The insight on Flexible Plant Designs seeks to evaluate opportunities in the F&B industry by assessing current trends and models. F&S manufacturers are focusing on developing new plant designs that incorporate capacity expansion flexibility, strategic locations that enable continuous and reliable suppliers and sourcing, and on incorporating advanced technologies to ensure bottom-line efficiency. This insight highlights the need for such advanced and integrated plant designs and brings out their advantages and likely contributions to revenue and size. The insight also touches on technological advancement that enables operational efficiency and continual incremental improvement essential to address the dynamic demands of the currently advanced F&B industry.
As food and beverage manufacturers aim to expand their productions to cater to demand, they are realizing the importance of automation in increasing overall plant effectiveness, reducing downtimes, optimizing operation costs, real-time monitoring, and maintaining a centralized system. This is driving up demand for intelligent pumping systems, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and automation of CIP/SIP robots in the food industry; these features are gaining prominence each step of the way, from processing applications to packaging applications.
Investments in robotics will be necessary to ensure a more efficient and clean operating environment. Opportunities will also exist for advanced applications, such as robots that provide aerial visualization of operations. Driven by the growing need for customized choices, additive manufacturing or 3D printing is increasingly becoming a viable solution to the food and beverage industry. Pumps and valves are expected to find applications in such modular units of food printers, while 3D printing is to be employed in research and prototyping of pumps and valves as well. The study concludes with an analysis of forecast growth trends of the process equipment market during the forecast period.
This insight is a forerunner to a study that seeks to answer the following questions.
- What factors are affecting or influencing the development of new plant designs and how are operating models evolving?
- What are some of the new disruptive technology trends in F&B plants?
- What are the opportunities for food robots?
- How do the regulatory changes in traceability impact the process equipment market and what are the opportunities available for other solution providers?
Key Findings and Insights
Shorter life cycles of products, smaller plant floors and pressure to improve quality and increase variety are the major factors which are driving the industry to move towards adoption of flexible manufacturing. They act as easy and effective human replacement for repetitive tasks or tasks that would be considered hazardous for human operators to perform. By 2020, bin picking and palletizing applications are expected to see the largest proliferation, as they are an extension of existing applications, such as part sorting and palletizing using conventional palletizers.
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