RTS Flexible Systems (Irlam, Manchester) a provider of integrated robotic and automation systems for the food industry, has developed a solution for picking and packing food products into variety packs.

The system can also be adapted to cope with changes in pack configuration due to the introduction of new flavours or ’limited-edition’ offers.

The solution was originally developed for a chocolate biscuit manufacturer. It used RTS’ PixCell TM technology to combine the speed and flexibility of 120-cycle per minute, vision-guided robots with RTS VIP TMline balancing software and RTS-developed gripper designs.

According to David Bradford, RTS managing director: "We were able to achieve significant cost savings by replacing a complex and repetitive manual operation to pack multiple product variants with an automated solution.

This significantly increases throughput and reduces line downtime. It has the advantage of improved quality control, and there are benefits for hygiene and personnel health because of the reduction in human intervention."