The process of loading and unloading a retort remains one of the most labor intensive on a modern packaging line. Hardware and software developments along with a vision for integrating the various steps in the process make this an ideal time for re-engineering the retort room. Automation helps packagers lower labor costs and increase throughput. An intense amount of direct labor is required in the retort room, including:
The size of the retort baskets has classically been kept relatively small to ensure worker safety as the baskets are handled. As a consequence, retorts have traditionally been sized for smaller loads. In effect, the retort room and the retort itself are configured for small batch operations supported by manual labor. The process lends itself to repetitive motion and other potential lost-time injuries.
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