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Robot proposal at Asia’s largest food machinery exhibition “FOOMA JAPAN 2021”

June 11, 2021

Asia’s largest food machinery exhibition “FOOMA JAPAN 2021 (International Food Machinery & Technology Exhibition)” was held from June 1st to 4th, 2021 at the exhibition hall “Aichi Sky Expo” in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture. It was the 44th time to be held FOOMA Japan, but it was for the first time held in Aichi Prefecture. The number of exhibitors was 661. Despite being declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 spreading, 22,420 people visited during the session. The editorial department of SEISANZAI Japan interviewed at the venue a robot proposal to solve the problem of labor shortage in the food industry.

Yaskawa Electric proposes two robots

Yaskawa Electric showed two proposals.

One is the collaborative robot “MOTOMAN-HC10DTF” that can be utilized on food production lines. This collaborative robot is unpainted and has a direct surface treatment on the body material. This is because if the paint is peeled off, foreign objects accident may occur.

The other one is the image judgment solution “Y’s-Eye” that utilizes the deep learning function of artificial intelligence (AI). Foods vary widely from individual to individual, but it is easy to select the defective products such as burned food, food with stain by people who get used to work. Therefore, if AI is trained for a specific food, the judgment accuracy will become higher and higher.

THK exhibits robot hand which can grab workpiece of various shapes

THK, a machine components maker, unveiled various robot-related products.

One of them is a small robot hand. Many shafts are provided in the hand, and firstly the shafts can move according to the shape of the workpiece to transfer the profile. If the user fixes the shaft in a state where it fits the workpiece shape, this robot hand can grip a workpiece with wide range of shapes including an indefinite shape.

THK also showed off a soba noodles robot. Soba noodles robots automate the tasks of boiling, washing, and rinsing buckwheat with cold water. THK has developed the soba noodles robot in collaboration with Connected Robotics, which develops an automatic cooking system.

Fujimak’s robot can automatically sorts tableware

A lots of food machinery makers have also proposed automation systems that combine their original products with robots.

Fujimak, a maker of kitchen appliances for restaurants, proposed an automatic tableware sorting robot “finibo”. Two robots sort the two types of dishes that go around on the conveyor-type dishwasher.

People manually sorted the tableware up to now. However, the it is very hot and harsh for people to work next to the dishwasher. If the tableware sorting work is automated by robots, the burden on workers will be greatly reduced.

Fujimak has developed finibo in collaboration with TechMagic, which develops cooking robots. finibo is equipped with “6D conveyor tracking technology”, which was developed by Techmagic. Tableware usually goes around on the conveyor in a condition being in irregular positions, but finibo can use multiple cameras to accurately recognize the position of the dishes.

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