Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

A company called Plenty claims it has attracted the “largest-ever agriculture technology investment”. 

The company says the investment will drive its development of its global, large-scale indoor farm network to deliver “radically fresher, affordable food to local communities everywhere”.

Plenty describes itself as a “field-scale indoor farming company remaking the global food system”.  Continue reading Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

Software for smart beverage production

zenon data management

Software maker Copa-Data has demonstrated new solutions for smart breweries, comprehensive energy data management, flexible batch production and efficient filling lines.

Copa-Data also says the system has interoperability with the Weihenstephan and OMAC PackML standards, as a result of which machines and equipment can be more quickly integrated into existing manufacturing infrastructures.

Emilian Axinia, industry manager for food and beverage at Copa-Data, says: “Our software innovations for the smart production of beer and other drinks… demonstrate flexible batch production using an equipment model controlled by zenon. These are smart and field-tested software solutions from soft PLC, through ISA-88 Batch Control to mobile technologies.”  Continue reading Software for smart beverage production

Logistics: Automating the traceability of products getting easier

By Thomas R. Cutler

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) was founded in 1939, and was based on the vision of a small group of scientists who believed that communication among professionals involved in food science and technology was essential to the progress of these emerging disciplines. 

More than seventy-five years later, IFT has grown both in numbers and in impact. With members from virtually every discipline related to food science and technology, and from more than 95 countries around the world, IFT has become a voice for those dedicated to the science of food.

Recently, IFT examined traceability (product tracing) in food systems under contract with the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. It collected product tracing related information from industry representatives through telephone discussions and meetings with targeted groups, and from a number of other resources.  Continue reading Logistics: Automating the traceability of products getting easier

Apex Automation and Robotics uses 3D vision to inspect food jars

apex 3D Vision

Apex Automation and Robotics has introduced 3D vision systems to inspect food jars on production lines

A popped lid in a food jar is a serious problem. It indicates that the seal is broken and vacuum inside the jar was breached and can result in spoilage of the product. It is therefore crucial to detect these jars before they leave production and make their way to the supermarket shelf.

Inspecting the lid on every jar by an operator is not very reliable since it is not always easy to distinguish between a popped lid and a good one especially when the production rate is high. Continue reading Apex Automation and Robotics uses 3D vision to inspect food jars

Do you want chips with that? How robots are threatening millions of fast food jobs

mcdonalds, fast food, robots
McDonald’s plans to open 25,000 robot-run fast food restaurants this year

Technology moves so fast there’s rarely enough time to grab a burger before the next iPhone update. And even if you do find the time to visit a fast food restaurant, it’s increasingly likely that it will be a robot that will be preparing your food and possibly even serving you, not to mention charging you for their efforts to seem human while carrying out their customer service duties.

According to Statista, almost 4 million people in the US work in the fast food industry. McDonald’s, arguably the most famous fast food restaurant chain in the world, employs around half a million people. Continue reading Do you want chips with that? How robots are threatening millions of fast food jobs