Pumps sector must enhance its automation awareness
14 Jan 2019
The recent success of Seepex’s award-winning Smart Dosing Pump at last year’s ACHEMA show is a reminder that automation is going to develop an increasing share of the market for pumps in the food and drink sector.
Seepex offers a reminder too that automation does not have to produce in its wake a prohibitive cost or a need for highly technical new job roles.
Most of us accept now that a pump’s value cannot be summed up simply by its purchase price alone. It may cost more but, over the life cycle, what does the product offer that its cheaper cousin does not?
Once again it comes down to the old adage of ‘buy cheap and you buy twice’. The value of a pump lies in its effectiveness in securing an end result, minimising downtime, increasing energy efficiency, lasting longer and saving cost. Doing more for less when reviewed over its period of useful existence.
Yes, automation involves technological complexity and the availability of some very expert people. Yet it tends to reduce the numbers of people involved in a task and to ensure the remainder perform better and faster.
It’s also the case that day to day operating frequently can devolve to employees with a lower level of technical ability.
And there is simply too much that depends upon pump efficiency in the food and drink sector for us to avoid embracing automation.
The available labour force is contracting, so that the risk will not be finding work for supposedly idle hands in a plant but having sufficient people for the job as it is currently done.
Cleanliness is becoming paramount for regulatory and competitive reasons, competition is becoming globalised and waste and recall need to be limited drastically.
Pumps are intrinsic to the process and with the benefit of automation, may play a role in helping monitor supply chains. Positive news for those seeking a long-term future in the industry.