Food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly relying on automated controls to achieve higher quality and consistency in a competitive market.
Globally, manufacturers in the sensors market earned approximately $2,891.5 million in 2012 and this is expected to rise to $4,157.8 million in 2018.
Sankara Narayanan, senior industry analyst, Frost & Sullivan, said governments worldwide have strict laws that mandate the use of sensors and other electronic devices that test the risk involved in food contamination.
Internationally, accepted standards and guidelines that F&B manufacturers need to adhere to include the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group, Food and Drug Administration, IP69K and Ecolab.
Important growth catalyst
"The presence of standards and regulatory compliance requirements is one of the major drivers for the implementation of sensor systems," he said.
"The conversion of less sophisticated controls to state-of-the-art automation systems is an important growth catalyst, as better automation improves performance, reduces cost, increases production and energy efficiency, and boost productivity."
F&B manufacturers currently use automation controls such as intelligent sensors, communication at the fieldbus level, non-contact measuring systems/ sensors and wireless sensors.
As part of the Sensors & Instrumentation Research, Narayanan covers flow, level, pressure, temperature, photoelectric, inductive, capacitive, ultrasonic sensors and biosensors.
He said the uptake of sensors is set to receive further impetus from the increasing automation of food and beverage plants and processes. Legislation encouraging greater investments in automation and control will reinforce these trends.
“The need for instruments and controls that accurately measure, regulate, or record pressure, temperature, or other conditions has led to the wider use of sensors. Automated controls are EtherNet/IP-enabled, intelligent and communicate through standard networks, enhancing overall performance," added Narayanan.
"Producing robust sensors for accurate measurement in harsh conditions, offering complete products for the industry, crafting customer service strategies, meeting internationally accepted standards and guidelines, and working towards product differentiation are the factors that contribute to successful business outcomes for sensor participants in the food and beverage industry."
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