News article

25 August 2010

Robots packing more of a punch in food sector

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System integrator - RTS Flexible Systems

Food and drink manufacturers have bought more automation and robotic equipment than companies in the car sector in the second quarter of 2010, according to new industry data!

Thanks to strong purchases of packing, palletising and handling equipment, the food and drink sector accounted for 17% of the robotics sales, second only to the pharmaceuticals industry (at 19%).

Overall sales of robotic equipment (in the first half of the year) have grown for the first time since 2006, and are 55% up on 2009, according to the data, which was compiled by the British Automation and Robotics Association (BARA).

Welcoming the data, Julian Hunt, Director of Communications at the Food and Drink Federation, said:

“Despite the hugely challenging economic climate, this survey provides further proof that our industry has continued to invest heavily both in new factories and higher productivity. We have put in strong foundations on which we can build as the country emerges from recession.”

BARA President Mike Wilson said:
“Sales to food and drink companies have grown by 172% since 2006 and it is now a major sector for robot applications in the UK. We expect that growth to continue throughout the rest of the year as more UK food and drink manufacturers look to close the productivity gap with their European competitors.”

Notes to Editors

1. The data is based on a quarterly survey of members of the British Automation and Robotics Association, which represents more than 40 key suppliers to British industry.

2. FDF is the voice of the food and drink industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector.

3. Photography is available on request

More Information

FDF Press team
Cath Wilkins on or 020 7420 7132
Rebecca Wilhelm or 020 7420 7140
Mike Wilson on or 07812 766639

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