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Pacepacker receives EEF Smart Product Award for unique packing system

26 November 2013

The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2013 honoured Pacepacker Services, a manufacturer of bagging, pick & place and robot palletising systems, with a Smart Product Award for their unique design and build of a patented packing system, FlexaPac, used by food manufacturers.

The runner-up prize presented by EEF Region Director Jim Davison at a ceremony held at Mercedes Benz World, Surrey, on 12 November 2013 is the second award Pacepacker has received within the last two months for its innovative supermarket tray loading system. The FlexaPac, which accurately places netted fruits, nuts and vegetables into merchandising crates at high speed and without waste, is a niche product and the first system on the market to automate this historically labour intensive task. 

A prestigious event designed to recognise UK businesses that have shown excellence in manufacturing innovation and successfully designed and delivered new operating practices to boost productivity and business performance, Pacepacker competed alongside 400 manufacturing contestants.

EEF judges commented: “A good approach was taken by Pacepacker to work with customers and other organisations to develop a unique product. Furthermore, a good business model, 10 week turn-around period and a ‘try before you buy scheme’ means this product has real potential to open up new market opportunities.”

Pacepacker’s ‘try before you buy scheme’ was an EEF winner at the 2011 ceremony, where it won runner-up in the Innovative Operating Practices category.  The service, which enables manufacturers to trial the FlexaPac as well as other packing and palletising equipment before placing an order, was praised for tackling customer confidence with a bold and innovative practical solution.

The FlexaPac’s clever design, which packs up to 60 bags of product per minute, is no bigger than the rotary table packing station currently used by food packers in production halls. “We are delighted that this niche food packing system has been recognised as a Smart Product by these prestigious manufacturing awards. Our staff work tirelessly to create innovative, robust and economic packing solutions which help food manufacturers to improve their competitive edge through automation – the entire team should feel proud that their product innovations are gaining industry recognition,” enthuses Dennis.

Where other systems have failed to automate the packing of netted foods, the FlexaPac gently pushes packs from a landing platform, fed by either one or two conveyors, onto a set of lowering plates which then smoothly lower the product into the waiting tray below – completely eliminating product damage and waste.

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