Latest news: robotics in food
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16 August 2023
Danish Crown reveals multi-faceted plan to boost “earnings”
Danish Crown has detailed a cost-savings plan designed to deliver an improvement in operational performance “within” two years.
The Denmark-headquartered meat processor is aiming to boost its “earnings” over the period by “at least” DKr1.5bn ($215.4m) through a multiple-faceted initiative, including improving efficiencies in its facilities through technology to cut production costs.
Danish Crown has already been consolidating its network of abattoirs and deboning operations in Denmark and Germany, complete with the loss of jobs, due to a decline in pigs coming in for slaughter from the cooperative’s farmers. At the same time, the company revealed a plan to invest in automation in December to boost its competitiveness.
“Since spring 2022, Danish Crown has been severely challenged in terms of its competitive strength,” the processor said as it outlined a plan to reduce production costs by DKr500m as part of the overall initiative.
As well as the DKr500m savings through the “improved exploitation of capacity at abattoirs and factories”, Danish Crown said “administrative and support functions must be streamlined to reduce annual costs by at least DKr250m”.
Danish Crown added it is “facing challenges” around the core pig slaughtering and pork processing businesses in Denmark and Germany, including a drop in exports and higher local wages damping its competitiveness vis a vis other market processors.
21 June 2023
The Summer Berry Company extends tie-up with robotics supplier Tortuga AgTech
UK-based berry grower The Summer Berry Company has struck a deal to extend its contract with Tortuga AgTech, a US company providing robots to help with harvesting.
The Summer Berry Company is using more than 50 of Tortuga AgTech’s robots at its sites in south-west England.
Cibus Capital, the investor that created The Summer Berry Company four years ago, said working with Tortuga AgTech helps the fruit picker at a time of pressure on labour.
The fund also claimed, without providing data, the tie-up had supported The Summer Berry Company’s work on sustainability.
David Sanclement, the CEO of The Summer Berry Company, said: “We are looking forward to working more closely with Tortuga to increasingly incorporate automated solutions into our operations in the UK. Cibus has been immensely supportive of our efforts to future proof our farms whilst protecting our workers and the environment.”
Tortuga AgTech, based in Denver, was set up in 2016. Co-founder and CEO Eric Adamson said The Summer Berry was the company’s first customer.
“We believe their operations are some of the very best in the world and we are proud to be their partner in innovation.”
27 July 2023
Dr Schär invests in gluten-free biscuit production in Germany
Italy-based gluten-free food group Dr Schär is to invest €12m ($12.9m) in biscuit production at its manufacturing facility in Dreihausen, Germany.
The company is aiming to increase biscuit production, which is the “core product of the site”, Dr Schär said.
The deal will see the company add new machines for measuring biscuit cream, which, it said will improve the dosing of the ingredients and reduce waste.
Dr Schär will also add robotics to improve product composition and packaging. It will hire 15 new production staff.
The company is aiming to increase efficiency and “optimise” the working hours of production employees.
“This investment not only allows us to increase and optimise our production capacity but also represents an investment in the production workforce,” Matthias Müller-Thederan, the managing director of Dr Schär’s operations in Germany, said.
“On the one hand, it offers us the opportunity to continue our path of education, training and professional growth for all those who already work with us to go further; on the other hand, it also gives us the opportunity to add 15 new specialists to our team.”
In March, Dr. Schär added to its production in Spain, installing a new line production line at its site in Alagón.