance schedules. Most of our equipment is also wash-down compatible, making it easier than ever to clean. By making maintenance simple and limiting employee handling of ingredients, new automated equipment increases food safety for customers.

Technology always seeks to improve safety in the food industry, and these automated machines in the workplace certainly help safeguard employees. Automated food equipment also solves labor issues that the food industry faces, in addition to its many other benefits. Let’s take a look at how automation addresses these issues next. 

Automation Solves Labor Issues

A company is as strong as its strategy – including its plan to maintain the staffing it needs to meet quotas. Luckily, automated machines in the workplace solve this challenge. Between employees calling out or labor shortages, new technology in food workplace automated machinery helps companies withstand an uncertain staffing landscape. 

A Solution for Call-Outs

Human employees are, well, human. Sometimes they need to call out or don’t notify the proper channels of their absence on time. These situations can hinder the success of the whole team and the ability to meet product quotas. However, automated food equipment is reliable and can work every day and for more time than a human employee can. As long as maintenance schedules are followed to limit downtime, automated equipment can significantly increase productivity and continue to reliably work. 

Withstanding the Labor Shortage

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, industries across the country have been struggling to find staff. This labor shortage has left companies short-staffed and led teams struggling to meet their goals. However, implementing automated food equipment allows companies to rely on minimal staffing for upkeep and oversight and be confident that they can meet quotas and goals. Incorporating more automated equipment also grants a company the ability to save on labor costs, which can be a very expensive part of running a company. Reliable automated equipment from Quantum reduces overhead and streamlines production without sacrificing quality. In a time when labor shortages can hamper success, automating your production line is one way to ensure your team achieves its business goals.

Increase Food Industry Safety with Quantum

Our team at Quantum Technical Services designs our automated food equipment with safety as a priority. We believe that automation should improve business practices as well as increase efficiency and productivity with ease. Our automated food equipment increases productivity and efficiency without sacrificing safety and consistency. Contact us today to learn how to implement automated equipment that can increase safety and solve labor issues.