I Robot ...

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Robot Northern foods

Northern Foods has pumped £7-8m into robotics and automation projects at its Fox's Biscuits factory in Batley and will invest more cash over the next year as part of a group-wide automation initiative.

Site manager Richard Charlesworth, who is also a director at robotics centre CenFRA, said: "We've put in three robots on three lines at Batley for pick and place and for removing double handling.

"But there's still lots more we want to do. Robots have become cheaper and much more flexible over the last couple of years and the payback is much faster than it was - but the UK is still a long way behind countries like Germany when it comes to installations. We have got to embrace automation as an industry to stay competitive."

Charlesworth, who recently co-ordinated a trip to CenFRA for a large contingent of Northern Foods executives including its boss Stefan Barden, added: "All Northern Foods sites are now actively engaging with CenFRA through automation audits."

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