Are robots ready to pick up the slack on food production lines, or is the tech still out of reach?


Robots get to grips with food processing

By Chris Froud

Are food manufacturers ready for fully automated production lines and can robots be the solution to making this a reality? Chris Froud, partner and patent attorney specialising in robotics and automation at European Intellectual Property Firm Withers...

Walker Morris's Luke Jackson discusses the legal implication of letting robots into the factory


The legal implications of robots in the food factory

By Gwen Ridler

In this companion piece to this month's robotics and automation feature, Luke Jackson – director at law firm Walker Morris specialising in technology, food and beverage and manufacturing – discusses the legal implications of robots in the factory....

Robots are being touted as the future of food factories, so what's preventing manufacturers from adopting them more readily?


The future of robotics and automation in the food factory

By Gwen Ridler

Robots have become more and more prevalent in the food factory, but there are still businesses reluctant to fully embrace automation into their production. Here, we explore the driving force behind robotics adoption and the key issues that could help...

The UK still lags behind the rest of the world on robot adoption

UK lags behind on robot adoption

By Gwen Ridler

UK manufacturers are lagging behind the global average when it comes to adopting robotics technology, according to a new report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

OAL has won £900,000 of funding for its robotic ingredient handling project

Robotic ingredients handling project wins £900k funding

By Gwen Ridler

Robotics and automation provider OAL has won £900,000 of funding for its robotic ingredients handling project, in partnership with the University of Lincoln and condiments manufacturer English Provender Company (EPC).

Falling costs and ease of use should boost robots in UK food manufacture

Time is now ripe for robot investment

By Rick Pendrous

Food and drink manufacturers in the UK have been urged to invest in robots and automation in their operations as labour costs continue to rise, robots become easier to use and their cost falls.

Food industry automation could benefit from the new £2bn fund

£2bn fund raises industry’s automation hopes

By Paul Gander

With the government pledging an additional investment of £2bn a year by 2020 for UK research and development – including a special fund for priority technologies, such as robotics – the food and drink sector will need to ensure that industrial applications...

Human friendly cage-free robots

PPMA Total Show 2016 preview

Human friendly cage-free robots

By Rick Pendrous

A collaborative robot, or ‘cobot’, designed for working safely with shopfloor staff, challenged to work alongside a caged cell containing a conventional robot, will be the centrepiece of Fanuc’s stand at the show.

Haacht Brewery in Belgium uses robots to fill and palletise kegs

Belgian brewer uses robots to palletise its kegs

By Rick Pendrous

The Haacht Brewery in Boortmeerbeek, said to be Belgium's third largest brewery, has revealed it has been using Fanuc industrial robots for around six years to process, fill and palletise the heavy beer kegs it handles, following a decision made...

Robots that don’t require guarding

PPMA show preview

Robots that don’t require guarding

An expanded range of processing and packaging automation equipment and ancillary products will be displayed R A Rodriguez. The equipment on show will include the full range of Universal Robots.

The UK is lagging behind on robotic uptake

Get to grips with robots

By Michelle Knott

Robotic systems don’t have to be as complex as many people believe. Michelle Knott reports

Smooth operator: Robots offer the UK food industry clear benefits but update remains disappointingly low

Better hygiene compliance for food packing-line robots

By Paul Gander

Robotics suppliers have made a strong case for food industry acceptance with a new generation of hygiene and washdown-compliant pick-and-place systems, but the jury is still out as to whether this will translate into new sales.

Precise cake decoration now possible with robots

Contoured cakes get robotic sign off

Precise and consistent cake decoration using robots is now possible, thanks to a development by Quasar Automation and its technology partners Scorpion Vision and Mitsubishi Electric.

Sales of food and drink manufacturing robots slumped in the second quarter in contrast to general industry sales

Food and drink robot numbers slump

By Mike Stones

Sales of food and drink manufacturing robots slumped in the second quarter of this year – down 65% – compared with the previous quarter, in contrast to buoyant sales in general manufacturing.

Fourth UK distributor added to Danish automation firm's network

UK's new interest in automation

In response to the UK's increasing investment in automation, Danish automation company Universal Robots has added a fourth UK distributor to its network: Kent-based Geku Automation.

New technology to make damage to delicate products a thing of the past

Technology to slice the softest, stickiest product

Ultrasonic technology uses the high frequency oscillation of the Sonotrode (cutting blade) to pass through product quickly and cleanly. This process can portion soft, sticky and delicate products that are prone to damage by traditional cutting systems....

High-definition vision for Roses

High-definition vision for Roses

Kraft Foods has increased the sustainability and efficiency of its Bournville site by installing robotic distribution for Roses and Heroes. Managing fixed cycling schedules cut daily vehicle movements.

Win robot palletising war

Win robot palletising war

Two new palletising robots, three palletising grippers and an easy-to-use programming software have been introduced by ABB Robotics to make palletising simpler, faster and more efficient.

Simpler systems could boost UK robotic sales

Simpler systems could boost UK robotic sales

By Ben Bouckley

Relatively simple and inexpensive robots could be the key for robot manufacturers looking to boost UK sales, according to a leading automation industry figure.

I Robot ...

I Robot ...

By Elaine Watson

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.

Rise of the machines

Rise of the machines

As the economy is going down, sales of robots are rising. Lou Reade examines how automation can increase efficiency and help keep the food industry afloat

A National Health Service for robots

A National Health Service for robots

By John Dunn

Is Britain's food and drink industry ready for robotics? A new initiative is helping companies along the path to automation, reports John Dunn

Robots on the march

Robots on the march

By Rick Pendrous

Growing automated army heralds a quiet revolution


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