|Endoline Automation announces new MD
ENDOLINE MACHINERY has announced the appointment of Andrew Yates as managing director. He is the third generation of the Yates family to manage the business following grandfather, Ron and father, Alan.
Andrew is also the managing director of Endoline Robotics, which with its partner, Fanuc, supplies robotic palletising systems in the UK.
The Endoline group of companies have been manufacturing and supplying an extensive portfolio of packaging machines worldwide for nearly 40 years and has become recognised as a leader in its field.
Alan Yates, who becomes the Company chairman, commented; “We have had a succession plan in place for a number of years; but any succession plan must not be based upon the individual’s surname, but upon their integrity, professionalism and ability. Andrew has all those attributes in abundance and, I am confident, will take the Endoline Group to further heights.”
|Shining the spotlight on high-tech, automated systems in support of Industrial Strategy
The formation of the Food & Drink Sector Council, as part of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy, has been welcomed by automation specialists and according to Endoline Machinery, it will underpin a positive change for the UK’s manufacturing outlook.
The ‘farm-to-fork’ food chain, which is valued at £112 billion and employs 4 million people, is a huge part of the UK economy, and the creation of the council acknowledges this. Ultimately, the council will help food manufacturers weather the Brexit storm and guide them into clearer waters to increase output and export possibilities, to ensure that the UK secures its position as a global leader in the supply of high quality food and drink.
One of the key pillars outlined in the Industrial Strategy to drive the UK economy forward is innovation. This, according to Endoline’s sales director, Andrew Yates, will be integral to improving productivity and efficiency for food manufacturers: “Despite the UK’s advancing manufacturing economy, there is still a long way to go to catch up with other European countries. With increased productivity and output being a key measurement of success, it is vital that industry bosses understand the benefits of integrating smart, automated systems into their factory production lines.”
According to a survey by EEF and Santander, investment in new plants and machinery by UK manufacturers dropped over two years from 7.5% of turnover to 6.5%. However, it is now hoped that, through the new Food & Drink Sector Council, this investment will be boosted and aid manufacturers in shifting away from labour intensive repetitive tasks, and create more intricate roles to optimise manufacturing processes and aid business development.
While automation specialists have been driving the intelligence of end of line systems forward for some time, there is now a greater emphasis on linking these systems together and integrating them into customers’ own specific data networks. Consequently, food manufacturers can capture, process and analyse big data from the factory floor remotely, and improve productivity, avoid downtime through predictive maintenance, upload new case recipes and optimise energy use.
Machinery is an integral part of the management of the whole production life cycle, providing the business with everything they need, so it is vital that manufacturers work with an automation specialist who can not only help them implement the technology but ensure that they are operating a lean operation, while leveraging as much as they can from their investment.
Yates continues: “The opportunities, and challenges, facing food manufacturers as we exit the EU are significant. While the formation of the Food & Drink Sector Council will help the industry navigate these changes, ultimately, food manufacturers need to understand that investment in automation will be integral to improving efficiencies, while building a more sustainable landscape for the UK’s food and drink economy.”
|Screens set to cut programming time
As Industry 4.0 gathers pace and mobile technology becomes increasingly used throughout UK manufacturing, Endoline Machinery has announced plans to roll out an icon-based HMI SMART screen that will feature 50% less pages than its previous screens.
The new SMART screen is set to become a blueprint for all systems built by Endoline from January 2018, with retrofit options available on existing systems.
Companies who have several Endoline systems across multiple plants will benefit from the simplified interface. The company says it is set to slash programming time by up to 50%, with the benefit of remote access control. In addition, the SMART screen, which features easy to use, spanner shaped icons, includes many additional benefits, including predictive maintenance tools, and an alert notifying customers to recommended service times and general wear and tear. Endoline engineers can also customise the interface for faster and simpler integration with third party machinery.
Due to Endoline’s growing international customer base, the interface provides users with the option of switching between different operating languages.
Andrew Yates, sales director for Endoline, comments: “This is a significant step forward for Endoline. Our systems have become increasingly high spec over the years, with greater throughputs, and the ability to manage an unprecedented number of case sizes. However, as manufacturing units become progressively digitalised, it is essential that we simplify processes and make programming even more efficient.”
UK manufacturers have made considerable leaps over recent years to automate their production facilities, but there is now a greater emphasis on linking these systems together. Endoline has witnessed an overall increase in demand to integrate systems directly into customers own specific data networks. Consequently, they can capture, process and analyse the big data from the factory floor remotely, and it can be used to improve productivity, avoid downtime through predictive maintenance, upload new case recipes and optimise energy use.
|Not just for Burns night
Two specially constructed Endoline high speed packing lines have helped Scottish haggis producer Macsween meet its objective in automating the production of a new Haggis brand to meet retail demand, and assisted in increasing output by 200% – all within a compact area.
Due to the natural casing of the original haggis line it was difficult to automate the packing line, as James Macsween, MD, explains: "As our original product range is packed within its own natural casing our packing lines were manual as sizes differ greatly. However we standardised the packing of the new ‘Delicious Everyday’ range, allowing us to look into automating the packing line.”
Automating a packing line was a first in the 60 year lifespan of Macsween. The company turned to Murray Packaging, Endoline’s Scottish distributor, to install two packing lines. These needed to be installed within the original factory. As space was tight Murray Packaging and Endoline designed a ‘cruciform’ system with three conveyors running in parallel.
Two Endoline power roller conveyors were installed at the start of each packing line where a manual worker puts the packaged product onto these once it has been run through a chub labeller. Each of the packing lines has an elevated conveyor which runs the product from the power roller to a packing station where four manual packers are ready to pack the products into a formed box.
A single, fully automatic 248 case erector feeds both of these packing lines and formed cases are transported to the packing stations via a conveyor running above the packing stations. "A control system was integrated into the conveyor to accumulate and control the in-feed of the empty boxes to work in tandem with the pace of the manual operators so as each box is removed from the line another is moved along ensuring a constant smooth flow", explains Ian Murray, MD of Murray Packaging. "As the empty cases are light, we ran the conveyor from the case erector up an incline with a 90° bend to run at head level for the packers, not only meeting the factory’s space constraints but ensuring it was ergonomically friendly to the packers with minimum twist and turn effort.”
Once the packers have filled the case with the desired quantity of product, either 6 or 8 depending on the customers' requirements, the full case is placed by the packer onto a third power roller conveyor, which runs parallel with the packing station, to be sealed. Two fully automatic Endoline 602 case sealers are fitted at the end of each line to close the top flaps of the boxes and accurately tape the tops. Both case erector and case sealer can be easily adjusted to deal with different case sizes.
Combined, both lines can run up to 40,000 cases of the ‘Delicious Everyday’ range per day, increasing Macsweens overall output by 200%.
While managing the design and installation of Endoline kit, Murray Packaging also ensured the smooth integration of other supplier systems, including compressed air supply and labelling, into the lines. James Macsween concludes: "Ian not only came up with solutions but made the whole process simple. Automating this process has not only boosted our output but given us the scope to deal with future demand.”