Rise of Industrial Processing Automation in the Food and Beverage Industry

Online Shopping for Groceries?

The rise of online shopping is undeniable. As industry behemoths like Amazon and Wal-Mart, along with a host of other niche retailers, have established online shopping as a key tool in the purchasing habits of today’s consumers for clothing, sporting goods, electronics, and even automobiles. Online grocery shopping, on the other hand, has lagged behind in capturing the spending of contemporary consumers. But, just as many of the aforementioned industries continue to see growth in online spending, the online grocery shopping industry is expected to rise.

According to a CNBC report about the expected surge of the industry, online grocery shopping could grow from 4.3% of the total U.S. food and beverage sales to as much as 20% through the 2016-2025 timeframe. This growth would represent an increase in nearly $80 billion dollars.


SKU expansion

SKU Expansion Continues

The Expansion of Product Offerings

This change in purchasing habits could continue to increase the number of items available to the American grocery shopper. With retailers no longer restricted by shelf space in brick-and-mortar store footprints, the variety of products is expected to grow. The availability for product growth will be absorbed by contemporary consumer trends featuring non-GMO and reduced sugar foods.  The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) notes in the 2017 Trends in Food Processing Operations Market Research Report that 4 of 5 companies surveyed have over 100 product SKUs, while more than 50% of companies expect to see SKU’s totals continue to increase.


What Does This Mean?

For industrial food processing companies, the expanding number of products requires a new level of production that ingredient supply and food and beverage processing companies simply are unequipped to handle. According to the PMMI report, the next wave of industrial processing equipment will need to have cleanability, flexibility, and operator safety at the center of the design and manufacturing development.

  • Flexibility: as illustrated earlier, the increasing SKU product counts of processing companies will require capital equipment investment that is able to change from one process to another with quick, reliable, and repeatable transformations.
  • Cleanability: as processing line changes are made, line cleaning must be done to reduce or eliminate cross-contamination of food and beverage ingredients to maintain the integrity of the taste and the production process. Furthermore, the cleanability of the processing equipment is paramount to protect consumers from food borne illnesses like Listeria, Salmonella, and E coli while limiting costly recalls for processing companies when outbreaks occur.
  • Operator Safety: as automation continues to grow in food and beverage processing and equipment line transformations, safeguarding operators against equipment malfunction is paramount to the safety of the operators.


How Can We Help?

R-V Industries, a global leader in the designing, engineering, and manufacturing of industrial process equipment has been serving the needs of industrial processors since our founding in 1974. With experience across a wide array of industries, we excel in manufacturing equipment to meet the flexible needs of food and beverage processing companies. Whether it’s the design, manufacture and assembly of an entire line of processing, or the addition/replacement of single equipment pieces such as mixing tanks and pressure cookers, R-V is ready to help you meet the growing list of demands for food and beverage companies.

To foster equipment flexibility, we integrate industry leading Allen-Bradley PLC control systems to facilitate process line changeovers quickly and efficiently.

To facilitate cleanability, we are capable of producing equipment with finish measurements as little as 3 Ra with electropolish processing.

To protect your operators, we design and implement important equipment safeguard features born from the same understanding of employee safety that has led us to be recognized through OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (S.H.A.R.P.) since 2007 for an outstanding record of workplace safety.