October 2011

Rattys’s reflections Industry stalwart Richard Ratcliffe offers an inimitable view on an array of industry topics. This month, it’s sausages… The eyes have it In a never-ending quest for commercial success, product benchmarking and consumer research have never been more important. Janetta Hylands, of Campden BRI explains. Spicing up school dinners Herb and spice company […]

Milestone for corrugated packaging

Corrugated packaging is celebrating its 130th birthday by looking to the future, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) Corrugated Sector. The packaging material was first developed in the United States for wrapping fragile items such as bottles. However, it was another American, Robert Thompson, who patented the machinery to produce corrugated board in […]

Clint’s in charge of crumb control

A hitherto automation-defying process has finally been brought up to date with the development of a Mitsubishi Electric Solution. Clint Johnson, of Control Freaks, has developed a machine for producing biscuit crumbs, breakfast cereal and snack foods – replacing a labour intensive manual process with one that, he says, guarantees consistent results. “The basic process […]


CKF and Clevertech join forces

CKF Systems, a specialist provider of robotic and automated solutions, has entered into a strategic alliance with Clevertech as the Italian industrial automation business looks to increase its UK sales. Clevertech’s range of palletising equipment includes high and low level layer palletisers, depalletisers and multi-brand solutions for jars, cans, trays and cases. Talks to forge […]

Stafforce announces CenFRA acquisition

Stafforce Personnel has announced the acquisition of CenFRA, the UK-based centre for food robotics and automation. CenFRA was formed with assistance from Yorkshire Forward in 2007 as the UK’s centre of excellence for all robotic and automation activities relating to the food and drink industry. The organisation provides consultancy and research and development services to […]

CenFRA opens cheque book to food and drink industry

Automation and robotic expert CenFRA has launched ‘a unique cheque book scheme’ to promote the positive impact that it says flexible and innovative robotic and automation solutions can have for food and drink companies. CenFRA is offering food and drink manufacturers across the UK a £1,000 cheque towards the full cost of a comprehensive audit […]

Sterile robot cleans up

The new VP-G2 Sterile Robot developed by Denso is now available from UK-based AA Robotics. With a maximum payload of 2kg, the robot has been specially designed for use in cleanrooms where there is a requirement for sterile manufacturing, processing and packaging. Four different models of the VP-G2 robot are available depending upon the environment […]

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Robot firm in operational split

UK-based robotics and automation company CenFRA has announced that it is to ‘divisionalise’ the company into key dedicated areas in a bid to provide a more focused and specialist service to manufacturers in the food and drink industry. The new divisions, CenFRA Assist, CenFRA Simulations, CenFRA Solutions, CenFRA Bespoke and CenFRA Technical, have been agreed […]

New simulation technologies from CenFRA

Automation and robotics expert CenFRA has introduced new simulation technologies which it says have been designed to help galvanise the UK’s fresh produce industry. Over the years automation solutions have been designed purposely to meet the needs of the food industry, and one of the most applicable to the fresh produce industry are high speed […]

Robots on the rise

Sales of robots to UK food manufacturers beat those to every other sector in 2009 for the first time, according to British Automation and Robotics Association (BARA) records. In what was the worst year for investment in the sector since BARA’s records began in 1997, food manufacturing accounted for 20% all commercial robot sales – […]

Virtual winner for food and drink industry

UK-based food robotics and automation centre CenFRA has launched new computer simulation technologies that will enable businesses to evaluate and quantify the benefits and implications of integrating different automation techniques into new or existing production lines on a ‘virtual’ scale, without disruption to current manufacturing operations. CenFRA says one northern-based food giant has already taken […]

M&S boss opens new food manufacturing centre

Sir Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, has officially opened the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln’s Holbeach campus. The new £3.5 million centre in southern Lincolnsire is a state-of-the-art food packaging and processing training factory for food sector employees. The centre will also support the university’s developing agenda […]


Food and Drink Technology