Priestley’s Gourmet Delights opens AI robot-...

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights opens AI robot-powered factory in Queensland

One of Queensland’s largest cake factories opened its door in May 2024, but there was one major point of difference: it will be powered by a team of artificially intelligent robot bakers.

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights officially opened its 7740sq m factory at Acacia Ridge on Brisbane’s south with a team of autonomous bakers and tray stackers. It’s expected the factory will be able to produce about 270,000 baked goods each week.

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights chief executive officer Xanny Christophersen told that all the company’s current workers were being upskilled to help manage the factory, and would also learn to operate manufacturing execution systems and inputting data.

Certain manual jobs such as taste-testing and quality control would also be done by humans.

“We would never intentionally replace humans with robots,” Ms Christophersen said.

“What we’re doing with our staff is upskilling them and making them future-proof for their careers.

“The intent is not to lay off staff. We’re forecasting an additional 56 heads throughout our business by 2026 because of the growth we’re forecasting.”

Ms Christophersen told the ABC that each cake, muffin and vanilla slice would be individually tracked by computers, which would monitor everything from temperature to the location. Machine learning algorithms would also manage ingredient levels and movements on the floor and ensure the operations run smoothly. Decorating, however, would still be done by hand to ensure a human touch.

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights qualified for $2.5 million in Queensland Government funding as a fourth industrial revolution factory, run by both humans and robots.

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