British food tech company OAL is developing robots to automate the ingredient handling and process systems in food facilities.
According to Jake Norman, who specialises in innovation and sales, OAL’s technology can weigh out a range of ingredients, including cohesive powders and “more free flowing ingredients”, such as salt.
At The Ingredients Show in Birmingham earlier this year, he said automation can make factories more efficient, and reduce the amount of staff required undertaking these activities.
“In nearly every factory in the world, you’ll have someone with a scoop weighing out powders by hand, so what we’ve been doing is using robots to weigh out powders instead. That person is then freed up to do other tasks of more added value in the factory.”
OAL’s APRIL (automated processing robotic ingredient loading), for example, is a dry weighing system that aims to help companies meet the compliance and productivity demands of modern food manufacturing.
From a quality perspective, Norman said ingredients handling robots can also help companies improve on traditional systems. “With a robot, we can have individually dedicated containers…so you’ve got no cross-contamination between any of the ingredients.”
Watch the full interview with Jake Norman to see some of OAL’s robots in action.