Picture this facility – a patchwork of aging processing and packaging equipment, an assortment of software versions, and perhaps some corners still relying on manual labor. Sound a little too familiar? The reality is that even if you're managing a brand-new, state-of-the-art plant, the inevitable truth is that it will age, eventually needing updates to ensure minimal downtime, peak efficiency, and consistent product quality.
Whether you're overseeing an older facility or a sparkling new one, automation is your key to success. The big question for older facilities is this: What should you automate, and where should you start? These decisions are pivotal to your competitiveness today and tomorrow. If you're at the helm of a new plant, it's never too early to chart your automation journey.
In this article by Food Engineering, several Gray Solutions thought leaders helped tell the story of navigating automation challenges. Spoiler alert: there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The secret sauce lies in understanding when, where, and what to automate, tailored to your unique circumstances.
Dean Elkins, Senior Director of Robotics & Vision at Gray Solutions, weighs in on the matter, emphasizing, "Efficiency gains have been realized through the implementation and monitoring of process controls and manufacturing data, automated in-process testing and inspection procedures, and flexible automation that augments manpower while meeting food and industrial safety standards."
Paige Miner, Manager of OT Infrastructure at Gray Solutions, offers insights too. He advises, "If a processor is looking to improve safety and efficiency, automating material handling may be a great place to start. There will be fewer forklifts maneuvering around the plant, fewer workplace injuries from manually moving material, and improved efficiency by moving material through conveyors, robots, and other automated systems."
Now, here's the thing – we get it. Every manufacturer has different needs, different equipment, and a unique growth strategy. That's why Gray Solutions doesn't provide cookie-cutter automation solutions. Our team of Solutioneers, with in-the-trenches experience and driven by curiosity, sees these challenges as opportunities for innovation. We're here to help you navigate the complexities of automation and tailor solutions that fit your specific needs.
Stay ahead, stay automated!