Brillopak showcase P180 fresh produce automation as used by Morrisons

At the TOTAL show Brillopak (stand K110) will unveil the P180 Spider Arm Robot Cell which loads, and perfectly presents, packs of fresh produce in retail crates. Brillopak’s P180 system has recently been chosen by three of Morrisons fresh produce and fruit manufacturing sites to ensure that packs look good on their supermarket shelves. The P180 is a fully automatic pick and place packing line able to handle any type of fruit, salad and vegetables packed in VFFS, tray sealed and flow wrapped bags weighing up to 1kg.

As experienced at Morrisons Rushden, Thrapston and Gadbrook sites, the P180 delivers improved in-store fresh produce presentation and can be easily adapted to handle reusable and renewable packaging formats. With only one multi-skilled person to manage the system, it helps to reduce headcount and improves OEE by increasing packing speed, reducing rejects and less front to back end bottlenecks. Incorporating a four-axis Delta style robot with a glove-like end effector, there is no risk of piercing packs. Once the packs are lowered rapidly, yet gently, into trays at very high speeds, the crate passes over a vibration panel to settle the packs so they don’t get caught when the bale arms close – If the bale arm is damaged, the crate is rejected and returned to the start of the packing process for reprocessing. This also ensures perfect pack presentation.

Jason Kelly, Head of Operations for Morrisons Manufacturing has led the automation strategy across their fresh produce business. “Brillopak clearly understands the manufacturing environment and how critical production schedules are to getting fresh produce packed and looking good on the retail shelves,” comments Jason.

With continued funding for the Producer Organiser (PO) scheme affording British growers and packers the opportunity to examine and plan future machinery investments, Brillopak director David Jahn comments on why now could be the perfect time to adopt a more aggressive automation strategy: “Marketing experts agree that health continues to be the biggest trend driving consumer eating habits, with consumers often willing to pay a premium for it. Additionally, health can be combined with convenience and snacking to tick all the boxes,” remarks David. “New data from industry analysts Kantar Worldpanel reveals that produce sales are not only growing faster than the overall groceries market, but that people are buying more produce in more formats. We have many experiences where retailers concur that customers value the provenance, quality and environmental footprint when purchasing British produce. These are key reasons why we have developed the P180 to give suppliers sufficient production capacity to meet demand,” adds David.

Brillopak look forward to meeting fresh produce packers at their stand K110 to explore the latest automation innovations in pack handling.