Three-dimensional alliance fosters robotic innovations
The Engineering Network Ltd
Posted to News on 6th Oct 2014, 15:06

Three-dimensional alliance fosters robotic innovations

Pacepacker Services is promoting its system integration services and its close co-operation with automation suppliers Festo and Fanuc. Working as a system integrator for 40 years, Pacepacker Services understands better than most that customers investing in a robotic product handling, assembly or packing system seek impartial guidance, not a one-sided view or opinion. Their company ethos "Unburden and free potential' underpins this approach, ensuring UK manufacturers get the installation that suits all of their needs.

Three-dimensional alliance fosters robotic innovations

Teaming up with likeminded automation suppliers Festo and FANUC, the three companies collaborate, design and manufacture the widest choice of food-grade and bulk handling robotic systems. Comprising 80+ robots and 20+ end effectors, food manufacturers can be assured that Pacepacker will create an appropriate system for the application and budget.

Pacepacker business development manager Paul Wilkinson notes: "Robotic devices are common place today and anyone can buy a robot arm. However it's how we apply knowledge that is central to designing the best possible solution for each client's application. Through this three-dimensional partnership we can access an abundance of specialist expertise, which in turn fosters greater innovation."

Three main robot types are used in the food packaging industry: articulated arm, delta style and Cartesian. FANUC regional sales manager John Rainer comments: "Although a particular robot type can often be made to handle an application, a wider choice will give you a better robot for the job." He claims that through this broad choice Pacepacker now stands well above the competition.

The team is adept at solving specific challenges that other system integrators may steer away from. A single line created for a global chemicals company encapsulates Pacepacker's "open-minded' approach. Overcoming budget and space restrictions, they designed a highly innovative line comprising a single M410ic/185 palletising robot from FANUC and an auto-adjusting end effector fitted with Festo technology to handle pallets, slip sheets, boxes and sacks.

Access to specialist skills

As testament to the partnership's success, since January 2014, 75 per cent of all enquiries received by Pacepacker requested a robot system (compared with 35 per cent in 2013) and over the last 6 months they have quoted 110+ robot food-orientated projects - up 50 per cent on 2013 figures. Pacepacker's managing director Dennis Allison says: "Now that robots are more economical, IP69K certified, and offer proven output and energy efficiencies, the food sector especially is experiencing a rapid rise in robot adoption. As a partnership, we have a combined knowledge exceeding 100 years, with access to specialist skills when the project requires."

Colin Harris, Festo business development consultant, adds: "One of Pacepacker's USPs is that they never over engineer a system. Thanks to the combination of FANUC arms and Festo's "off-the-shelf' modules for creating multitasking end effectors, customers benefit from quicker premium robot builds and a faster return on investment."

Celebrating a decade in business as Pacepacker Services, the Essex-based firm recently expanded its popular "Try Before You Buy' facility to include 250k of pick and place technology, enabling manufacturers to de-risk their automation project and run system trials before placing an order.

For more information about Pacepacker's system integration services and robotic systems, please visit

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