From flying cars to sustainable energy sources, visions of tomorrow’s most life-enhancing technologies invariably revolve around more efficient ways to operate. Although some of these solutions lie in a more distant reality, manufacturing’s pioneers have shaped cutting-edge forms of product inspection technology that help processors make significant gains in food safety while enhancing efficiency. These recent strides also have manufacturers focusing on cost in alignment with capability—and niche automation markets, such as machine vision, are expected to grow even more. According to the 2018 State of the Industry US Packaging Machinery Report produced by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the Inspecting, Detecting and Checkweighing Machinery category is projected to expand from $438 million in 2017, experiencing an 8.6 percent annual growth.
Today’s food manufacturers must inspect every item on their processing line. Older protocols may have only required checking for proper label adherence, providing a “yes or no” answer. Now, detection solutions deliver more than just a single piece of a complex puzzle.