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Food Processing Automation Technology Industry

What is disruptive technology?

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances. The term was defined and phenomenon analysed by Clayton M. Christensen beginning in 1995. Clayton M. Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor who coined the term disruptive technology. In his 1997 best-selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive.

Perhaps the term “disruptive technology” might sound very academic and alien to you. The fact is however quite the opposite, below are a few examples of disruptive technologies that have shaped our lives drastically:

1. The Personal Computer (PC)

This device has made the typewriter obsolete and changed the way we communicate and work FOREVER. In fact, the Information Technology Revolution is probably the most disruptive technology in Mankind’s history. Apart from facilitating communication, the PC has raise personal productivity a lot and disrupted the television industry as well as a large number of industries.

2. Electronic Mail (E-Mail)

This technology made possible by the mass-adoption of personal computers totally transformed the way we communicate (almost puts the postal service out of service) and single-handedly affected the greeting cards industry. Instant communication in work (and personal life) becomes a norm with the e-mail.
3. Smart Phones

No longer the old and boring first generation phone, today’s smartphone packs more power than the first personal computer and smartphones have disrupted the entire telecommunication industry. If you thought email on personal / work computer was convenient. Smartphones made email-on-the-go possible. It is literally bringing your personal computer with you all the time.

The list goes on and on.

No business or industry is spared from disruptive innovations and in order to survive and thrive in the years and decades ahead, one simply has to embrace changes and incorporate technologies and future-proof your business.

No convinced yet?

Let’s shift our focus from Information Technology to Robotics.

According to The Guardian,


A “robot revolution” will transform the global economy over the next 20 years, cutting the costs of doing business but exacerbating social inequality, as machines take over everything from caring for the elderly to flipping burgers, according to a new study.

As well as robots performing manual jobs, such as hoovering the living room or assembling machine parts, the development of artificial intelligence means computers are increasingly able to “think”, performing analytical tasks once seen as requiring human judgment.

In a 300-page report, revealed exclusively to the Guardian, analysts from investment bank Bank of America Merrill Lynch draw on the latest research to outline the impact of what they regard as a fourth industrial revolution, after steam, mass production and electronics.

“We are facing a paradigm shift which will change the way we live and work,” the authors say. “The pace of disruptive technological innovation has gone from linear to parabolic in recent years. Penetration of robots and artificial intelligence has hit every industry sector, and has become an integral part of our daily lives.”

However, this revolution could leave up to 35% of all workers in the UK, and 47% of those in the US, at risk of being displaced by technology over the next 20 years, according to Oxford University research cited in the report, with job losses likely to be concentrated at the bottom of the income scale.

“The trend is worrisome in markets like the US because many of the jobs created in recent years are low-paying, manual or services jobs which are generally considered ‘high risk’ for replacement,” the bank says.

“One major risk off the back of the take-up of robots and artificial intelligence is the potential for increasing labour polarisation, particularly for low-paying jobs such as service occupations, and a hollowing-out of middle income manual labour jobs.”

And if you are thinking that the above is just some far-fetch predictions of what the future might hold, check out this article by MSN:

MSN: 21 jobs where robots are already replacing humans

Think your job is super-secure? Don’t get too cozy. Experts predict many existing roles will be automated within the next 30 years, and the robots are already taking over.

  1. CHEF
    The Gordon Ramsays of the world may have to start looking for something else to do in the not-too-distant future. A start-up called Moley Robotics has invented a 100 percent automated, intelligent robot chef. The cooking automaton can learn recipes and techniques, whip up gourmet meals and even clean up after itself. Best of all, it can follow pretty much any recipe to the letter, precisely mimicking your favorite Michelin-starred chef or cookery writer.
    Manufacturing jobs may soon become a thing of the past. Machines have been poaching factory worker’s jobs for decades, but majority or all-robot factories have only recently become a reality.
    Earlier this year Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn replaced 60,000 employees with robots, and China’s Everwin Precision Technology is in the process of replacing 90% of its factory workforce with automatons.
    Surgical robots are already taking over the operating theater. Da Vinci launched its range of operating robots way back in 2000 — they have since performed two million procedures. Ultra-precise, robo-surgeons are currently used for everything from knee replacement surgery to vision correction.
    Futurologists predict robots will almost certainly operate on patients independently and replace human surgeons one day.
    Pepper isn’t just replacing teachers. The friendly android has snatched a fair few sales associate job roles from unsuspecting humans. Nestle uses Pepper robots to sell Dolce Gusto coffee pods and machines in department stores in Japan, as well as answer customer queries.
    More than just a gimmick, the robots have been rolled out to 1,000 stores in the country.
    Robotic security guards are already patrolling businesses and look set to relieve more human protection agents of their jobs sometime soon. Knightscope’s K5 robot constantly monitors its surroundings for suspicious behavior and can detect potentially criminal “audio events” such as glass breaking or people screaming. An impressive 24 of the robots patrol shopping malls and offices in Silicon Valley, California.
    The Australian Centre for Field Robotics has developed a shepherd robot that can tend to cattle, sheep, you name it, and effectively run a livestock farm. Packed with smart sensors, the robot is able to corral the animals in its care, monitor their health and analyze the quality of the pasture.
    The world’s first robot farm is launching soon in Japan. The Vegetable Factory by Spread is an indoor hydroponic farm factory which is poised to produce thousands of lettuces a day with minimal cost and human input required. Robots will water, feed, harvest and transplant the crops. In fact, they’ll do everything apart from sowing the seeds.
    Pill counting devices have been used by pharmacists for years, but thanks to the latest robotic prescription dispensing systems, hospitals can now use automatons to dispense prescriptions. The machines are noted for their accuracy. Thousands of people die each year as a result of human pharmacist errors, so it could only be a matter of time before these devices become ubiquitous.
    Online delivery service Just Eat will start using robots to deliver food in London later this month. The self-driving robots, which have been engineered by Anglo-Estonian company Starship Technologies, are fitted with GPS and cameras to navigate the capital’s thoroughfares. Needless to say, the bots boast robust security — if somebody tries to steal one, an alert is sent to the control center, a photo is taken of the thief and the device is tracked remotely.
    A robot writing reports or articles seems like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s already a reality. US tech company Narrative Science has pioneered natural language generation software called Quill that can transform raw data into intelligible reports and articles. The technology has been adopted by Forbes for its corporate earning reports, as well as Associated Press for financial and sports reports, replacing the journos who would normally pen such things.
    Weaponized drones have taken the place of hundreds of soldiers in combat situations – the U.S. Army for instance has used the technology extensively in the ongoing “War on Terror.” According to Gen. Robert Core, a quarter of U.S. combat soldiers will be replaced by robots by 2030, saving many American lives on the battlefield.
    They may not provide as warm a welcome as a human receptionist, but robots are already replacing real-life people in this role, in Japan at least. Robots check in guests at Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki, and a multilingual android greets customers at the flagship branch of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in downtown Tokyo.
    Telephone salespeople are most at threat of losing their jobs to robots, according to a study by Oxford University and Deloitte. Sales calls are already being generated by voicebots and, as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, the bulk of telemarketing roles are likely to be performed by bots.
    The latest mega-sized 3D printers are able to construct whole buildings with minimal human labor, and several firms have already embraced the technology. Chinese real estate company Huashang Tengda used a 3D printer to build a two-story house in just 45 days in two months. Construction workers simply had to install the frame, wiring and plumbing, and the printer took care of the rest.
    Finance jobs may soon be numbered. Humanoid accountant bots are still some way off, but many companies are already automating their accounts, to the point that some no longer require dedicated accounts payable and receivable employees. Firms such as Lexmark and Basware currently offer fully automated accounts systems that do everything from matching purchase orders to flagging invoices for payment.
    Human tour guides are so last century. At Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, scarily human-like androids act as exhibition guides – a robot called Kodomoroid lets visitors know about new stories that are relevant to the exhibits, while science communicator bot Otonaroid can chat with visitors and answer their science-related questions.
    Cocktails can be hit or miss – you have rely on the skills of the mixologist, who may or may not be able to whip up a decent drink. Cue N1-C and B1-O. The star attraction of the Bionic Bar on the Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, the robotic duo can mix any one of 300 cocktails to perfection in a matter of seconds.
  18. BARMAN
    Meet Carl, the robot bartender. He works at the Robots Bar and Lounge in IImenau, east Germany. Carl can not only mix a mean cocktail — he can even interact with customers by making small talk.
    Researchers at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have developed a robotic librarian that laser-scans shelves and can tell which books are missing or misplaced. Tracking down books and organizing the shelves are a major part of the daily grind for the average librarian, so this machine has the potential to take a significant number of jobs.
    Hospital admin staff have a key role organizing complex employee schedules and patient beds, but their job could soon become obsolete. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have already trialed a robot that can organize nurse’s schedules and source beds for patients.
    An educational robot called Pepper will be the UK’s first automated teacher when it enters classrooms at the London Design and Engineering University Technical College in September 2016. The meter-high robot, which already ‘teaches’ at a school in Japan, is fitted with microphones, HD cameras and 3D sensors to enable it to interact with students and even detect their emotions.

Surprised? Shocked? In Disbelief?

This disruption of entire industries and displacement of human workers is far more pervasive and happening at a much faster rate than most can imagine. This disruption is here, it is happening now!

All changes bring opportunities to those who seize it. Regardless of your choice of embracing technology or rejecting it – disruption is here to stay and only those who embrace technologies can survive and thrive. This ongoing disruption will separate the winners and losers. The winners will be rewarded with more market share and the losers will go into the history books.

Innovative Technologies For the Food Processing & Food Automation Industry

According to The Harvard Business Review,

Over the last century, the global population has quadrupled. In 1915, there were 1.8 billion people in the world. Today, according to the most recent estimate by the UN, there are 7.3 billion people — and we may reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This growth, along with rising incomes in developing countries (which cause dietary changes such as eating more protein and meat) are driving up global food demand.

Food demand is expected to increase anywhere between 59% to 98% by 2050. This will shape agricultural markets in ways we have not seen before. Farmers worldwide will need to increase crop production, either by increasing the amount of agricultural land to grow crops or by enhancing productivity on existing agricultural lands through fertilizer and irrigation and adopting new methods like precision farming.

However, the ecological and social trade-offs of clearing more land for agriculture are often high, particularly in the tropics. And right now, crop yields — the amount of crops harvested per unit of land cultivated — are growing too slowly to meet the forecasted demand for food.

So without a doubt, food demand is going to increase between 59% to 98% in the next 33 years.

According to this article at Ensia:

If we look just at the livestock “Big Four” — cows, chickens, pigs and sheep — the average American adult consumed 90 kilograms (198 pounds) of meat in 2014, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The global average during that same year was 34 kilograms (75 pounds). By 2024, these numbers are projected to increase to 94.1 kilograms (207.5 pounds) per person in the U.S. and 35.5 kilograms (78.3 pounds) globally.

Thanks to all of this meat eating, at any given point in the year, there are 19 billion chickens, 1.5 billion cows, 1 billion pigs and 1 billion sheep on the planet — more than three times the numThber of people. And these numbers are set to rise as the human population grows and more people shift toward a meat-based diet. The number of cattle, sheep, goats and buffalo — animals that require quite a bit of land for feed production and grazing — alone is increasing by 25 million annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Overall, global meat consumption is projected to increase more than 4 percent per person over the next 10 years. But as the maps below illustrate for a selection of countries and regions around the world, consumption won’t change equally across all types of livestock.

Looking again at the “Big Four,” consumption of poultry and sheep is predicted to rise 10.7 and 9.2 percent respectively, while the beef consumption is projected to remain stagnant and pork consumption will potentially see a 0.7 percent decline around the world compared with 2014 rates.

With the statistics and trends above, this is pretty obvious that the food industry looks like it will have decades of upside in terms of demand ahead.

Riding On This Wave Of Demand

With the demand side of your business secured with the booming demand globally. Any business in the food industry should also re-look into your food business’ processes and explore any possibility of automating your food production processes.

What Is Food Production Automation?

As the food industry is really wide in scope, here we specifically refer to meat processing processes. Food production automation is the use of technologies (machine automation) that reduces the need for manual labour in food production processes through the use of food automation machines and equipment that increase the output.

At Foodpro, we specialise in distributing STEEN meat processing machines and equipment and implement food automation solutions for our clients. Steen is a well-known brand in the food processing industry since the 1960s. The founder Pieter Steen developed his first table top skinning machine and together with his son Cor Steen, they went into design skinning machines and marketed the range of machines under their own name Steen. Steen was registered as a trademark in 1986 today, Steen is an export-oriented company that specialises in machines and equipment for processing fish and poultry in the food processing market.

The range of Steen fish and poultry processing machines is at the forefront of technologies in processing fish and poultry (skinning, deboning and fin tail cutting). With over 5 decades of experience and expertise in mechanical engineering, Steen has drastically reduced the amount of manpower required in various fish processing and poultry processing. Previously thought to be impossible to automate – processes such automation of removing fish skin and poultry skin, full or semi-automation of de-boning and fillet splitting are achieved by our meat processing machines and equipment.

Who Our Machines Are Made For?

Our poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) processing machines are ideal for poultry (chicken, duck and turkey) farms, poultry processing factories, poultry distributors, central kitchens that process chickens, ducks and turkeys, chains of food & beverage outlets that process turkeys, ducks and chickens. With automation in poultry processing, you reduce the need for manual labour and increase your output via our poultry processing equipment.

Our fish (Salmon, Tilapia) processing machines are ideal for fish farms, fish processing factories, fish/seafood distributors, central kitchens that process fish, chains of food & beverage outlets that process fish. With automation in fish processing, you reduce the need for manual labour and increase your output via our fish processing equipment.