ProEx food was recently asked to provide input for a trade publication’s upcoming special edition regarding the Australia / New Zealand market. That market has been a historically strong one for ProEx Food, as have the US and UK regions, for these glaring and common issues across all three: Processors in these markets can’t find labor to staff their lines, they can’t retain the personnel they do find, they can’t afford to pass increasing labor costs to their customers, and there is a renewed focus on reducing repetitive motion tasks for employees. This is why we focus so much on robotic automation – to create actionable, attainable solutions for these needs.
This opportunity is what drove our founders to start their own business, ProEx Food.
Equipment manufacturers are historically good and reducing their COGS for their existing product lines, and are risk averse when it comes to investing in new solutions (especially in digital technologies). It’s a continuous push to sell status quo technology, create an image that items in the early stages of R&D are real, then then truly focus exclusively on what is already in-house and building up in inventory. There is also a tendency to be averse to partnerships.
That’s where we are different. See the picture above? That robotic solutions is proven, and you can buy it right now. We partner with best-in-class equipment and technology providers to offer holistic, value orientated, turnkey solutions to complex problems. We have manufacturing capability and partners in both the US and Europe. Our engineers design equipment, develop solutions with optimal integrations and/or full lines, and set up all installation and training steps to bring your solution online, for your spec and need.
We want to make sure you know that the reason we’re doing this is because it is the right solution to your current needs.
We at ProEx Food saw, and continue to see, a spike in wages combined with labor shortages. In both the US and the UK, this is driven primarily by the current political climate. In the Australia and New Zealand, high minimum wages are combining with a lack of a traditionally transient workforce. Our customers have been looking for a new way to tackle the modern product and labor markets – they tire of hearing reps pitch minor, stale upgrades to decades old technology, for lines that they can’t find people to staff in the first place. They are also nervous on how to manage rising labor costs for the employees they do find and retain in terms of product costing, as the commodities they sell are at relatively inelastic consumer price points.
That’s why we brought this beauty with us to Fruit Logistica 2020, which we hope you saw running smoothly all show long (and without a support engineer!) at our both:
As our customers face serious business challenges that combine operational headaches, narrowing margins, and a need to find solutions, we show that we have the answer ready to go; today. ProEx Food robotic automation solutions utilize advanced technology products that are proven, in-market robotics. These have been used in food and beverage for years, have already gone through years of refinement and upgrades. Now that ProEx Food is combining our experience with technology partners, these units have been optimized for fruit and vegetable applications. They are reliable, available in up to IP69k hygienic standards (high pressure steam washable) and have short payback periods. Today.
Retention, Repetitive Motion & Cost
Yes, adding robots in the mix certainly delivers immediate relief on finding enough staff, especially during peak seasons. It’s when you look beyond that where the rationale to upgrade becomes more apparent. This is a solution made to positively impact your business for a long time.
For the most part, workers aren’t excited to perform the same task over an over again. Not only is it difficult to remain motivated and consistent throughout a shift (regardless of how late and intense the previous night was for some of your workers), it takes a toll. That impact is both mental and physical. Chances are, the ones that are sticking around for years are the ones you wish would move on. The ones that move on were reliable, dependable and capable of developing into future, higher level rolls at your company. But, how long would you expect them to keep grinding without moving up?
So, you end up with more expensive staff doing existing work, performing at inconsistent levels from shift to shift (and never as good as you want) and then creating a loop of additional shortages as repetitive motion wears down their bodies and leads to injuries. This creates cost and issues for everyone involved. Your employees incur personal costs, your operational costs go up, and your margins shrink.
So, we decided to show how a complete line solution including modern technology can offset these issues as well:
If you’re ready to start deploying robots in both your processing and packaging processes and watch your profits soar – we’re here to help you get there.