Moy Park to invest millions in robotics

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Meat processor Moy Park is poised to invest millions of pounds in a concerted automation programme across several manufacturing sites.

One of the initial projects involves spending hundreds of thousands of pounds in a robotic sliced meats packaging line at its Wisbech site in Cambridgeshire.

"The capital expenditure has been allocated and there is a willingness in the business to take this forward," said a source close to the project. "We came down on the side of robotics because it was forward-thinking and offered us the best option in terms of being future-proofed."

The system will pick-and-place product packs into retail-ready packaging for branded and retail own-label products. The source said the option the firm was currently exploring with automated packaging offered hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of annual savings and rapid return on investment: "We have got a lot of potential projects waiting in the wings to see how this shapes up."

Moy Park's priority for automation was end of line solutions, but it had other focuses as well, he added.

The Brazilian Marfrig group's purchase of Moy Park was cleared by the EU's regulatory authorities in November 2008. Millions of pounds have been pumped into the business over the past few years.

Based at Craigavon in Northern Ireland, Moy Park supplies meat products and operates processing sites across the UK, France and the Netherlands.

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