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Automation in the food industry

- By Axiom GB

food industry

We all need to eat so the food industry is the one industry that we cannot do without. It’s also the one industry that’s guaranteed to grow year on year and the one industry that is rapidly turning to automation to improve productivity and reduce costs. Whether it is food storage, food processing, food packaging or food distribution, automation is rife within every aspect of this industry.

Evolving shopping habits drive automation

Over the last ten years our food shopping habits have changed dramatically, a factor that has particularly affected the way food is distributed. According to Mintel, last year sales of online groceries in the UK hit £12.3 billion, up 9% from 2017*.

Online grocery shopping is one of the fastest growing channels in the UK grocery market, with sales set to continue to increase to almost £20 billion in the next five years. Many businesses such as restaurant and hotel chains also order all of their food online, including frozen, chilled or ambient products.

This has put a huge demand on food distributors to adapt their warehousing facilities to keep pace with consumer demands. They not only have to respond faster to order requests, but also need to boost output, increase accuracy and provide complete tracking of all products to keep their customers satisfied.

A growing demand for faster order fulfilment

Led by both consumers and businesses increasing demands for great value, quality groceries delivered direct to door in a rapid timescale, the food industry has become ultra-competitive. This makes it more important than ever before for food manufacturers and distributors to keep up with the latest automation technology in order to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Automation specialists like Axiom GB provide a full service to the food industry, from the design and manufacture of a bespoke system and its software right through to testing, commissioning and ongoing maintenance.

Automation for first class service in Ireland

Lynas Foodservice Group is one of Ireland’s largest food distributors, offering frozen, chilled, ambient and non-food products to hotels, restaurants and take-aways. The company chose Axiom GB to manufacture and install an automated sortation system into its new distribution hub in Lusk, County Dublin.

Capable of sorting 45 diverse food products a minute to 11 destination lanes, the innovative sortation system has enabled the Lusk operation to process up to 20,000 products in one shift.

Alastair Magee, Finance & IT Director of Lynas Foodservice describes how the new sortation system has benefited Lynas, “Fundamentally the key benefits are firstly the speed that we can resort products in relation to what it would take for a manual team to do it and secondly the accuracy of the sortation.

“The accuracy is driven by our own barcodes which not only dictate the outfeed lane the product is going to go to, but how it will be positioned properly within the load. So it’s not just a good warehouse experience it’s a good driver experience too. These are things that you can do with automation that you cannot easily achieve with human interference.”

 

If you would like to talk to an experienced team you can trust to guide you through the automation process, contact Axiom for a consultation on +44 1827 61212 or email sales@axiomgb.com

 

*Statistic provided by Mintel