Interview with Rich Hoskins, IBIE Committee Member and Director of Operations, Colborne Foodbotics
The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) will be held Oct. 6-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event brings together professionals from every segment of the grain-based market to provide the latest industry technology and knowledge.
In Part II of a four-part Q&A series on IBIE, Rich Hoskins, IBIE Committee Member and Director of Operations for Colborne Foodbotics, discusses the educational offerings available at this year’s expo.
Q: Food facilities continue to become more automated, but the baking industry has maintained more of a hands-on approach than other food sectors. That being said, what types of technology are bakers today implementing in their facilities?
A: Efficiency is paramount in modern bakeries. That’s clearly evident by the number of robots and new technology exhibits you will find at the 2013 International Baking Industry Exposition. To give you an idea just how much innovation is on display, this year's exhibit space of nearly 500,000 square feet is nearly sold out. Bakers are beginning to recognize the powerful potential for increased production and profit through automation and the demand for these solutions has never been greater.
The drop in the cost of robotics over the past decade has increased ROI in areas that previously were not financially viable. Many bakeries are implementing automated solutions especially for processes like bread, bun, roll basket/case loading and direct transfer of muffins, cupcakes and other baked product directly from the pan into packaging. Other popular robotic applications are high volume pick-and-pack or pick-and-place systems, line balancing, carton and case loading, palletizing, vision-guided quality-control inspection/rejection, and sandwich/wafer assembly.
In each of these applications, bakers are able to reduce labor costs, improve overall efficiencies and significantly lower handling/transportation costs and you will probably see it first at the 2013 IBIE.