If you’re thinking about automating your food production process, you’re likely weighing the pros and cons of investing in such technology. In our experience, the pros significantly outweigh the cons. Manual meal preparation might yield a couple of tens of meals per employee per hour, but automation can potentially yield hundreds of meals per minute. Increased productivity is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the many benefits of an automated prepared meals production system. Food automation is everywhere in the industry, from frozen pizza preparation to bakery products and other types of prepared meals. Automation streamlines the food preparation process. Here, we’ll go through where there’s automation in the food industry as well as an extensive list of the many benefits of automation.
Food Automation and Automation in the Food Industry
Automation is everywhere. In fact, upgrading your prepared meal production system to an automated prepared meals production system helps keep up with your competitors, since they’re likely using an automated process as well. Automation in the food industry also helps your business keep up with demand as well. Companies looking to expand can also benefit from food automation because this technology allows them to produce the increased amount of product needed for expansion. So, which types of products can benefit from automation in the food industry?
Pizza is ever-popular, so to keep up with the demand, the pizza industry is relying on automation to meet it. Automation is prevalent in the frozen pizza preparation process, as companies rely on automatic technology such as sauce applicators, cheese applicators, meat and pepperoni slicers, and dry and granular ingredient applicators. There are also automated circle placers, other conveyor systems, and water spray systems for before freezing. These applicators can run either single or multiple lanes to increase productivity while keeping the product consistent in quality. You can specify the exact amount of sauce to be applied to the pizza, to limit waste. Specialized automatic slicers can apply sliced meats like pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and sausage in a design that you specify according to your brand’s guidelines.
Dry and granular applicators can apply multiple different ingredients and toppings such as spices, seeds, salt, and parmesan cheese, besides similar ingredients.
Other prepared meals can also benefit from sauce applicators, meat slicers, cheese applicators, and dry and granular ingredient applicators. These applicators can handle different ingredients as long as they follow machine specifications. While the pizza industry usually uses sauce applicators for red sauce, you can use them for other sauces like gravy or salad dressing. Dry and granular ingredient applicators can apply a number of different ingredients, besides toppings that traditionally go on pizza. Target applicators ensure accurate application to the meal and they limit food waste and recycle reclaimed ingredients. Automated prepared meal production systems make prepared meal assembly go more smoothly.
Prepared bakery meals can also benefit from dry and granular ingredient applicators, circle placers, and cheese applicators, depending on the product. These applicators can apply Ingredients such as nuts, spices, sesame seeds, and streusel toppings. The applicators are also able to recycle reclaimed ingredients to limit resource and food waste.
Now that we’ve described types of prepared meals that can rely on automation, let’s get into more of the benefits of automation.
Benefits of Automation
There are numerous benefits of automation, and some include increased productivity, consistency, designing capabilities, safety measures, and digital monitoring and tracking capabilities. Automated prepared meal production systems have a combination of these to streamline your food preparation process and ROI.
Increased Productivity and Consistency
Because automated applicators assemble food products fast, your company can produce many more products than manual assembly. However, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for quantity, because these applicators are exact. Your products will be consistent in quality so you can meet your customers’ expectations.
The digitization of the applicators allows you to specify how much of the toppings you’d like to be applied to your product and how they’re applied. For pizza, you can design the pattern of meat slices per pie and ensure that your design specifications remain consistent between each product.
Increases Workplace Safety
Automated applicators have a variety of safety features included. Most of the mechanisms are covered and rarely require disassembly for cleaning. Automation also decreases the need for a full team of employees, which decreases the instance of workplace hazards. Automated systems only need a few personnel to oversee the units and refill ingredients when needed. Labor is certainly the most expensive business cost, so automation helps you to maintain your bottom line.
Another benefit of automated food preparation is that you’re able to better monitor the status of the machines and assembly. If something goes wrong during assembly, such as pepperoni being sliced wrong or a dry topping wasn’t applied, you’ll be able to check system updates and fix the problem fast.
Reduction in Waste
The last of the benefits of automation that we’ll discuss is how automation reduces waste. Reducing waste also helps your profit margin. Most applicators have reclaim features that catch any ingredients that don’t make it onto the product so they can be recycled for the next. This limits the need to spend more on ingredients because there is less ingredient waste.
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, but all of these benefits save you time and money in the short and long run, even before you meet your ROI. Food automation through an automated prepared meals production system brings your production methods into the future, as these digital machines help you adjust to the changing economy. A series of automated technology gets you these results faster, without sacrificing quality. Automation in the food industry also helps your business exceed brand expectations since automation produces consistent and reliable results.
Automating the Process With Quantum
At Quantum, we’ve become the number one choice for prepared meals automation technology. With our trusted applicators and conveyors, you can simplify your process of food automation and count on reliable and consistent results. Transform the way you make food with us at Quantum today.