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4 April 2011

CenFRA Ltd has launched a bespoke machinery design service exclusively for end-of-line applications to help UK food and drink companies achieve more flexible, accurate and cost efficient packaging solutions.

Although there are already countless off the shelf automation options for end-of-line processes, such as picking and packing, manufacturers often find it difficult to find one that meets their exact requirements. CenFRA's custom-built design offering allows businesses to affordably explore automated processes and create personalised packaging solutions to suit them. 

As manufacturers begin to learn more about emerging technologies, more are turning to bespoke machinery design and an increase in the cost-effectiveness of automated solutions means they can now handle awkward, heavy or delicate items for complex processes such as product classification, printing and wrapping.

By offering a dedicated service to end-of-line automation CenFRA believes it will help to inspire food and drink manufacturers to look at other processes as well. The company's managing director, Ian Nicholls commented: "End-of-line processes have been automated for some time but there is a lot more work to be done. Manufacturers seem less sceptical about automating at this stage of production so we believe it is a good entry point to demonstrate the capabilities of new developing technologies."

As CenFRA is totally independent of any one supplier or equipment manufacturer it is able to offer completely impartial professional advice and guidance on the latest robotic and automation solutions available.

CenFRA is also keen to point out that investing in automation does not necessarily lead to job losses. The introduction of new technology can free staff from more menial and repetitive tasks so that they can be redeployed on more productive activities.

With support from leading universities, specialist engineering centres and leading robotic and automation organisations, CenFRA provides an all-encompassing service, which evaluates existing commercial solutions, identifies core function requirements and develops initial concepts through to full automation machine design.

The company's specialist team combine their industry knowledge with technical engineering excellence to develop 3D modelling, component assembly drawing and freeform surfacing using sophisticated computer aided design software to enable rapid development to proof of principle modelling and concept evaluation.

Machine designs can then be incorporated into a discrete event computer simulation, which successfully evaluates and quantifies, at very little cost, the benefits and implications of integrating a different automation technique into new or existing production lines on a "virtual" scale without creating any disruption to current manufacturing operations.

This simulation technique also helps to recognise how a new piece of equipment would affect particular factory areas and provides accurate and reliable virtual models according to the food manufacturer's existing production set up or intended future arrangements, without the need for expensive physical mock-ups.

For further information please visit the CenFRA website at or contact one of the company's engineers on 01302 765680. are not responsible for the content of submitted or externally produced articles and images.
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