Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Robots Save UK Factories

More state-of-the-art robot arms will soon be packing cheese in Lincolnshire, the UK, providing more evidence that robots may cut costs and provide a viable alternative to outsourcing for manufacturers.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Systems said it was supplying a further two robots to a cheese packing factory in Lincolnshire.

The RV6SL six-axis robots, to be supplied and developed under contract by UK group TEC Manufacturing, are capable of working 16 hours per day for six days every week.

Tony Jones, TEC's managing director, said each robot could do the work of four people on a packaging line, enabling firms to cut costs and freeing workers up for other tasks in the dairy requiring human intelligence.

The firm said the robotic arms can work at speeds up to 9,500mm per second, and were happy packing and handling a range of different cheeses.

He said this trend might help to curb the flood of firms, including food and drink producers, switching production facilities from the UK to low cost countries, such as those in Eastern Europe.

There is also a US initiative, Save Your Factory sponsored by robot manufacturer FANUC Robotics America.

Robots raise food packing efficiency


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