Manufacturing industries are falling behind in the competition to attract new talent. Generation Z, like Millennials before them, are digital natives seeking flexibility and fulfilment in their work lives. The prospect of working in a factory environment, and the stereotyped assumptions of what this entails, are therefore much less attractive to new workforce entrants than the other options open to them.

Despite efforts invested in media campaigns stressing the dynamic, innovative and technically challenging environment manufacturing can be, recruitment remains difficult, resulting in an aging workforce, and the prospect of a rapidly approaching skills gap on the horizon.

Horizontal flow automatic cookie pouch packing machine in food industry processing

This is especially troubling for the food and beverage industry, both because of the criticality of the sector to national well-being, and the extra layers of traceability and regulation required in the production process.

Technology has a big part to play in the solution to this impending crisis. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning applied to visual inspection systems can capture and harness the expertise of the most experienced inspectors operating at their peak, at the same time elevating the human role to a more attractive one of supervision, problem analysis, and process improvement.

Young satisfied female worker in sterile clothes holding fresh made cookies in food factory.

The latest advances in edge computing and Industry 4.0 bring opportunities to further optimise efficiencies and provide further detail to the levels of traceability that are achievable. In addition, remote access capabilities provide for more effective materials and consumables planning, together with significantly enhanced capabilities to rapidly diagnose and correct error conditions affecting production.

As technology becomes more pervasive and interconnected, so the need to choose the right supplier becomes an increasingly critical decision to ensure everything works together not only today, but also into the future as requirements evolve and priorities change.

Factory engineer monitoring filled juice bottle on production line in bottle factory

Advantech offers a complete range of automation and AI technologies ensuring efficient management of every aspect of production – from process automation and quality control to edge analytics, cloud solutions and remote access.

And because we work with only leading specialist independent software vendors, our solutions are complete and future-proof – delivering total compatibility with ready scalability and adaptability for future changes in production.

To discover more about how Advantech can optimise your food & beverage production and help you deliver a rapid return on investment, visit our page dedicated to food and beverage production or contact us for further information or support:

Advantech Europe

+44 (0) 7551 82 4040