Manufacturing Update - July 2023

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MultiMark: the smart all-in-one solution

In Weidmüller, you have a trusted and reliable partner with years of experience in cable preparation, processing and systemised marking. Our THM thermal transfer printer integrates cutting and perforation tasks into the printing process; it can divide endless materials into arbitrary lengths. The result is a noticeably simpler production of custom cuts with a respective inscription assignment.

Using the Mulitmark printer, you reduce the potential sources of error with complete data consistency. You will streamline timeconsuming work processes and increase your productivity.

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Tel: +44 1162 823470

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3 Manufacturing PDATE July 2023 July 2023 MANUFACTURING PDATE At the forefront of digital marketing, Manufactuing Update strives to bring its readers the latest in industrial manufacturing, in a format that provides the best usability and ease of use for it’s readers. MANUFACTURING UPDATE To speak to a member of the team, please email or call 020 805 09659 E-learning Classroom based “Live” webinars On-site courses Tailored options For more information call 0121 601 6691 scan code for the training guide or email: Independent Pump Training from July 2023

Aston launches

Masters degree in smart manufacturing

Aston University in Birmingham is launching a Masters degree in smart manufacturing which will cover technologies such as digital twins and will teach hands-on skills needed to solve complex manufacturing problems. The postgraduate course will include topics such as production scheduling, predicting equipment failure and improving maintenance.

Central Scanning Expands 3D Printing Capabilities with New Fortus 450MC and Raise3D Pro 3 Plus Printers

“This is a course for those who want to be at the forefront of technological growth,” says programme director, Dr Muftooh Siddiqi. “Smart manufacturing is of tremendous significance in the field of manufacturing and is a way to the future.

“This programme will embed the technological revolution deep within the mindset of engineers and teach the skills to design and develop new technologies that embrace the challenges of future manufacturing.”

The degree, based on the research expertise in the University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, will start in September2023.

Central Scanning, a leading provider of 3D printing and 3D scanning services, announced today the addition of two new 3D printers to their existing fleet. The Fortus 450MC, supplied and supported by Tri-Tech 3D, is an upgrade of the Fortus 400MC and allows the company to print a wider range of materials and increase their printing capacity. They have named this new printer ‘Rachel’.

The second printer, the Raise3D Pro 3 Plus supplied by SolidPrint 3D, is a large-volume FDM printer. The printer is yet to be named by the team! This expansion of their 3D printing capabilities is a clear demonstration of the success and growth of Central Scanning’s business and future goals.

“We are thrilled to announce the addition of these two new printers to our fleet,” said Nick Godfrey, Managing Director of Central Scanning. “With Rachel and ‘not named yet’, we can now offer our clients an even greater range of 3D printing services and meet their increasing demands. This is an exciting time for our business and we are confident that these additions will help us to continue delivering high-quality results for our clients.”

Central Scanning is a leading provider of 3D printing and scanning services, offering a range of solutions for a variety of industries, including architecture, engineering, and product design. With the latest technology and a team of experienced professionals, Central Scanning provides accurate and reliable results to their clients.

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Alfa Laval releases new condition monitoring software with built-in analytics. Using AI, the new Alfa Laval Analytics for online condition monitoring helps hygienic industries prevent unplanned downtime, extends lifetime of valuable assets and helps reach sustainability targets.

Alfa Laval releases new condition monitoring software for intelligent pump

“This is a big step for the hygienic industries. Our new Alfa Laval Analytics solution detects potential machine faults before they occur and helps diagnose the root cause. In close dialogue with our customers, we have developed an easy-to-use and reliable solution that brings peace of mind and keeps equipment at peak performance at all times, says Torsten Pedersen, Head of Connectivity and Monitoring at Alfa Laval Fluid Handling.

Alfa Laval Analytics can be added to all new and existing pump installations from Alfa Laval. The solution includes a one-year subscription, including online installation, training in use of the dashboard and ongoing support.

Always by your side 24/7

Alfa Laval Analytics collects and analyses pump vibration data around the clock. The philosophy behind the development of the AI-based solution has been to create peace of mind for plant operators and management. Analytics provides a clear and intuitive overview of the health condition of the equipment through a simple dashboard. Green for OK, yellow for pay attention, orange for warning and red for immediate action.

“No matter where they are and regardless of time, operators and plant managers can check plant status in their pocket. All it takes is a brief glance on the app dashboard to check the health status of the pumps and take action if needed to prevent costly downtime”, says Pedersen.

He explains that Analytics not only detects faults, but also pinpoints the likely causes of the problem, which can for instance be related to misalignment of pump installation, potential process improvements or mechanical faults.

“The diagnostics capabilities of the Analytics tool make it much easier for operators and technicians to locate the

problem fast and fix it before any damage is done. When running Analytics, we can even extend the warranty on equipment if the pumps are monitored continuously and if recommendations to inspection and repair are followed”, says Pedersen.

Enabling predictive maintenance

With its ability to predict failure and identify parts that need repair or replacement, Analytics paves the way for implementing predictive maintenance strategies that eliminate extra cost and prevent unplanned downtime.

At the same time, Analytics supports the sustainability agenda by allowing plants to do more with less. By keeping assets running, Analytics enhances energy efficiency and helps reduce carbon emissions.

Alfa Laval Analytics is a cyber secure solution. All data is transmitted via mobile network and requires no connection to the plant’s Internet.

Analytics is part of the Connected Services programme from Alfa Laval. New services are added on an ongoing basis to leverage the potential of Industry 4.0 technologies.

The technical set-up of Alfa Laval Analytics

• Analytics is enabled by the CM Connect Gateway and comes with a 12 months subscription.

• Installation and commissioning is simple, carried out by use of an app that guides the user in easy to follow steps.

• The subscription gives access to dashboard, provides notifications with recommended actions, and support from Alfa Laval.

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Visitor registration is now open. To register to attend, please visit July 2023 6 Manufacturing PDATE

Experience the Future of Packaging at London Packaging Week 2023

London Packaging Week is back with a bang, and this year’s edition promises to be bigger and better than ever before. As a co-located event featuring exhibitors from four show areas, namely Packaging Première, PCD, PLD, and Food & Consumer Pack, it’s the ultimate platform for packaging businesses to showcase their products.

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London Packaging Week attracts a highly targeted audience of professionals from the UK’s luxury, beauty, drinks, and FMCG markets. It takes place on the 21st & 22nd of September at the renowned ExCeL London Exhibition Centre. This event is not to be missed if you want to place your business at the forefront of the packaging community.

What can visitors expect to see at London Packaging Week? Well, it’s not just your typical tradeshow. In addition to the impressive showcase of exhibitors, there is an inspiring line-up of speakers across two days. Day one speakers include Marisa and Teddie from Perfect Ted, who will take to the Food stage from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm for their talk: Game, Set and Matcha! How PerfectTed is bringing a new wave of energy to the healthy drinks movement. Then from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm, visitors can catch Akash Mehta on the Beauty stage discussing the importance of ‘mindful business’ in the beauty industry. Following that, from 1 pm to 1:30 pm, attendees can hear from Roger Saul on the Luxury stage as he shares his talk: From one bag to another - a British icon’s journey

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from luxury handbags to a luxury farm. From 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm, Jaume Ferras, the Global Creative Director of The Macallan, will take to the Luxury stage and offer invaluable insights into the world of premium whiskey. On day two, from 1 pm to 1:30 pm, Liz Earle MBE, the multi-brand beauty and wellbeing founder, will also share her inspiring story.

Meanwhile, Jamie Laing and Ed Williams, founders of Candy Kittens, will engage in an exclusive live interview from 1:15 to 1:45 pm. Additionally, the event will feature talks from Joanna Stephenson, Managing Director of PHD Marketing, Paul Jenkins, Founder of The Packhub, and speakers from Nestle and WRAP. And the showstopping, not-to-be-missed ‘Plastic Bank on The Big Question’, which will enable crucial discussions on packaging throughout both days

Thanks to this impressive line-up, London Packaging Week has become synonymous with bespoke workshops, engaging seminars, and prestigious awards; all focused on shining a light on the latest packaging developments and

industry insights. The showcase is a trusted platform for sourcing packaging solutions and connecting with new suppliers - and is the place to be if you want to stay ahead of the game and establish meaningful connections within the industry.

What can exhibitors expect? More than just showcasing products, London Packaging Week is about creating value and driving business growth for its exhibitors and attendees. In 2022, more than 2600 key decision-makers and representatives from over 2000 brands attended the event. This impressive turnout demonstrates the trust and importance placed on London Packaging Week within the industry. Engaging with various brands, from multinational corporations to independent startups, allows you to boost your visibility and acquire new customers. The event acts as a catalyst for collaboration and innovation, fostering a dynamic environment that can fuel the growth of your packaging business.

London Packaging Week offers a unique platform to connect, learn, and thrive, whether you’re a packaging supplier, specifier, buyer, or designer. The event facilitates knowledge exchange, keeping you upto-date with the latest packaging trends and technologies. So, mark your calendars and make sure you don’t miss London Packaging Week 2023. It’s the ultimate opportunity to showcase your products, network with industry leaders, and discover the future of packaging. Be part of this dynamic event and position your business at the forefront of the packaging community. London Packaging Week is where innovation meets collaboration, and the packaging industry comes alive.

Visitor registration is now open. To register to attend, please visit 9 July 2023

EASY PRODUCT HANDLING with Vacuum Belt Conveyors

Belt conveyors with vacuum function for conveying goods in fixed positions without gripping or pallets.

Do your products tip over or float on the belt conveyor at high accelerations? Do your short cycle times not allow you to stop and handle the products with a gripper? Do you want to coat, scan, label or laser your products on their base? Do your products have to be continuously elevated or bridge a gap?

When transporting with a vacuum belt conveyor, products are fixed to the belt conveyor by a vacuum. This means that the products can, for example, be accelerated quickly or transported vertically, overhead or alongside the conveyor. Intermittent handling tasks can also run continuously with vacuum belt conveyors.

Vacuum belt conveyors are typically used to secure lightweight/largearea products at high accelerations or speeds. Goods of this type are often transported in the packaging, consumer goods and paper industries, or in battery production.

mk offers all of its belt conveyors and timing belt conveyors as vacuum belts. Only the conveyor frame and

the belt are modified to implement the vacuum function. Unlike the belt conveyor, the timing belt conveyor has a positive drive mechanism that allows it to run without slippage. If an image processing system is used, the individual images can be matched to a specific distance travelled.

Our engineers will design all the necessary components, from the belt conveyor and suction line to the pump. Alternatively, you can request a complete vacuum belt conveyor that you can integrate into your production environment.

Benefits of the vacuum belt conveyor

• Fixed position transport without gripping or pallets

• Secure transport of lightweight products at high accelerations – no tipping over or floating

• Products can be transported overhead or alongside the conveyor

• Products can be processed or checked while moving

Basic structure of a vacuum belt conveyor

The conveyor frame is equipped with suction fittings for a vacuum pump (e.g. industrial vacuum cleaner or side channel blower). This creates a vacuum inside the conveyor frame. The conveyed products are gripped through holes in the slide bed and in the belt located above it, and then conveyed with the belt.

To find more contact mk Profile Systems on (01949) 823751, email or visit

July 2023 10 Manufacturing PDATE

Vacuum Belt Conveyor

Easy Product Handling with Vacuum Belt Conveyors

Fixed position transport without gripping or pallets

Secure transport of lightweight products at high acceleration

Products can be transported overhead or hanging alongside the conveyor

Products can be processed or checked while moving

mk Profile Systems Limited a company of the mk Technology Group

3D printing and cleaning solutions

As capabilities and applications advance rapidly, 3D printing is a key element of the manufacturing process for many industries, often rivalling the traditional manufacturing process for both speed and cost.

Industries including aerospace, automotive, healthcare are commonly utilising this kind of additive manufacturing, but as the process becomes more accessible and the long term efficiencies outweigh the initial costs, an increasing number of businesses are turning to 3D printing. Although many of these businesses will factor in the costs of the materials and start up costs when considering investing in a 3D printer, some may be less aware of the upkeep and maintenance required.

In order to offer a full supply and maintenance package, two companies are working together to make both the technological and cleaning applications available to customers within Europe.

Fraser Technologies, which provides world-leading cleaning chemistries and equipment solutions, has been working with Markforged, a US-based manufacturer of industrial 3D printers, materials, and software.

Markforged produces printers that work with metals like stainless steel, and with composites such as carbon fibre, fibreglass and Onyx. Fraser Technologies provides expert advice and solutions for cleaning printed parts.

Graham Fraser, Managing Director of Fraser Technologies, explains: “Any components produced by a 3D printer require rigorous cleaning. In some cases – depending on the materials used to create the component - the contamination may not be visible to the naked eye, but they will still

need cleaning prior to assembly. Our solutions offer bespoke chemistries that are applicable to a variety of component materials to ensure all cleaning standards are upheld.”

Working closely with customers to understand their challenges, Fraser Technologies provides expert advice and a wide range of worldleading chemistries and equipment solutions for component cleaning, electronics soldering, and heat transfer and carrier fluids. It offers an independent range of new generation products; comprehensive aftersales service; and a commitment to improving performance, productivity, environmental performance and operator safety.

July 2023 12 Manufacturing PDATE
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ABB Robotics is continuing to close the global education gap in automation and prepare students for the future of work with the launch of a ready-to-use education package. Comprising a GoFa collaborative robot (cobot), teaching materials and a globally recognized technical qualification, the package is part of ABB Robotics global campaign to help workers thrive in a new era of automation.

The ABB Robotics Education Package has been created to ensure educational establishments can provide highly skilled young people for companies looking to benefit from robotic automation. Although some 80 percent of global educators see automation shaping employment in the next 10 years, only one in four education institutes incorporate robotics into their curriculum*. Barriers include the lack of teachers trained in robotics and automation and the difficulty in incorporating robotics training into the curriculum seamlessly.

“With robotic automation increasingly embraced by multiple sectors, from manufacturing and distribution to retail and healthcare, companies are looking for people with the skills needed to handle robots and automation,” said Andrea Cassoni, MD, General Industries Business Line for ABB Robotics. “By enabling schools, colleges and universities to easily create and run robotics training courses that are recognized by industry, ABB’s Robotics Education Package is closing the technology skills gap by preparing students for the automated workplace.”

ABB Closes Automation Skills Gap with New Robotics Education Package

• ABB Robotics launches complete robot training to prepare students for the future of work

• Package includes easy-to-use GoFa™ collaborative robot cell, 56 hours of teaching materials and globally recognized STEM certification

• Latest in global campaign to work with educators to close the automation skills gap

The heart of the package is the Education Cell, which features a fully functional ABB GoFa collaborative robot. Mounted on a compact tabletop, the award-winning ABB GoFa is an easy-to-use cobot that helps students learn real-life industrial applications such as pick and place and 3D printing. Students as young as 15 can use the robot, with no need for any prior engineering knowledge thanks to ABB Robotics’ lead-through and ABB’s Wizard Easy Programing.

A comprehensive suite of material gives teachers everything they need to guide students through 12 lessons at basic and advanced levels, taking them from the fundamentals of robotics to more advanced applications and programming. Industrial level training material has been adapted by teachers into a studentfriendly format, enabling them to easily grasp robotics concepts. A total of 56 hours of content is provided, including videos, interactive online exercises, 400 test questions, and lab exercises with ABB’s RobotStudio® offline programming tool, which is used by companies worldwide to plan, simulate and develop real-life robotic solutions in a virtual environment.

The third part of the package is a unique, globally recognized STEM certification for both teachers and students supported and authenticated by educational research and credentialing organization This allows teachers to be certified by ABB and then certify their students as competent to use robots. It also provides students with an accepted qualification that can be shown to employers in over 80 countries as proof of their ability to work with robotic automation.

The launch of the Education Package marks the latest step in ABB’s ongoing drive to help students develop the skills they need to thrive in a world where robots will be as common as laptops in the workplace. ABB currently works with educational institutions in over 40 countries to ensure that students are able to learn the fundamentals of robot programming and operation.

For more information about the education package, as well as ABB’s network of training facilities, partnerships, and training courses, please click here

July 2023 16 Manufacturing PDATE
Fluregiene 200™ provides protection for hygiene conscious parts and surfaces • Excellent corrosion resistance • Low friction anti-fouling and anti-stick properties • Durable and easy to clean/wipe down • Permanently applied to metals, alloys and plastics • Built-in antimicrobial technology actively reduces microbes on the surface of the coating. • Reduces fungal growth and surfaces stay fresh longer Low friction PTFE based coating containing BioCote® antimicrobial technology Fluregiene 200™ Protecting your surfaces for longer. For more information about Fluregiene 200™ call us now on +44 01386 425755 or email Easy cleaning of hygiene conscious parts Reduces microbial growth Permanent coating protection


C.K Tools, the trusted choice for trade professionals, has launched a range of cable strippers designed to tackle low smoke zero hydrogen (LS0H) cable. Use of LS0H cable is increasing as specifiers bid to improve fire safety, but stripping this much tougher material is a challenge.

Now widespread in Ireland and the USA, use of LS0H cable is on the rise in the UK. While PVC cable jacketing may be fire resistant, it can generate around 50 per cent its weight in smoke when exposed to high heat or flames. This thick, acrid smoke is highly toxic, corrosive, and can damage electrical equipment. Toxic smoke inhalation causes more fire-related deaths than fires themselves. As such, many specifiers are opting to replace PVC or other cable jacketing with LS0H, and –with the legacy of the Grenfell Tower tragedy looming large – it is expected that regulations to this effect will soon be introduced.

Faced with LS0H, many electricians have reported challenges in stripping the cable, as standard cable strippers fail to meet the strength of the thermoplastic material. C.K Tools’ new LS0H cable stripper, however, has been designed specifically for the task.

Compatible with round, flat, and LS0H cabling, C.K Tools’ latest strippers make light work of all cable types thanks to their two titanium nitrade coated blades and four cable brackets. The range includes a 10mm flat and LS0H bracket, a 6mm flat and LS0H bracket, a 2.5mm flat and LS0H bracket, and an 8-28mm round bracket.

The stripper itself boasts a self-locking switch, automatic blade protection, and keyless blade adjustment, alongside the titanium nitrade coated blades. The range is available as a set with the stripper included, and LS0H brackets can also be purchased as a set of three.

Brinley Buckley Roberts, brand manager at C.K Tools, says: “There is a very real problem in the industry of electricians finding themselves ill equipped to tackle LS0H cable. The rising prevalence of LS0H is necessary and will undoubtedly save lives. We must prepare for it to become the norm. Our new cable stripper has been precision engineered to take on the challenge. Users can also expect the quality, durability, and ease of use that we pride ourselves on at C.K Tools – always ready to meet the most demanding needs of trade professionals.”

Universal Robots and Labman Automation partner to help bring pharmaceutical products to market quicker

Labman Automation, a UK-based company creating laboratory automation solutions, has partnered with collaborative robots (cobots) manufacturer, Universal Robots, to develop the MultiDose powder dosing system.

The MultiDose system will enable pharmaceutical companies to rollout much needed products for testing, bringing them to market faster. A highly-accurate, automated solid dispensing instrument, it will save technicians up to six hours per experiment, compared to manual processes.

The system requires virtually no training, is user-friendly and intuitive for technicians to use. Increased throughput of a lab is enabled by the ‘walk away’ nature of the MultiDose system, which allows experiments to be performed automatically out of normal working hours.

The MultiDose powder dosing system enables pharmaceutical companies to rollout much needed products for testing, bringing them to market faster

The MultiDose powder dosing system enables pharmaceutical companies to rollout much needed products for testing, bringing them to market faster

“With medicine shortages ongoing across UK, EU and US supply chains, the pharmaceutical industry is under pressure like never before. That’s why it’s crucial for pharmaceutical companies to have access to outof-the-box automation solutions that can be used right away,” says Adrien Poinssot, Global Director for OEM at Universal Robots. “We are proud to have played a role in Labman’s MultiDose to create turnkey solutions that will allow the pharmaceutical industry to be more flexible, reactive and efficient in these challenging times.”

Labman’s MultiDose addresses the rising need from a number of laboratories for a bespoke solution to automate powder dosing with a greater level of usability, while offering the versatility to integrate the system into larger workflows.

A key part of the MultiDose system requires a cobot. Having collaborated with Universal Robots on previous projects, Labman saw Universal Robots as the natural partner. Labman selected the UR3e – a highly flexible cobot arm – which can be easily integrated into an established lab process, without compromising safety, while adhering to strict industry regulations.

When compared to running manual processes, MultiDose saves lab technicians up to six hours on an experiment by improving efficiency. The system requires virtually no

training and is very user-friendly and intuitive for technicians to use. Increased throughput of a lab is also enabled by the ‘walk away’ nature of the MultiDose system, which allows experiments to be performed automatically out of normal working hours.

“Having a trusted partner such as Universal Robots has helped us shape and finesse MultiDose to make it the best it can possibly be,” says Matthew Smith, MultiDose Project Lead at Labman Automation. “The Universal Robots arm works out of the box with virtually no training, meaning lab technicians can almost instantly reap the rewards of increased efficiency. The MultiDose automated dosing platform is a solution that hasn’t yet been matched in UK pharmaceuticals and it’s great to see it already being used like any other piece of lab equipment.”

You can read more about the MultiDose case study at

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The MultiDose powder dosing system enables pharmaceutical companies to rollout much needed products for testing, bringing them to market faster

Otto Motors launches new ‘mid-sized’ autonomous mobile robot

all-metal body, Otto 600 offers a superior ability to withstand dust and fluids with IP54 construction.

Fast and safe around people and objects: Otto 600 works quickly and safely alongside people thanks to advanced sensors and Otto’s proven autonomy software.

depends significantly on effective fleet management, which is why we are continuously evolving our fleet manager.

“In this software upgrade, we are introducing new traffic management functionality that enables users to create different rules of the road for groups of different Otto AMRs in the facility, resulting in faster traffic movement and improved safety. As our customers continue to deploy a variety of models from Otto in complex environments, this is a game changer.”

Software release features include:

Otto Motors, a provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), has unveiled its newest AMR, Otto 600, which the company describes as “the toughest and most nimble AMR in its class”. With the launch of Otto 600, Otto Motors now offers the most comprehensive autonomous material handling fleet on the market.

Otto 600 unlocks important new workflows with its ability to move pallets, carts and other payloads up to 600 kg (1,322 lb). With an all-metal construction and IP54 rating, Otto 600 follows the Otto Motors legacy of AMRs built to deliver results in the most demanding of factory environments.

Matt Rendall, CEO and co-founder of Otto Motors, says: “In 2015, Otto 1500 defined the heavy-class AMR category. In 2017, Otto 100 quickly became responsible for the industry’s largest AMR installations.

“In 2022, we launched Otto Lifter, the world’s first truly autonomous forklift. Today, we’re proud to announce Otto 600, a mid-range AMR offering the perfect balance of strength and agility. Powered by our industry-leading autonomous software, Otto now offers an unmatched material handling portfolio.”

Maneuverable in tight spaces: Otto 600 offers capabilities of larger AMRs with the maneuverability needed to get around in constrained spaces like work cells. Durable build for demanding environments: In addition to a rugged,

Versatile to get different jobs done: Capable of moving carts and pallets, as well as connecting islands of automation, Otto 600 unlocks limitless workflows including lineside delivery, work cell delivery and palletizer to stretch-wrapper transport.

Key specs:

• 1,322 lb (600 kg) payload capacity

• 4.5 mph (2 m/s) maximum speed

• 1050/700/320 mm footprint

• IP54 rating

Otto 600 is available through the existing global network of Otto Motors system integrators and material handling solution providers. Otto’s award-winning software is used by some of the world’s most recognized brands and Fortune 500 companies.

Otto’s latest software release, 2.28, delivers faster and safer traffic movement and a new facility configuration interface for quicker workflow setup. Otto Motors invests heavily in software development to constantly evolve and deliver the smartest AMR software. This marks the sixth software release in the last three years.

The Otto AMR software-suite is the most proven solution in the industry with over four million hours of production driving experience and is trusted for large-scale deployments by the most reputed brands like Toyota and GE.

Jay Judkowitz, VP of product at Otto Motors, says: “The success of largescale, deeply integrated deployments

• Team-Based Traffic Control: Customers can create traffic zones for specific robot types. For example, operators can specify lanes where larger AMRs cannot enter, ensuring smaller AMRs remain unblocked and are able to keep moving for higher throughput.

• New and intuitive facility configuration interface: Customers can now save up to 50% of the time required to set up facility maps and workflows. It is also easier for customers to use, learn and adapt to the system.

• Interoperability: Otto Motors says it was the first AMR vendor to support the well-known AGV standard, VDA5050, empowering customers to manage dissimilar types of material handling solutions from a third-party master controller interface.

• New pallet types: Otto Lifter now supports BulkPak 4845 HDMP series bins, enabling customers to move more pallets of their choice.

Since its inception, Otto Motors has helped customers achieve throughput improvements as high as 600 percent and return on investment in as little as 11 months in different industry verticals.

This launch of Otto 600 and new software enables Otto Motors to help manufacturers automate a larger part of their material handling operations and “achieve higher return on investment”, according to the company.

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Worldwide Fruit Automate Quality at Scale with AI

OAL is proud to announce its latest project with Worldwide Fruit to stop packaging errors with artificial intelligence and automation. Worldwide Fruit has scaled and improved its quality control processes, resulting in happier customers and reduced operational risk. Automation has helped find and prevent “hard-to-spot errors” whilst reducing the time it takes to complete quality control checks. They have also removed substantial paperwork from the business helping meet and surpass sustainability goals.

Previously manual human checks of product labels, date code and country of origin were undertaken, but these methods are susceptible to human error, especially in a high-complexity business like Worldwide Fruit. Their complex operations handle thousands of different product, grower, and packaging combinations. For one category like apples, there are many varieties of apples from different countries with different packaging and promotion requirements from each retailer.

For a production run, Worldwide Fruit must ensure the right product (apple), is in the right packaging with the right date code and country of origin. Any mistake in the process could result in a product recall and a fine from retailers. To address these challenges Worldwide Fruit turned to automation.

After a review of suppliers, Worldwide Fruit chose to work with OAL because of recommendations and previous experience implementing the OAL system. Furthermore, they wanted to work with a business that could integrate with their existing ERP system, which OAL could demonstrate.

The priority was implementing an “online” label and verification system across its packaging lines to accelerate its digital transformation. Online meaning, every product is verified as opposed to “offline” where a sample is verified.

Fran McNally, Quality Manager at Worldwide Fruit described the project: “The team at OAL are easy to work with, working together we have implemented a robust automated label and date code verification system. By introducing cutting edge artificial intelligence technology

we’ve futureproofed our packaging lines, enabling further automation. Crucially we’ve been able to customise the system to meet our unique requirements. The 247 support is quick, friendly, and efficient!”

The OAL solution has a number of elements to automate the process. A digital master product database was created containing all critical SKU information. OAL Line Terminals were installed on every line for operators to start and finish jobs and conduct quality checks related to the job. This includes online cameras to scan and verify packaging to ensure the right packaging is applied to the product. Each online printer was connected to the OAL system. The OAL system controls the printer and tells it the date code to print based on the date code rules in the master product database.The offline print room printers were also under the control of the OAL system to ensure offline printed labels were also correct.

Finally, the site chose to add an extra layer of assurance with APRIL Eye date code verification. APRIL Eye gives the OAL system the functionality to read back and verify printed date codes in an image. This ensures the right date code is applied, it’s legible and in the right location.

At Worldwide Fruit, as part of start-up, interval and end-of-run checks the operator takes a picture of a finished pack with the OAL line terminal hand scanner. The system checks it’s correct and legible against the current job.

Finally, every check, scan and data point is recorded providing a complete digital audit trail to ensure BRC and retailer code of practice compliance. 23 Manufacturing p DATE July 2023

£Multi-Million green opportunity for PP C&A as machine builders and ‘early disruptors’ target Net Zero gains

One of the UK’s leading strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialists has seen a surge in demand from clients looking to gain ‘early mover’ advantage in the low carbon economy.

PP Control & Automation (PP C&A), which employs 230 people at its world class manufacturing facility in the West Midlands, has started working on projects worth more than £2million in the last year alone, projects that are all involved in renewable energy, energy storage and building machines for electrification across a myriad of transport sectors.

This has involved working with OEMs building new machines and ‘early disruptors’ that are looking to bring new technologies to market that will both modernise the existing National Grid infrastructure and support the move to Net Zero, through the development of new and exciting technologies.

All are turning to outsourcing as a way of reducing manufacturing costs, overcoming recruitment

challenges and accelerating time to market, the latter so crucial when trying to secure competitive advantage with new opportunities.

Tapping into specialised expertise to overcome design and build issues has also been a key consideration, as management teams struggle with the balance of being an ‘early mover’ with ensuring the technology delivers the required performance.

Tony Hague, CEO of PP Control & Automation, commented: “The trend towards renewable energy is driven by several factors, including environmental concerns, government incentives, and the decreasing cost of renewable energy technologies. As the demand grows, machine builders are playing a key role in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

He continued: “We are definitely seeing this shift on our shopfloor, with numerous projects in development that will play a role in renewables, energy storage, smart grids and electrification, as well as hydrogen powered systems. The latter is not just in transport, but in the wider ‘agri-tech’

solutions that are looking at hydrogen as an important, future green energy source.”

A member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN Group), PP Control & Automation is one of the most experienced outsourcing specialists in the country, helping build machines that robotically milk cows, provide everyday packaging solutions, protect your phones from water damage and cut parts that are used in F1 cars and the world’s airlines.

In addition to established machine builders, the company is increasingly supporting ‘disruptors’ through its innovative PP+ offer, which offers an ‘ecosystem’ of support that will help them scale quickly.

This gives clients access to a trusted network of experts in business growth, sales, marketing and PR support, as well as a clear pathway to academia, legislative bodies, engineering groups and investors.

Tony went on to add: “Whilst the Net Zero journey presents significant challenges for OEMs, it also creates new opportunities for those who can be innovative, be agile, and have the ability to scale at pace. By working in collaboration with partners like PP C&A, the chances of success are increased. What is undeniable is that the UK will play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon future for us all.”

For further information, please visit or follow @ppcanda on twitter

July 2023 24 Manufacturing PDATE

MPW Precision cuts a short path to success with day-one MRP system implementation

Burton-on-Trent based precision engineers

MPW Precision reached a six-month traceability goal in just four weeks, earning the ISO 9001 without a single non-conformance.

About MPW Precision

MPW Precision was founded in December 2020 by father and son entrepreneurs Maurice and Paul Watson, who between them have over 60 years of combined experience in precision manufacturing. The company specialises in producing high-precision quality engineered components for use in larger fabrications and power generation.

A lot of prior experience with MRP systems

With years of previous experience leading a manufacturing company, Paul knew that complex manufacturing needs a capable MRP system for efficient and well-organised operation.

Since all of MPW Precision’s clients require ISO 9001 and other quality assurance certifications, an important functionality that Paul required was end-to-end traceability. Being located over three manufacturing sites and two home offices, it was also important that the software be web-based and able to run on off-the-shelf PCs and tablets. A final determining factor was affordability.

After trialling several MRP systems, Paul demoed MRPeasy and felt it ticked all the boxes and seemed easy not just in name but also for day-to-day use and crucially – to implement.

Up and running in one month

Having prior experience with implementing manufacturing software, Paul decided to go at it himself. “I had a target to install MRPeasy and become ISO 9001 approved within 6 months,” he says. Using the wealth of resources on MRPeasy’s website he got the system up and running in just about 4 weeks.

“After 6 months of using MRPeasy, SGS (an industry-leading certification company) came in to undertake the certification audit and we passed without a single non-conformance. On the report, SGS also commented on how good MRPeasy was with traceability”, Paul explained.

Workflow efficiency raised by 70%

Since MPW Precision opted for a day-one implementation, there were no metrics on how MRPeasy affected efficiency after going live. However, comparing with the MRP solution that Paul and Maurice had previously used, Priority Software, they can now do things like taking an order and getting it to the shopfloor in around 25% of the time. “There was approval and other stages involved and we had 40 employees instead of 8 but all-in-all, it’s around 70% more efficient.” says Watson.

Today, MPW Precision uses MRPeasy for pretty much everything, except for some ISO-specific QC processes, and benefits from having business-critical information all in one place and accessible from the shop floor, office, or any internet-enabled external location. The owners have also been praised by their customers for the speed at which the system makes documentation available to them. Meanwhile, the seamless QuickBooks integration ensures the accounts are well taken care of.

MRPeasy is a cloud-based ERP/MRP system for small manufacturers and distributors. For more information and a free trial, visit

25 Manufacturing PDATE July 2023
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