Pascal Processing, along with a large part of the Dutch companies in the food processing industry, is faced with the challenge of a shortage of workers.
Many operations in which food is processed, sorted and packaged require manual labor. Costs are rising due to the scarcity of labor.
Working at Pascal Processing is often physically demanding. Products are processed under low temperatures (cold-chain 4-7°C) to prevent loss in the chain and to guarantee quality. Employees often stand shoulder to shoulder doing the same work throughout the day, without moving from place to place. Production areas are continuously moist, due to maximum use of machines and high volumes. Due to hygiene requirements, smooth, cleanable surfaces are required. With the proliferation of machines, food processing environments are eminently noisy.
Pascal Processing is finding it increasingly difficult to find personnel for the production site where, in a cold and wet environment, monotonous, repetitive heavy (reinforcement) tasks take place, such as lifting the heavy crates and baskets and then packing them back into crates and boxes. Filling the baskets manually is especially hard work. Pascal Processing is aware that further digitization and automation is necessary to maintain the company but would also offer the opportunity to further grow the company, including employability.
Consumers increasingly want more freedom of choice and variety. As a result, we see increasingly smaller batches in production with constant or increasing total volumes. This presents Pascal Processing with a challenge to efficiently meet this demand from the retail/consumer. Also now that the strong growth that the organization is experiencing is expected to continue, a good balance must be sought between the use of technology and the deployment of employees, the control of jet plans and monitoring of production (data connection across the chain). ) should be better. COTEMACO has been asked to look into a robot solution that can make the input of crates with product into the baskets to be pascalized hands-free and from there to create a starting point for introducing further automation and deployment of robots/cobots within the organization, whereby in a later stage At this stage, the packaging and removal of the finished product will be considered.