We’ve discussed before the importance of operator safety in the meat and food processing industry. Injuries can cause downtime, compensation claims and reputational issues. The quickest way to reduce injuries in a food processing environment is to invest in an automated material handling system.
But exactly what is an automated material handling system? How does it work, is it different to traditional mechanical handling equipment and is it right for you? Read on to find out.
- What is an automated material handling system?
- Benefits of automated material handling systems
- Types & examples of automated material handling systems
What is an automated material handling system?
An automated material handling system is a combination of machines working in harmony together to perform handling tasks, such as moving and lifting.
Benefits of automated material handling systems
The benefits of automated material handling systems are numerous:
- Reduce risks and injuries associated with manual handling
- Improve efficiency and eliminate human error
- Automate processes and reduce labour costs
- Automated integration with other systems
Automated material handling systems are being recognised as transformative within a number of different industries—not just the food processing industry. Manufacturing, warehousing, farming, transport and logistics are just a few. This is because automated systems can be tasked with the following activities that can cause problems for the human workforce:
- Repetitive lifting, pushing and other movements
- Exposure to sustained vibration
- Exposure to high temperatures
- Exposure to cold temperatures
- Movements that are awkward in terms of posture
- Transporting loads that are difficult to handle
Types of automated material handling systems in food processing
There are two main types of automated material handling systems:
- Machines that perform material handling tasks
- A system of multiple machines that work together to automate several interlinked processes
An example of type 1 might be a sanitising conveyor or rotary turntable. An example of type 2 is the SYSPAL Single Bin Solution, which we supply here at FPE.
Learn more: Mechanical handling equipment examples
SYSPAL’s automated material handling system can perform all of the manual handling tasks below:
- Lifting/tipping: Lifting and tipping of product
- Mixing: Mixing product in a vessel
- Weighing: Positioning product on weighing scales
- Moving: Transportation of product from A to B
- Washing: Cleaning empty product containers
- Storing: Stacking the vessel for storage
The SYSPAL Single Bin Solution is, in essence, a series of mechanical handling machines designed to be a complete, end-to-end solution for weighing, mixing and moving product, as well as washing and storing the bin afterwards. The range includes a weigh scale, Eurobin racking storage, a Eurobin tumbler mixer, a single column lifter or Eurobin tipper and a wash frame.
The Single Bin Solution offers benefits in terms of hygiene too. Because only one Eurobin is used for the entire process, you have more control and there are fewer opportunities for contaminants to be introduced. This means that the ingredients are less exposed to the risks of cross-contamination caused by multiple bin transfers that could bring them into contact with foreign bodies and residual waste.
Throughput and quality are improved due to the streamlining of the process and of course the risk of costly musculoskeletal injuries, caused by repetitive lifting and moving, is reduced.
Find out more about it what can do in the video below:
If you’d like to learn more about what an automated material handling system can do, or would like further details about any of the mechanical handling solutions we supply, please don’t hesitate to contact us on AUS 1800 882 549 or NZ 0800 100 003.