FANUC Open House Event 2021

Building on the success of its first ever open house in 2019 and its debut virtual offering in 2020, FANUC UK will host an automation event in November this year.

Taking place between Monday 1st – Friday 5th November, FANUC is inviting guests to visit its UK headquarters in Antsy Park, Coventry. There will be a full line-up of speakers as well as a demonstration programme spanning three distinct themes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, which is bookended by two open days for exploration of its facility on the Monday and Friday.

Endoline Robotics Ltd will be a guest exhibitor at the Open house, and the UK Sales Manager, Suraj Patel, will be available to discuss automatic robotic palletising solution, which are powered by FANUC.

To register for the open house please visit the FANUC UK website.

Suraj Patel, on the right, with the Endoline Robotics 1001 palletiser.

 

PPMA: Endoline Robotics to demonstrate, flexible, entry-level palletising robotic solution. Stand D60

Showcasing its entry level, ‘Plug & Play’ robotic palletising system at the forthcoming PPMA Show, Endoline Robotics is set to demonstrate the benefits of automation, and the quick return on investment which can be achieved.

The food and beverage industry is facing an acute labour shortage due to post-Brexit rules and the impact of Covid-19. As a direct result, demands for robotic integration within food manufacturing sites has dramatically increased.

On the back of its strategic partnership with FANUC UK, Endoline Robotics is answering calls for flexible robotic solutions which improve productivity and efficiency, through its 1000 series of three robotic palletising solutions.

From this series, visitors to stand D60 will be able to view the entry-level, 1001 robotic palletiser which is ideal for small-to-medium productions.

With huge advantages over stationary systems, the compact, 1001 features a FANUC robotic arm on a platform, and can be easily moved and quickly incorporated into different production lines within a manufacturing facility as and when demand dictates.

Designed to handle various pre-defined products with quick changeovers, the 1001 receives product directly from the production line and palletises on a pallet stationed on the floor. Once the operation is complete, the system signals the operator to remove the full pallet and add a new one to be palletised.

At speeds of up to 12 cycles per minute, the FANUC robotic arm provides precise product handling of carton boxes, display boxes, trays, multipacks, bags, and totes.

Ideal for manufacturers who previously rejected palletising automation due to concerns around flexibility, the 1001 can dramatically increase palletising speed and efficiency, offering a quick ROI. Industry 4.0 ready, the system can also monitor key performance indicators and manufacturers can extract performance data.

“Our customers are increasingly requiring robotic systems; however, they also seek flexible solutions which won’t be left redundant if their businesses change,” comments Andrew Yates, Managing Director of Endoline Robotics. “The launch of the 1000 series of palletising robots strengthens our strategic partnership with FANUC, and by demonstrating the many benefits of the entry-level 1001 robotic palletiser at PPMA, we hope to help manufacturers understand the efficiencies which can be gained through automation.”

At the PPMA Show, Endoline Robotics will share stand D60 with parent company, Endoline Automation, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

Endoline Robotics will showcase its 1001 robotic palletiser at the forthcoming PPMA Show

 

The 1001 robotic palletiser is part of the 1000 series of three robotic palletising solutions

Endoline Robotics creates series of financial solutions to aid robotic uptake

Endoline Robotics has launched unique flexible finance options on its robotic palletising range to help manufacturers take the automation plunge.

With a solution to fit all requirements, from rental systems to pay-per-pallet, the ‘Pal’ finance options have been designed to de-risk automation plans and enable manufacturers to spread the cost of their investment.

Based on the increasingly popular principle of Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) where providers offer robots as a service to an organisation for managing repetitive tasks, Endoline’s Pal financial solutions negates the need for initial capital investment.

As an expensive commodity, many manufacturers, particularly those who work seasonally, have shied away from investing in robotics due to the difficulties in achieving a quick return on investment. However, as the only G7 country with a robot density below the world’s average, the UK is ranked as the 20th most productive country in the world.

Manufacturers now need to take full advantage of the robotic technology available to them and exploit the benefits so as not to fall even further behind.

As a FANUC strategic partner, Endoline Robotics manages the installation of robotic palletising systems within UK manufacturing plants.

Under its new ‘pal’ finance offering, Endoline will offer customers the following:
Go-Pal, an outcome-based contract, with no capital investment, enabling manufacturers to only pay for the number of pallets produced and Rent-Pal, which provides both short- and long-term rental solutions.

Further de-risking the purchasing process, Endoline are also offering a ‘Try Before You Buy’ option, where manufacturers are invited to run product trials before placing an order.

“A good robotic palletising system will optimise productivity, reduce waste and address rising manufacturing labour costs.” Comments Andrew Yates, Managing Director of Endoline Robotics. “For some manufacturers however, cost is still a factor.”

“Our Pal finance solutions, and Try Before You Buy initiative, should empower manufacturers to automate their palletising operations with an investment plan which meets their requirements exactly.”

Image 1: Endoline Robotics has launched unique flexible finance options on its robotic palletising range to help manufacturers take the automation plunge

Endoline Robotics appoints new UK Sales Manager

Suraj Patel has joined Endoline Robotics as UK Sales Manager.

Appointed to grow the robotics company, launched by Endoline Automation in 2019, Suraj will work with manufacturers across the UK to address their palletising needs.

Working closely with Endoline Robotics’ strategic partner FANUC, Suraj will manage the supply and installation of the robotic palletising systems.

The automation of end-of-line palletising systems represents a major growth area for UK manufacturers. Endoline Robotics’ palletising solutions takes the strain of monotonous and repetitive tasks off manual workers, freeing up their time to complete more value-added tasks.

Suraj’s role will see him demonstrate the benefits Endoline Robotic palletisers can yield, while raising the profile of the company. Suraj brings a wealth of experience in working with UK manufacturers, particularly within the food sector, as a result of his six years with Mettler-Toledo International.

Suraj comments: “I am delighted to join Endoline Robotics. I have been aware of the great reputation of Endoline Automation throughout my career, they are synonymous with creating high quality end-of-line solutions, and I am looking forward to being part of their robotics story.”

“While Endoline Automation has achieved great success on a global platform, they remain a family run business at heart, and this was hugely appealing to me.”

Suraj Patel has joined Endoline Robotics as UK Sales Manager

 

Robot adoption key to raising UK productivity levels

By Andrew Yates, Managing Director, Endoline Robotics

UK manufacturers must tip the balance in favour of automation to avoid falling even further behind international competition.

As the only G7 country with a robot density below the world’s average, the UK has just 91 units per 10,000 employees. According to a recent report*, not only is the UK using fewer robots, but the country is lagging behind in the productivity stakes, and is currently ranked as the 20th most productive country in the world.

The UK led the First Industrial Revolution by embracing new technologies and the opportunities these created. However, unless British manufacturers significantly increases its adoption of robotics and automation, and take full advantage of the technology available, foreign productivity will increase and the UK will be left trailing behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Earlier this month, the Chancellor announced a super-deduction tax allowance on plant and machinery to give the sector the boost it needs. From April 2021 until March 2023, any business investing in plant and machinery can take advantage of the 130% tax break which will provide 25p off company tax bills for every £1 spent on qualifying machinery.

Manufacturers now need to exploit this and realise the benefits robotic integration can yield.

Demand for robotics within the UK has undoubtedly increased. In fact, in 2019, capitalising on its 40 years of success in automating global food manufacturing facilities, Endoline Automation launched a sister company – Endoline Robotics. However, since delving into the world of robotics with strategic partner FANUC UK, the company recognises that UK manufacturers still need further education on the paybacks of robotic systems.

While most do understand the efficiencies gained from automation, the belief that it is expensive is still a barrier, particularly for SME’s and manufacturers on short term retailer contracts. However, when you consider that, as a country, we are around 30% less productive per hour than a German manufacturer, then the financial impact of not automating is clearly far greater.

Today, robotic systems can not only boost productivity and efficiency, they are tangible assets which can be moved or easily re-programmed to meet changing demands. Robotic palletising systems in particular, as they are outside high-care areas, are extremely flexible and can take the strain of monotonous and repetitive tasks off human workers, freeing up their time to complete more value-added tasks.

For many, return on investment (ROI) can be a deal breaker. When looking to achieve ROI inside a year, manufacturers shouldn’t be swayed by price alone. A well-engineered solution will provide low cost of ownership for many years at a fraction of the cost of manual labour.

Therefore the risk we face is not robots taking over the UK workplace, but the risk that, unless UK manufacturers begin embracing the benefits of automation, other countries will continue to seize the initiative and take advantage of new technologies, not least the growth and jobs they bring, while the Britain continues to trail behind.

* Balloon One

Government announces super deduction tax on machinery

From April 2021 until March 2023, businesses investing in plant and machinery will qualify for a 130% capital allowance deduction. This tax break will provide 25p off company tax bills for every £1 spent on qualifying plant and machinery.

This measure – which is expected to boost UK investment by £20 billion a year – includes a super-deduction of 130% on most new plant and machinery investments, which would have ordinarily qualified for 18% relief, and a first year allowance of 50% on most new plant and machinery investments which would have ordinarily qualified for 6% relief.

The ‘super-deduction’ which was announced by the Chancellor in the recent budget, is intended to spur business investment, aid post pandemic economic recovery and give the UK’s productivity levels a boost.

With no upper spending cap, any UK manufacturer looking to invest in machinery to increase the efficiency of their facility, and speed of their production lines should look to bring forward any spending plans.

While not applicable to second-hand assets the super-deduction tax is, according to tax experts, likely to benefit all businesses that are increasing their spend on capital equipment.

The move is set to boost the UK’s slow pace in moving to automation and robotics.

Over several years the fact that the UK has lagged behind G7 counterparts in the adoption of automation has allowed other countries to steal a march in leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and seize upon the opportunities for economic growth and jobs.

Automation has always been an enabler to streamline and enhance efficiency and manufacturers should now be able to clearly identify which areas would benefit and take advantage of the 130% tax break.

For further information on Endoline Robotics’ palletising solutions visit www.endoline-robotics.com or call us on +44 (0) 1767 310581.

Endoline Robotics launches new, flexible ‘Plug & Play’ palletising robot series

Endoline Robotics has launched a new series of upgradeable ‘Plug & Play’ robotic palletisers, offering manufacturers greater flexibility.

With huge advantages over stationary systems, the transportable 1000 series of robotic palletising solutions, featuring a FANUC robotic arm, can be easily moved and incorporated into different production lines within a manufacturing facility as and when demand dictates.

With three separate systems under the range, all with upgradeable options, Endoline Robotics’ 1000 series is designed to grow with a company, making it a system for life.

The first in the series, the semi-automatic 1001 system, receives product from a single infeed and palletises on a pallet stationed on the floor. Once the operation is complete, the system signals the operator to remove the full pallet and add a new one to be palletised. While mirroring the process of the 1001, the 1002 palletiser is also semi-automatic, but begins palletising a second pallet when the first is filled, enabling operators to replace the filled pallet with an empty one for continuous operation.

Completing the range is the fully automatic, 1003 system. Products arrive at the palletising position from an infeed conveyor and the robotic arm palletisers according to pre-defined patterns. When the process is complete, the system discharges the loaded pallet onto a conveyor outside the cell.

Each system within the range is designed to handle various pre-defined products with quick changeovers. At speeds of 12 cycles per minute, the FANUC robotic arm provides precise product handling of carton boxes, display boxes, trays, multipacks, bags and totes.

Ideal for manufacturers who previously rejected palletising automation due to concerns around flexibility, the 1000 series can dramatically increase palletising speed and efficiency, offering an ROI in under 30 months. Industry 4.0 ready, each system can also monitor key performance indicators and manufacturers can extract performance data.

“The launch of the 1000 series of palletising robots strengthens our strategic partnership with FANUC,” comments Andrew Yates, Managing Director of Endoline Robotics. “Our customers are increasingly requiring robotic systems; however they also seek flexible solutions which won’t be left redundant if their businesses change. The 1000 series of palletising robots offers a complete solution.”

While flexible and with upgradeable options, the compact nature of the 1000 series makes it ideal for sites with limited space. It can also be easily moved by forklift and quickly installed and commissioned onto different lines as and when demand dictates.

Endoline Robotics’ 1000 series is designed to grow with a company, making it a system for life

 

At speeds of 12 cycles per minute, the FANUC robotic arm provides precise product handling of carton boxes, display boxes, trays, multipacks, bags and totes

Endoline Robotics’ palletising solution helps flour miller meet rising retail demands

A new robotic palletising solution from Endoline Robotics is delivering significant productivity gains for UK-based Carr’s Flour Mills.

With unprecedented demand for flour during the Covid-19 pandemic, Carr’s doubled its production for one major supermarket chain, from 120 to 250 tonnes per week.

Installing an Endoline Robotics’ palletising system, powered by a Fanuc M710 robot, has enabled the flour miller to efficiently manage an output of 167,000 bags of flour per week, and provided greater flexibility to run the line 24/7.

Carr’s are flour millers with a 200-year heritage. Producing a range of fine flours at its three UK based mills, Carr’s supplies major retailers across the country, along with local Cumbrian stores close to its flagship site, Silloth Mill.

Silloth Mill was packing 1.5kg bags of self-raising and plain flour for a major supermarket chain. However, at the start of March 2020, with customer demand for flour rising, Carr’s immediately increased output by 50% to 167,000 bags of flour per week to meet the retailer’s requirements.

Doubling its manual packing staff from 8 to 16 to manage the rise in output, Carr’s swiftly pushed forward with plans to automate the process. Having met Endoline Robotics, the strategic partner of Fanuc in the UK, at the 2019 PPMA Show, Carr’s had placed the order for the palletising robot, just ahead of the pandemic.

“We had always planned to automate the line. However, faced with the unprecedented rise in demand we employed a further eight manual workers on a short-term basis, until Endoline were able to quickly install the robot.” Explains Ben Clark, Operations Director for Carr’s.

Implementing shift patterns to man the production line, the M710 palletising robot was needed to keep the operation running 24/7 without the additional staff, while increasing the quality of the stacked pallet.

The M710 system features a robotic arm with a specifically engineered, smart, self-cleaning vacuum gripper. Manoeuvring ten, 1.5kg flour bags from the bag packer at once, the robot gently collates them into the required palletising pattern.

At a speed of 74 bags per minute, the system gently palletises the flour to produce neat small Dusseldorf pallets, placing interlayers for increased pallet stability.

Designed to a very small footprint for seamless integration with the existing equipment, the robot features an infeed product collation system with two separate safety zones and two palletising positions for continuous operation. This eliminates frequent start-stopping of the upstream bag filling equipment. Once the first pallet is filled with the required amount the robot continues palletising onto the second pallet, and an operator replaces the first one, taking the filled pallet for stretch-wrapping.

The pallets are then delivered to the retailer and placed on the floor for customers to pick products directly from the pallet.

“We were constrained by the manual process. Endoline’s robotic solution has enabled us to redeploy the original eight workers to other, more skilled areas of the business.” Concludes Ben. “Quality and efficiency has improved, and we now have greater flexibility to increase productivity for our customers.”

   

   

Endoline Robotics launches flexible plug&play solution for animal feed packers

Endoline Robotics, working closely with strategic partner FANUC, has created a ‘plug & play’ robotic palletising solution, to meet the needs of the animal feed industry.

The ‘in a box’ robotic solution can be customised to directly meet specific demands and overcome the challenges faced by the industry.

Worth over £5.5 billion in the UK, the animal feed industry produces food products which are often large and bulky, and difficult to palletise by hand. Products of differing sizes, weights and shape are frequently run through the same line, making automation challenging.

Offering a fast Return on Investment, Endoline Robotics’ palletising solution is built to a small footprint – ideal for animal feed factory floors where space is often at a premium.

Powered by a FANUC robotic arm, the system is fitted with a bespoke mechanical gripper which can be programmed to pick up and accurately palletise bags of varying weights – at a speed of up to 12 bags per minute. The robust grippers have been manufactured to handle the wide range of packaging, including hessian and glossy materials, associated with the animal feed industry which can be inherently difficult to handle.

Filled bags arrive at the infeed of the palletising cell, which is pre-installed with a special mechanism for flattening the bags, making them easier to manoeuvre, while enhancing the stack ability of the pallet.

The robot picks the bags and placing them onto the pallet, under a pre-defined pattern which maximises load stability. The full pallet is then either removed by the operator, or auto discharged on a roller conveyor. Offering 24/7 operation, with a long-life expectancy, manufacturers can typically expect payback on their investment within 2 to 3 years.

“Through our partnership with FANUC, we have created a solution which directly meets the challenges faced by the animal feed industry, while also helping them increase productivity and drive growth.” Grigory Belosky, Sales Director for Endoline Robotics. “The system has not only been built to a compact, space saving footprint, it can also be easily moved between production lines to manage output, offering infinite flexibility.”

Similar system design can be used in various other industries packing products into bags: Agriculture, Building products, Chemicals and others.

Endoline Robotics also offers additional options for manufacturers including, auto-replenishment of empty pallets, interlayer sheet, palletising multiple pallets simultaneously and stretch wrapping.

Robotic palletising systems increase productivity for Amstel Brewery

As a result of installing three Fanuc industrial robots on the re-packing line within Heineken’s Amstel Brewery, productivity increased up to 21,000 bottles of beer per minute, with a significant reduction in production costs.

While the first robot automatically de-palletises a full plastic crate and positions it onto a crate conveyor system, the second robot automatically removes the bottles from the crates and positions them on the bottles infeed conveyor.

The bottles are then collated and packed into shrink wrapped multipacks. Then an integrated coding system is used to print expiry dates and batch codes on each multipack, while a print and apply system is used to label the packs, before the third robot palletises the re-packed bottles ready for the stretch wrapping systems and, finally, loading for distribution.

The empty crates are returned to the first robot and collated for automatic palletising ahead of being loaded onto lorries and returned to the bottling site.

The system is offering maximum productivity and also a great level of flexibility as it can easily be upgraded and modified to handle new products.