Food automation is a fast growing market, in which robotics plays an important part in the supply chain. In 2027 this market is estimated to reach $29.4 billion, according to research by Meticulous Market Research.
The food automation market is driven by factors such as the growing adoption of digitalization across the food & beverage industry, increasing food safety regulations, and adoption of automated systems in packaging & logistic operations. The market is seeking growth opportunities from the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies across the food industry and high demand for robots & sensor-based systems. However, the requirement of significant initial investment is expected to hamper the market growth to some extent.
COVID 19 IMPACT
The COVID- 19 had a significant impact on the growth of the overall food automation market. Governments of various countries imposed lockdowns to minimize the spread of the virus. This resulted in the disruption of the supply chain due to the shutdown of manufacturing facilities and trade restrictions, which led to the demand-supply gap between the essential commodities, such as food & beverages. However, the market is slowly gaining its tracks, with the slow and steady opening of the manufacturing facilities. Moreover, the growing need to minimize human contact to limit the spread of coronavirus and contamination of the food items are some of the key factors expected to drive this market.
Based on component, the plant-level controls segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period due to rising utilization of control, data analysis, and process management software solutions such as SCADA, PLC, and DCS. The F&B sector deploys hybrid automation solutions that combine the discrete and process automation technology. SCADA is witnessing high demand as it monitors the entire process system and provides instructions to other individual PLCs & DCSs.
Based on application, the palletizing & depalletizing segment is estimated to cover the highest market share in 2020 due to increased efficiency and reduced frequent faults robotics and sensor-based solutions offer. Industry players have developed application-specific robots and sensor-based systems that offer enhanced quality, better working conditions, and improved production throughput. However, the packaging & repacking segment is expected to gain a high growth rate until 2027 with the need for safe and leak-free packaging of food & beverages.
Based on end-use, in 2020, the dairy processing sector is expected to account for the largest share of the overall food automation market owing to the need for highly efficient systems for processing milk products, cheese, and ice cream to maintain the freshness and quality as they have less shelf life and high cost. However, the beverages & distilleries segment will witness the highest CAGR from 2020 to 2027. The high growth rate is attributed to the rapid digitization of beverage manufacturing and the adoption of ERP and SCADA solutions to maintain product quality.
In 2020, Asia-Pacific region is projected to command the largest share of the global food automation market, followed by Europe and North America. The Middle East & Africa and South America are also witnessing considerable market growth. The major share of the Asia-Pacific is mainly attributed to the key players’ presence and the need to maintain food quality. Furthermore, a high focus on adopting digitalization and increasing demand for processed food is further driving the market growth in the region.
Key players in the food automation market are aiming at strengthening their position in the market. These players are focused on innovating their product portfolio. Moreover, the companies also emphasize on R&D for developing specific products with the food industry’s hygiene capabilities.
The key players operating in the global food automation market are ABB Group (Switzerland), Rockwell Automation (U.S.), Siemens AG (Germany), Yaskawa Electric Corporation (Japan), Schneider Electric (France), Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Japan), KUKA AG (Germany), Emerson Electric (U.S.), Fanuc (Japan), and Honeywell International (U.S.), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), GEA Group (Germany), JLS Automation (U.S.), Falcon Autotech Pvt. Ltd (India), and Food Automation Pty. Ltd (Australia) among others.