Responding to manufacturers’ demands for more economical automation solutions, multi award winning packing equipment designer and manufacturer Pacepacker Services has launched a range of second user Blu-Robot pick and place systems which are typically half the cost of a new robot.
Incorporating a second user robotic arm, Pacepacker’s economical Blu-Robot range comes with over 20 different end effectors to suit bespoke pick and place applications from tubs, trays, netted products, pots and bulk bags, with pick-up speeds of 30 cycles per minute. Throughput speed will depend on the robot selected for each application. "We realise that new automation systems can be cost prohibitive particularly for low volume packers or seasonal producers," explains Dennis Allison, MD of Pacepacker Services, "to address this the second-user Blu-Robot pick and place system, which is typically half the cost of a new robot, presents an affordable option for smaller packers looking to benefit from automation and still achieve a realistic ROI.
As a robotics systems integrator, and an active supporter of BARA’s* Automating Manufacturing Programme which aims to increase robot uptake in the UK, Pacepacker launched a pre-owned Blu-Robot palletising system in 2011 which provided both automation-shy SME manufacturers and seasonal packers an economical alternative to first-user systems. The success of this initiative has led to the launch of the Blu-Robot pick and place system as Dennis explains: "Pick and place is an area of automation which has historically been widely overlooked due to the complexity of packing irregular products. However it is also a labour intensive operation which can lead to product wastage due to human error."
The pre-owned/second user robotic arm, typically Fanuc, originates from the automotive industry and approximately 35% of the way through its expected 100,000 operational hour lifespan. Pacepacker reprogrammes, services, paints and fits the appropriate end effector to the system ready for its new occupation before installing this system with full servicing, spares and a one year warranty. "I’d defy anyone to identify that we’ve installed a pre-owned robot; it came delivered as new," said Blu-Robot customer and potato grower/packer Preva Produce Managing Director Ian Anderson.
Winner of six prestigious industry awards in 18 months for their achievements in automation solutions, export and customer service, Pacepacker’s second user economical Blu-Robot pick and place range was recently launched by their local Braintree MP Brooks Newmark who cited, "Pacepacker is a great example of British innovation and technological excellence".
*the British Automation and Robot Association