Keeping Machine Automation for Fresh Cut Produce Affordable: A Case Study

Automation is the future of manufacturing, but big price tags have kept small businesses from taking full advantage of this technology. This no longer may be the case with machine automation.

For a larger company, an expensive piece of machinery might be a drop in the bucket, especially compared to the long-term savings that these machines provide.

Think about the benefits – a machine may require occasional upkeep, but can perform multiple tasks at a rate that humans can’t meet. It doesn’t clock in late to work, it doesn’t get sick, and isn’t subject to high turnover – issues that have only grown in the industry as a whole.

Why Machine Automation?

So why isn’t every manufacturer making the move to automation? To keep it short: money. An automated machine might pay for itself in the long-term, but smaller companies can’t afford to dole out huge sums of cash when they need to meet the bottom line now. The playing field isn’t even – without the funds to keep up with major manufacturers, small businesses are fighting an uphill battle.

Thankfully, as automation technology has developed, innovators have found solutions that produce results at a fraction of the price. Custom Cut Metals is at the forefront of this mission, providing cost-effective solutions that are within budget for smaller manufacturers. We provide answers to difficult equipment issues in all sorts of industries, as can be seen by our achievements in fresh-cut food manufacturing.

With fears growing over illness in manufacturing spaces, more and more companies are developing plans to keep their workers safe and production high. Our prototype celery cutting machine is the perfect example of how we are able to provide innovative designs

machine automation

A Case Study on Cutting Celery

Major players in the fresh-cut foods industry have begun using an automated machining tool that cuts celery with water jet technology. A high pressure stream of water shoots out of cutting nozzles as the stalks proceed down the conveyor belt. Using this kind of tool comes with clear benefits – it can produce high yields of produce with minimal effort on the part of a worker.

There’s only one problem: this machine is extremely expensive, typically running in the six-figure range. For those that can afford it, it has revolutionized speed and precision, keeping prices competitive and production high. Those that can’t struggle to compete with the larger names in the fresh-cut industry.

Smaller manufacturers have continued to rely on a manual process, requiring a person to use a manual lever to slice the celery. While this gets the job done, it is a slow and tedious process. A better solution was possible – so Custom Cut Metals designed it.

Small Manufacturers Require Big Solutions

Water jet technology comes with incredible perks, at the cost of being extremely expensive to produce. Custom Cut Metals has developed an automated machine tool prototype that is more affordable while providing increased yields and efficiencies.

With the press of two buttons, this machine is able to slice and eject the celery that is processed. This innovation greatly enhances the flow of the line, reducing the waste of manually pulling a level and the speed lost in that process. Over the course of minutes, hours and days, this machine adds up time saved, keeping production high and costs low.

This is only one example of the high class innovation that Custom Cut Metals is able to provide our clients. There’s no such thing as a problem too big to be solved through clever machining.

Every Machine Automation Problem is an Opportunity

Contrary to common belief, smaller companies can still utilize automation at affordable prices. Cutting edge technology doesn’t have to cut deep into your wallet to expedite flow and cut waste.

It has been projected that jobs in the fresh-cut industry are shifting from manual labor to machine operation. This radical shift doesn’t mean that there will be less jobs, but new ways of getting the job done. Increased job satisfaction leads to lower turnover, and increased safety and production equates to less downtime.

There is an incredible amount of potential in the fresh-cut produce industry. This has only been accelerated by precautions emerging out of a market reckoning with COVID-19, with companies looking to minimize personnel interaction. It has been projected that the food automation market is poised to grow nearly 10% this year alone in the United States.

Custom Cut Metals is your partner in machining solutions, and can collaborate with your business to make sure you have the tools to get the job done. Contact us today for more information.