Live at Anuga FoodTec: Groba showcases safety-boosting cheese slicing unit with vision tech
28 Apr 2022 --- Dutch cheese processor Groba is currently showcasing its cheese shredding line equipped with vision technology at Anuga FoodTec 2022. A new innovation on display is a compact unit that can be placed in the shredder to detect foreign bodies and ensure food safety across production lines.
Speaking to PackagingInsights from the showroom floor, Robin de Groot, managing director at Groba, says: “We have an innovation, a relatively small and compact unit that can be placed into cheese shredding lines to detect foreign bodies, plastic particles or other particles that end up in a cheese shredding line.”
“Of course, you don’t want those particles to end up in a package and we have a system that is detecting that (those elements) in shredded cheese before it goes to the multi-headway,” he explains.
Advancing cheese handling tech
With 45 years experience in cheese handling, Groba focuses on automated solutions for slicer feeding. The company is displaying its cheese handling equipment at the trade show, consisting primarily of a machine that automatically unpacks cheese, wraps it in plastic foil, cuts it into bars and then feeds it into the correct position to a slicer.
“In the automatic line for slicer feeding, we use robotics to unpack the cheese, cut it open, and use robots for the bar handling of the cheese blocks. In the scanning system, the ShredScan, we use vision technology in a compact unit,” De Groot continues.
The main focus of the company’s R&D lies in its ShredScan application and prioritizing the selection of vision camera applications combined with suitable software.
“The main design features are the automatic handling of cheese, unpacking the cheese and hygiene. You don’t want water or other particles to end up in the machine where it can cause bacteria,” he says.
Meanwhile, Innova Market Insights has released its Top Ten Trends for 2022. In addition to the top trend “Shared Planet,” other key trends expected to influence the food and beverage industry this year are “Tech to Table” and “Voice of the Consumer.”
Growing food safety concerns
Initially, Groba focused on the European market but has recently increased its reach in Africa, Australia and North, Central and South America. One of the main concerns of Groba’s customers at the moment is food safety.
“With the ShredScan, of course, we are focusing a lot on food safety, which is quite an important topic in the market. Our customers don’t want recalls. That costs a lot of money. So we try to solve those problems in our cheese processing lines,” says De Groot.
The company’s other core focus is automation and ergonomics, which reduces labor and subsequent related costs and heavy lifting for its customers.
By Inga de Jong, reporting from Anuga FoodTec, Cologne, Germany
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