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How Automation Improves Food Processing Lines

How Automation Improves Food Processing Lines


The food processing industry was initially slower than other sectors to adopt automated technology. However, companies in wide-reaching branches of food service are now incorporating automation and robotics into food processing operations to maximize efficiency and productivity. Today’s automated assembly machines and other automation solutions help meet the needs of all types of food processing lines with cutting-edge technology and custom solutions.

What Does Automation Look Like in Food Processing Lines?

Food processing companies are integrating automation into their operations for many reasons. In some cases, such technology is simply there to enhance production, throughput, and manufacturing processes. In others, automation fills the gap for companies struggling to find the necessary skilled labor or wishing to decrease food insecurity. Whatever your needs may be, automation in food processing systems can serve a diverse range of applications in your operation. Examples of basic tasks that robotics systems can help you complete include:

  • Manufacturing and production
  • Pick and place applications for products with or without packaging
  • Numerous types of packing tasks
  • Product assembly
  • Inspections and testing for product monitoring and quality control
  • Management of semi-automated food processing systems
  • Recordkeeping and data analyzation

Benefits of Food Processing Line Automation

Automation in the food processing industry offers several key benefits for your operations.

Traceable Products

When handling food, it’s particularly important to have adequate traceability for everything from raw materials to end products. Integrating automation as well as labeling, laser marking, or analytics into your operation allows for better traceability and inspections.

Superior Quality Management

Using automated solutions in your equipment and systems helps to proactively identify issues before they have the chance to adversely affect the quality of your operations. Earlier detection lets you make necessary changes to effectively manage quality control from supply to production. Additionally, automation in manufacturing can achieve reliable, reproducible results in your product.

Better Efficiency

If you rely on manual labor alone, you’re giving other food processing companies a competitive edge over your business. Incorporating the right automation solutions into your operation enhances production speed, streamlining the process for greater efficiency.

Flexible Operations

When you introduce new equipment and processes into production, your employees will require retraining. Conversely, it’s easy to reprogram digital automation systems based on changing needs and system setups for greater versatility and scalability.

Enhanced Safety in the Workplace

Workers in food processing facilities face certain safety risks, potentially leading to workplace accidents and workers’ compensation claims. Having automated systems handle the more hazardous applications instead will allow workers to perform safer tasks in less dangerous environments.

Food Production Line Automation Solutions From Big Sky

For reliable food processing automation equipment, Big Sky Engineering, Inc. provides a selection of systems to help streamline your production line.

Conveyor Systems

For optimal versatility in material handling operations, we offer a range of conveyors and conveyor systems from belt or ball transfer conveyors to roll conveyor systems and more. Our team will help you find the ideal conveyor system for your application and material type, based on specifications including your requirements for maximum load capacity, desired throughput, rated speed, drive location, and frame configuration.

Cap Sorter Systems

Big Sky provides various high-speed cap sorting systems to help optimize closure handling and packaging processes for the food processing sector. Customers use our cap sorting systems for product transfer, stacking, and inversion, as well as to divert conveyor lanes and handle box location and infeed. Our systems are compatible with numerous container and cap types for food, water, soda, alcoholic beverages, and much more.

Robotic Palletizing Systems

Our company also carries palletizing robots to help automate palletizing tasks in your food processing line. We provide inline, mixed case, and layer palletizing solutions based on your unique palletizing or depalletizing requirements, such as the expected throughput, necessary pallet configuration, and the laws and regulations of your municipality and state. Using robotic palletizing solutions, you benefit from improved worker safety, minimized product damage, and on-time order fulfillment. These systems also help optimize traceability using labeling or laser marking.

Automate Your Food Processing Lines With Big Sky

Since 1998, the team at Big Sky has offered comprehensive, innovative, and affordable automation equipment for packaging applications in diverse industries. You’ll find a selection of turnkey automation systems to equip your facility with state-of-the-art solutions that boost productivity, efficiency, safety, and quality control. 

To discover how Big Sky’s food processing automation equipment can optimize your operations, contact us today, or request a quote to get started on a custom solution.

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