In order to achieve the goals for a more sustainable food production and to reduce the amount of the climate emissions, the flexible robotic automation technology will enable to increase raw material utilization, reduce food loss and waste, and to cope with biological variation of raw material from fish to wheat. This is the leading motto for the scientists in iProcess: «More value – less loss and waste».
iProcess is multidisciplinary project that addresses all these topics for a more sustainable food processing industry in Norway. Major vendors develop technological solutions and machinery that are not suitable for the small size production volumes in Norway. 17% of total emissions in EU are generated through processing of food, and globally there are more than 1.3 billion tons of food going to waste every year. In Norway alone, the food waste is estimated at 320.000 tons.
Large portions of raw material today are lost in the different segments of the food value chain, and especially in the processing stage, due to the lack of a suitable technology that can cope with the high biological variation of raw material. The food industry in Norway is characterized with much lower production volume than what is common globally and the access to the currently available technology is not suitable for the Norwegian production model. Therefore, there is a great need for flexible, modul-based solutions that can be suited to Norwegian production and which can tackle the high biological variation in the raw material. Scientists contributing in iProcess aim to develop new concepts and methods within novel use of spectroscopic sensors, 3D CT CAD modelling, data acquisition, robot vision, learning and automation technology. Joining together the artificial "eye, brain and hand", results in concepts contributing to a more flexible, profitable and sustainable food processing industry.