Novotek sheds light on automation in food and beverage industry

The UK food automation specialist explores the state of the European sector in new whitepaper

With a tumultuous time ahead for food and beverage businesses in the United Kingdom, food automation specialist Novotek UK and Ireland has released a whitepaper explaining how the industry can use automation to stay competitive.

The document explores the state of the European food and beverage industry, outlining the issues facing it and the value of the sector to Europe.

Novotek describes how industrial automation can help businesses meet rising demand and tightening regulations, as well as how plant managers can choose the right automation system for their business, based on what they want to achieve.

“In recent years we’ve seen many figures in the industry express the need for an increase uptake of automation,” explained George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland.

Walker pointed out that a survey conducted just last year found that 55% of respondents thought that automation was the biggest trend in food manufacturing operations. "Yet, many food businesses have not made meaningful steps toward adopting modern automation," he said.

For Walker, part of the reason for this reluctance to adopt new technologies may be limited system knowledge, particularly for businesses that are using legacy operations management systems that function very differently to those available today. "It’s easy to choose a system that works, but it’s more difficult to select one that works and achieves a company’s goals," he commented.

Novotek's whitepaper has been released to help companies identify how and why their business objectives and focus, or automation profile, informs the types of systems that will benefit them the most.

"Sometimes, the system is the same but the configuration and way of using it is different, which is something many plant managers often don’t consider. That’s something we want to change," Walker explains.

Industry insight

The food and beverage industry is one of the biggest and most economically important in the European Union (EU). According to a report by FoodDrinkEurope in 2018, the sector’s turnover was €1,109bn, with 4.57mn people employed across EU member states.

Despite its size, the industry needs to grow to meet the demands of a rising global population. Businesses in the sector must also be adaptable to changing market conditions and consumer interests in order to remain competitive. Modern automation technologies are making this possible, but Novotek UK and Ireland has observed a slowness in adoption among food and drink companies.

Plant managers and engineers can download Novotek UK and Ireland’s 2019 food and beverage automation whitepaper from the company website.

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