Food manufacturers can access more economical pick and place systems thanks to the launch of UK automated packing specialist Pacepacker Services' second hand Blu-Robot solutions.
The company told FoodProductionDaily.com it could offer a fully integrated packing solution, including its pick and place Blu-Robot, plus conveyors and palletisers.
Pacepacker is drawing on second-hand robots from industries such as car manufacturing for the Blu-Robot range, Andreas Fantousi, sales and marketing coordinator, told this site.
“We are taking a second-user robot that has come out of the car industry doing welding or painting,” said Fantousi. As a result, the systems were typically half the cost of a new robot, the firm said.
‘New systems can be cost prohibitive’
Dennis Allison, managing director of Pacepacker Services, said: “We realise that new automation systems can be cost prohibitive particularly for low volume packers or seasonal producers.
“To address this, the second-user Blu-Robot pick and place system, which is typically half the cost of a new robot, presents and affordable option for smaller packers looking to benefit from automation and still achieve a realistic ROI (return on investment).”
It reprogrammes, services, paints and fits the appropriate attachments ready for its new function before installing the new system with full servicing, spares and a one-year warranty.
‘Came delivered as new’
“I’d defy anyone to identify that we’ve installed a pre-owned robot; it came delivered as new,” said Ian Anderson, managing director of Blu-Robot customer and potato grower and packer Preva Produce.
Systems incorporating the Blu-Robot could serve several industries, said Fantousi, and could be tailored to the needs of food manufacturers.
The Blu-Robot has a robotic arm with more than 20 different attachments, or ‘end effectors’, to pick up different types of products, including tubs, trays, netted products, pots and bulk bags.
The arm would commonly be 35% of the way through its expected 100,000 operational hour lifespan, Pacepacker said.
30 cycles a minute
Typically it could achieve pick-up speeds of 30 cycles a minute, although some systems could be faster, said Fantousi.
Throughput speed would depend on the robot selected for each application. The same applies to the ROI period.
Pacepacker’s pick and place solution builds on the previous launch of its pre-owned Blu-Robot palletising system.