Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest Toronto has begun providing in-flight catering services on board Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi.

Due to the pandemic, the mobilisation and launching phases were carried out by daily exchanges with the Abu Dhabi-based chefs, equipment managers and ground operations.

Newrest Canada operates solely in the in-flight activity with four catering production units in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. In Montreal, there are two catering production units, one for international airlines, the other for the Air Canada Hub.

Elsewhere, Newrest has begun the construction on a brand-new production unit in Israel.

The 10,000 square meter in-flight catering kitchen close to the Ben Gurion Airport of Tel-Aviv, will be operational within 20 months.

Advanced solutions will be implemented throughout the unit such as cobot assisted assembly lines, greener washing area and cleaning system as well as a digitised workflow.

Newrest spent three years researching the use of collaborative robots (cobots) to improve the productivity of its in-flight units.

The initial step was the creation of the universal robotic hand, which can grip any type of object in any type of container.

Staff work hand in hand with the cobots in a fully integrated process. The operator sets the pace, and the machine relieves him of having to do low added value tasks. This occurs from the portioning stage onwards.

The latest cobots are equipped with the latest technologies including robotic garnishing lines, technological assistance with the assembly of trolleys, preparation and dispatch of flights, automated washing up of dishes and trays, automated sorting of cutlery and automatic bagging machines.

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