Dean Elkins


Senior Director, Robotics and Vision


Gray Solutions

Dean Elkins will speak on automating et food quality on Tuesday, April 30, at 2-2:25 p.m. during the “Innovations in pet food processing” concurrent sessions. Register now

Learn more about Dean’s presentation below:

What is the single, most important concept you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?

How the successful implementation of automation can aid in efficiency and quality gains within the pet food manufacturing environment.  The use of robots, vision systems, and AMR’s is far easier to implement, operate and maintain than in the past.

Please explain the significance of this concept to yourself and your organization:

The pet food industry is faced with increased throughput, quality and flexibility requirements. As is the case with many industry verticals, the pet food industry is faced with labor shortages and increased means of flexibly meeting consumer demands. Automation is the perfect way to augment the needs of the manufacturer to meet this changing demand.

As a professional services and system integration company, Gray Solutions provides robust and reliable solutions that facilitate material handling, quality and data analytics needs.

What are potential next developments in this specific field?

Ease of use tools in programming and data harvesting coupled with AI are allowing for greater automation power is shorter periods of time. Shorter project implementation, ramp-up and training periods can have a very positive effect on throughput and ROI.

Presentation Description:

From kibble to bytes: Automating pet food quality control — Elkins explains the importance of leveraging advanced technology — including vision systems, robotics and cutting-edge quality assessments — to ensure quality and safety as the pet food industry continues to evolve. Using case studies and real-world applications by pet food manufacturers, he explores how these technologies can revolutionize quality control and improve overall operational efficiency in the pet food production process.


Dean Elkins is Gray Solutions’ senior director of robotics and vision, a group that provides robust automation solutions that often include robots, autonomous vehicles, vision solutions, computer modeling and high-level controls. Prior to joining Gray Solutions, he was employed by Yaskawa America in various capacities, including sales manager at different levels, senior general manager and segment leader, material handling. Elkins has also worked for other robotic companies. He received a degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University.