A food plant is simply a large-scale kitchen. In your kitchen, you measure, mix, and prepare your unique dish by hand, but in a food plant, material handling equipment does the work for you. Finding high-quality, tailored solutions for your material handling needs can minimize sanitary, labor, and floor space issues, plus result in quicker return on investment. With more than 60 years of experience, EnSight Solutions has helped customers in the meat processing, bakery, confectionary, poultry, alternative protein, and pet food industries.
We offer flagship equipment under our A-One Manufacturing line, including dumpers, blenders, conveyors, augers, and different types of custom production equipment. We take a hands-on approach to helping customers customize each piece of equipment to meet their unique needs.
For example, we’re currently working with a customer that’s seeking to reduce wait times in its drive-thru lines to decrease the number of drive-offs. The customer wants to add more value-added equipment inside its restaurants. They need to reduce the thaw time of their meat products because they’re currently doing this in-restaurants. After multiple discussions, we determined the customer could improve its production rates by implementing a thaw house off site that would deliver the thawed product to individual stores, which will reduce the number of coolers at each store and allow more space for fryers and ovens. We provided the customer with equipment to effectively move its product through a thaw house, including conveyors and custom equipment to load and unload racks. This solution will help the customer get orders out faster and reduce wait times and drive-offs.
Sanitary design on equipment is continually evolving. Being on the forefront of the latest hygienic innovations will help ensure your company avoids costly product recalls, as well as maintain its reputation. EnSight Solutions is fully committed to sanitary design. Most of our designers have gone to third-party sanitary design classes through Commercial Food Sanitation and other leading programs to keep up with the latest developments. We’ve helped customers transition to open tubing, which is easier to clean and minimizes the chance for bacteria growth. In addition, our cylinders are made from stainless steel. Many competitors in the industry use steel carbon with stainless steel paint, which can cause rust—another enemy of food plants.
EnSight Solutions is proud to contribute to the overall food safety expectations of the public and the people we help feed. We know that every improvement we make helps enhance the overall safety of the food – from farm to fork.
Automation & Robotics
COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the implementation of robotics in food processing. Employee turnover has always been an issue in the industry, and the pandemic has only exacerbated it. Food plants are looking at how they can navigate through labor constraints, as less labor creates production problems and leads to unsafe working conditions. Robotics can solve many of these issues.
We’re currently working with a customer to implement a robotics solution that builds a sausage biscuit without the operator ever touching the product. We’ve designed solution with a six-axis robotic arm that will pick up a bun, set the bun down, pick up a sausage, and top it with another bun. Before, the customer had operators stand on a conveyor line and physically build these sandwiches. By implementing these robotic arms, the customer can reallocate its employees to value-added roles. Robotics and automation can also meet high product demand and improve production rates.
Floor space is also a huge issue in food plants. It seems like no matter how big the plant is, there’s always a problem with floor space. The more space a customer can save, the more lines it can put in its plants—and the more products it can push, the more money it can make. Robots can perform numerous tasks and take up less room than what traditional material handling requires. Five or six robotic arms can perform the tasks of 16 to 17 people.
In addition, we offer custom robot stands, and there’s currently nothing like them in the industry due to how we’ve interfaced the robotic arm with our equipment. Robots aren’t standalone—they have to operate with other components and equipment. Our stands are designed to work with robotic arms and fully integrate with our equipment and controls in ways that ensure unmatched ease of access.
Customers are sometimes hesitant to implement robotics due to the seemingly overwhelming nature of new technology. There is 24/7 support that can tap into the robot and troubleshoot issues.
Many businesses hear the word “robotics” and assume it’s an expensive endeavor. However, companies are increasingly seeing a positive payback and ROI through implementing robotics and automation. Adding robotics to your processing operations may not be as cost prohibitive as you may think. Check out our ROI calculator for more information.
We understand that your product isn’t just a business—it’s a work of art. Our solutions can mimic the expertise of a French chef in the kitchen while achieving the level of precision akin to German engineering. For more information on how we can help transform your material handling processes, reach out to an EnSight Solutions professional at 855-736-2195.