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Pacepacker offer 20+ robot options.

Working closely with two of the leading robot & mechatronic manufacturers, Fanuc and Festo, Pacepacker launched a new pick and place robot portfolio at Foodex incorporating the widest range of robots on the market. The range, which currently includes over 20 different options for food manufacturers to choose from, is made up of Cartesian, articulated arm and delta-style robots. This comprehensive range means that Pacepacker, an automation integrator, can provide a robotic solution to handle any food assembly or packing scenario.

Pacepacker's Business Development Manager, Paul Wilkinson commented: "We have been integrating robots for pick & place and palletising tasks for over 40 years, but the use of robots to pick-up and pack food products is really starting to accelerate. This was reflected in the levels of enquiries we received at Foodex from a diverse cross section of end users, from snacks, to ready meals and flour producers. One enquiry we received came from a fish supplier to pick up raw product is testament to the growing interest for primary packing. With the recent introduction of 1P69K certified systems food manufacturers are able to overcome barriers to automation allowing them to integrate robotic applications onto their fresh packing lines."

As well as designing and manufacturing packing machinery for the food industry, Pacepacker is a robotics system integrator. Working with Festo and Fanuc, Pacepacker can offer food producers and manufacturers the widest range of pick and place robots available on the market. Plus using their own in-house design team, Pacepacker is able to offer bespoke robotic solutions as well--the company has proudly won eight industry awards in the last 24 months for their automation innovation work.

The latest figures published by the British Automation and Robotics Association (BARA) shows the recent acceleration in the deployment of robotics by UK food manufacturers, revealing a 60 percent increase in food sector adoption in 2013 compared to 2000's. "When handling either wrapped or unwrapped foods, robots offer flexibility, speed and high levels of consistency. Along with a wide range of robots, with 15 different end-effectors to choose from we can handle products in single or multiple formats, including the most fragile of products like muffins or cookies," added Dennis Allison, Managing Director of Pacepacker.

Fanuc UK Managing Director, Chris Sumner is also noticing a marked increase in uptake. "The most recent demands from producers relate to food safety and the use of robots to improve hygiene during the manufacturing process," said Chris. "Although IP67K certified robots have been commonplace for many years, the very nature of a robot arm, with its many crevices and less durable construction materials, has in the past prevented it from working in harsh food environments." Fanuc is one of the few suppliers in the marketplace right now that has manufactured IP69K certified systems. Its new LR Mate 200iD/7C articulated arm and M-2iA delta style assembly robot are both capable of operating in high-pressure, high-temperature wash-down environments, meeting individual Retailer Codes of Practice (COP) and the latest hygiene and product line integrity requirements set out by the British Retail Consortium.

Food manufacturers looking to gain more knowledge on the subject can use Pacepacker's EEF award winning 'Try Before You Buy' facility to run tests and trials on their products before making a commitment to placing an order. At this year's PPMA Show, Pacepacker will showcase six different pick and place systems demonstrating the three main technologies - robotic (articulated arm, delta and Cartesian), electro/pneumatic Cartesian and bespoke styles - in Hall 5, Stand C50.

*British Automation and Robotics Association (BAKA) 2013 Full Year Report

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Title Annotation:TECHNOLOGY
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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