The Dec/Jan edition of What’s New in Process Technology (WNIPT) features CEO INSIGHTS on the state of the industry heading into 2014. Wiley Managing Director, Tom Wiley participated and below are two of the five questions he answered.
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers?
The emergence of robotic automation technologies represents an engineering challenge insofar as integrating robots into human-centred areas of food production. Whilst the technology that drives logistical innovations like Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) is quickly evolving to become safer for the processor, the operator and the robot; robotic pack off systems are lagging behind.
However with innovations like Rodney Brooks’s Baxter Robot and its ability to quickly learn without onerous programming combined with its sensitivity to human presence it’s easy to see robots taking on a greater presence in many food processing facilities.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014?
Generally speaking, our customers’ base demands haven’t changed significantly over the years; they will always want the most cost-effective and efficient production solutions.
The obvious shift in how we meet these expectations has been in direct response to economic pressures due to the Carbon Tax, the GFC, export conditions and value of the dollar. E.g. targeting waste streams, covering anaerobic ponds etc.
We are constantly honing our value engineering offering to gain ever greater returns on process efficiency by considering the entire production system which, in turn, further reduces overall production costs.
Follow the link to read all of Tom’s, (page 18) and the other interviewed CEO’s, industry insights: http://wiley.be/1fti546