There have been a lot of new trends in the robotics industry in the past year, from additive manufacturing to Baxter. Industry magazine Packaging World recently reflected on four trends it’s seeing particularly in packaging and handling robotics.
1. Sanitary design. Certain robots have recently been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for handling meat and poultry products. As meat and poultry processing is a messy business, these robots are now being built with sophisticated coatings, seals, and parts to withstand all the substances involved. Many improvements were made to pass the strict hygiene requirements: from using food-grade grease, to manipulators engineered to be completely clean and smooth, hollow arms to keep all cabling and wiring protected, and joints constructed without crevices where mold or bacteria can build up.2. Flexibility due to more powerful controls. Today’s robots use more powerful controllers that interface more easily to other equipment on your line. With this added power comes the ability to better respond to variations in packing and palletizing patterns demanded by different retailer customers.