Industry 4.0 and COVID-19: The Future of Downstream Automation for Food Packaging

Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed in the food industry. In response to challenges with the supply chain, labor shortages, and increased demand for food, medicine, and other essentials, manufacturers in the food industry are all looking for ways to increase automation in their facilities. However, the changes that coronavirus brought aren’t the only factors that heightened the need for automation in food production facilities. In fact, when the beginning of what’s considered the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) began around 2014, more and more robotics and automation were introduced to the manufacturing setting. Industry 4.0 marked significant technological advancements and production restructuring in all types of factory facilities as well as worldwide societal changes and a new kind of industrial capitalism. At Forpak, our innovative solutions for food packaging equipment and production line engineering follow the patterns of Industry 4.0 with advanced software systems, downstream automation, and intelligent reject capabilities. With Forpak equipment, production lines can incorporate fully automated systems for sorting, laning, stacking, conveying, autotransfer, discrepant product rejection, and more.

Latest Industrial Revolution

There have been several industrial revolutions throughout history, and they almost always evolve in response to new technology. In the late 1700s to early 1800s, the First Industrial Revolution came with the development of steam and water power in addition to new textile manufacturing capabilities. The Second Industrial Revolution came in the late 1800s to early 1900s with electricity, railroad, telegraph, and the introduction of more machinery to the production line. The Third Industrial Revolution occurred in the late 20th century as the digital age and the internet were introduced. Today, we are in the midst of the beginning of Industry 4.0.

COVID-19 Pandemic

After the COVID-19 pandemic, Industry 4.0’s trends for increased automation only expanded. The pandemic resulted in a drop in the workforce, a need for greater sanitation, and a serious growth in demand. In response to these concerns and to stay current with the changing Industry 4.0 standards, manufacturers around the world have been greatly increasing the amount of automation in their facilities. This includes food packaging and food processing companies.

Food Packaging

If you’re looking to increase automation in your facilities, Forpak equipment is your answer. Our fully automated food packing equipment designs fulfill operational requirements for many production lines and meet standards for sanitation and hygiene in the bakery, meat, and pizza industries. In addition to our equipment designs engineered for laning, sorting, stacking, conveying, autotransfers, and rejection, we also work with clients to build customized systems to meet their unique needs for automation.

The future of COVID-19 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will likely lean farther and farther toward complete automation. To learn more about how Forpak will continue to support downstream automation with our food packaging equipment designs, contact us by calling (612) 419-1948 or emailing You can also request more information online today or request a quote to get started with us today.