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Pacepacker wins EEF award

08 November 2011

Pacepacker’s new ‘Try Before You Buy’ facility, where customers can run new and existing product and material trials before placing their equipment order, has won runner-up in the Innovate Operating Practices category in EEF’s Future Manufacturing South East Awards

The free to use £70k purpose built facility, which provides manufacturers with real-time evidence that Pacepacker equipment can achieve their packaging requirements, includes pick & place, bagging and robot palletising machinery.

“When a manufacturer takes the decision to purchase capital equipment from an OEM, they want to be 100% confident that the machinery is going to package their goods as per with their project objectives, which often include throughput, energy efficiency, waste reduction and quality targets.

“Rarely do clients have the opportunity to run product trials or test equipment before they place an order, and often make their purchase on the ‘promise’ that the equipment is going to work as per their specification,” explains Pacepacker managing director, Dennis Allison.

“In order to fully demonstrate our abilities and speed-up the order placement process, customers can trial, at their own convenience, products and materials in our dedicated test facility. Since opening the facility we’ve found that the time taken to convert an enquiry into an order has reduced by 25%, mainly because customer queries are answered quickly upon seeing the equipment successfully packing their products – we're delighted the EEF Future Manufacturing Award judges have formally recognised our solution as an innovative way to meeting customer needs.”

At the EEF’s Awards ceremony, which took place at Mercedes Benz World in Surrey on 1 November, Pacepacker’s facility was praised by judges for tackling customer confidence with a bold and innovative practical solution. “We felt this was an excellent example of a business aligning itself with its customers to meet their needs with a new operating solution,” said the judges.

Typical trials and tests completed by manufacturers at the facility include: testing of primary and secondary products on pick & place systems; optimisation tests for packaging sizes to suit pick & place or palletising requirements; pick and place formats/configuration optimisation; bagging tests, typically packing products into bags & sacks from 3kg upwards and methods of closure including heat seal, stitch and overtape; and comparing the differences/benefits of new and pre-owned robotic palletising systems.

The facility, which is kept up-to-dated with new technical developments and prototype inventions, is proving particularly useful for customers with more complex requirements due to products which are fragile, difficult to handle, or irregular shaped. And for overseas companies in remote continents, who are often reluctant to purchase equipment from a UK OEM due to the distance barrier, the facility provides them the extra level of confidence that they require.

The facility includes the ability to video film and broadcast footage of trials over the internet, which, for overseas customers, agents and distributors, helps reduce their financial and time commitment at the initial stages of the project. “The facility is at the disposal of our agents and distributors, who use it for just-in-time training when they are in the UK,” explains Pacepacker Business Development Manager Paul Wilkinson.

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