What does the future hold for food & beverage manufacturing?

Emma Ryde, Rittal's Product Manager Industrial & Outdoor Enclosures, says food and beverage manufacturers of all sizes are now facing huge operational challenges.

Sudden increases in consumer demand, shifting expectations, changes in food safety legislation, and emerging technologies all require companies to be responsive, agile and flexible. There is also the matter of ensuring seamless production continuity, to ensure consumer confidence around maintaining food and beverage supplies. As digital technologies continue to transform global markets, no industry remains untouched, and food and beverage manufacturing is certainly no exception. Let's consider how each of these three factors can impact day-to-day operations on the production floor, and how leading manufacturers are adapting to win.

Standards and Legislation

In recent years, food and beverage manufacturing regulations have changed significantly across the globe due to technological and scientific advancements. Europe has long been at the forefront of these legislative changes, and successful companies will likely be those who stay ahead of the curve by implementing changes sooner rather than later. These companies will avoid both production downtime, and the potential for higher costs associated with refits, when new legislation eventually passes.

Even in our current outcomes-based regulatory framework, reducing cleaning time and ensuring impeccable hygiene standards continue to be key areas of focus. As the physical landscape of manufacturing shifts to accommodate the increased presence of technology, so too will our approaches to safety and cleanliness. This leads us to our next topic: the presence and proliferation of technology in food production spaces.

Food Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

There's no denying that we all have a responsibility to implement sustainable environmental practices. But from a commercial perspective, it's also worth your time to embrace sustainability as millennials and Gen Z begin to dominate the consumer market. The consumers of the future will place huge value on environmental sustainability, and they'll also go out of their way to support companies who follow environmentally friendly practices.

Manufacturers that want to reach this audience will need to implement changes that reflect this shift in consumer priorities and effectively communicate the changes that have been made. To do this, you'll need to streamline every aspect of your business with a new focus on environmental sustainability. Whether it's recycling production materials to close the loop on waste outputs, or reducing the energy consumed during cleaning, every part of your process should be moving towards a more sustainable future, either directly or indirectly. For example, Rittal's HD enclosures are specifically designed to make them quicker and easier to clean. HD enclosures are typically power washed, so reducing the time it takes to clean them will lower both water and energy usage.

In order to offset the cost increases associated with making these transitions, industry leaders are continuing to refine efficiency-boosting practices like CIP to make production facilities greener.

Technology and Digital Transformation

At this point, we can consider the massive impact that the Internet of Things (IoT) will have on manufacturing is a sure thing. Telstra puts it very clearly when they state that "In an increasingly automated manufacturing environment, having multiple machines communicating with each other and being managed and diagnosed remotely offers benefits that are self-evident". These smart machines pose a unique challenge to the food and beverage industry; their delicate circuitry and sensors must be on the production floor but must also be protected from contaminating or being contaminated by the manufacturing process.

In addition, these complex computer systems need to be compliant with current and future food safety regulations and be well suited to withstand increasingly ambitious CIP procedures. Now is the time to consider how you can update your existing manufacturing systems to try and account for the changes that are taking place in the industry. Whether it's investigating new, sustainable production methods, or investing in physical infrastructure that supports new technologies, now is the time to move confidently forward or get left behind. Optimising every piece of the manufacturing puzzle is essential to maintain a competitive advantage.

Further information about Rittal's products can be found at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com, or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Rittal Ltd

Braithwell Way, Hellaby Industrial Estate
Hellaby
Rotherham
S66 8QY
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1709 704000

information@rittal.co.uk

https://www.rittal.co.uk

More technical articles
1 day ago
Making linear motion and pneumatics product selection simple
Matara UK has launched its new website. Redesigned from the bottom up, and now supports ecommerce with an advanced filter system enabling customers to quickly and easily select products that meet their exact criteria.
1 day ago
Thorite accredited to Norgren Premier Partnership Programme
Norgren has announced long standing distributor, Thorite, has become the first company to be accredited on its new Premier Partnership Programme.
2 days ago
Fanuc unites automation community to address labour crisis
In a bid to address the ongoing manufacturing labour crisis, Fanuc UK is uniting a collective of automation experts, bringing together more than 30 leading names from across the automation and robotics industry to debate and discuss the most pressing issues facing the manufacturing sector.
2 days ago
ABB rebrands autonomous mobile robot portfolio
ABB has launched its first range of rebranded autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) following its acquisition of mobile robot leader ASTI Mobile Robotics in 2021.
2 days ago
Roxtec creates new role to support green energy projects
Cable and pipe seal manufacturer Roxtec will deliver increased support for its customers on their green energy journey with the creation of a new key decarbonisation role within the business.
3 days ago
Festo aims for CO2 neutrality by 2023
Festo has committed to massively reduce its carbon footprint over the next two years, aiming for CO2 neutrality by 2023.
3 days ago
Essentra opens new eastern Europe hub
Essentra Components has opened a new European distribution hub in Łódź, Poland to enhance service and lay the foundations for future growth.
3 days ago
Double accolade for NSK at Toyota supplier awards
NSK Europe is celebrating a double scoop at the prestigious Toyota Motor Europe (TME) awards: a Certificate of Recognition (in the Supply category) and a Superior Performance Award (in the Quality category).
3 days ago
Lesjöfors expands to Turkey through the acquisition of Telform
Lesjöfors has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Telform, a Turkish spring manufacturer. With the transaction, Lesjöfors expands its production footprint, in line with its ambition to build the leading spring, wire and flat strip component group.
4 days ago
Siemens and Sustamize collaborate on carbon emissions data
To provide access to the most up to date CO2e emission data for materials and energies, Siemens Digital Industries Software is collaborating with climate tech company Sustamize to enable companies to measure, optimise and manage CO2 emissions.

Login / Sign up