Food & Beverage, Consumable Substances
Competition is intense in the food industry. Health (sugar, fat, salt, allergies) and the environment (CO2 footprint, meat) are dominant themes. The battle of the brands for a place on the shelves of the powerful supermarkets is fiercer than ever. At the same time, those supermarkets are caught up in a continuous price war, and new distribution channels are springing up, Consider the home delivery of meal boxes. Food producers should be able to respond to these trends with cost reduction and innovation.
On the one hand, stable production processes that continuously deliver the required output with minimal downtime are required. This demands reliable production automation and a rapid response to malfunctions. However, food producers do not want to stock large volumes of spare parts, and more often than not they barely have a technical service anymore. Standardisation of components is a solution for this. In addition, it of course requires rapid service, while sophisticated maintenance management can minimise both unplanned and planned downtime. Agreements can be made for all of these things with the technical distributor who delivers both mechanical and electrotechnical supplies as well as the technology.
On the other hand, production lines need to be more flexible to switch to another product quickly, now that the assortment continues to grow and product introductions keep following on from one another even faster. Along with this, the lines should also be suitable for packaging small amounts of a product, such as the measured ingredients in meal boxes. This requires more accurate dosing and handling. In short, the automation is going to a higher level, meaning that the PLC control has to be even smarter.
In addition, food safety requirements are becoming ever more stringent. Components in the line, such as drives, must be of food grade and complete lines must be easily cleanable. And then the manufacturer also wants to switch to LED lighting in the production hall, for cost savings and energy consumption reduction (sustainability). These are all demands and needs for which the technical value-added distributor has the right competencies. Good collaboration with this partner is therefore keeping the food industry healthy.