CUSTOMER NOTICE: Supply Issues

Due to worldwide supply issues we are currently experiencing longer lead times than expected on spare parts and tape. We therefore advise our customers to keep this in mind when ordering.

We will continue to maintain stock levels of standard parts as best we can, but please be prepared for potentially longer lead times than usual.

We advise, at this time, to order well in advance of your usual order dates, and if possible, larger quantities to ensure that you do not run out of stock over the festive period.

If you need to order tape or spares please email spares@endoline-automation.com with your requirements.

Celebrating 40 years of Endoline Automation

In the same year that Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer and the first London Marathon was run, a man with a passion for British manufacturing and engineering created his first entry level semi-automatic case sealer from a rented room within a former corset factory.

The year was 1981, and Ronald Yates, who was both a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and a Chartered Electrical Engineer, had just founded Endoline Machinery.

Now in its 40th anniversary year the company, which is today under the leadership of the third generation of Yates’, is reflecting on its history and looking to the future.

The early days
Back in the early 1980’s UK manufacturers, outside of the automotive industry, were starting to wake up to the benefits of automation. Within the food sector, the advent of the ready-meal led to manufacturing at unprecedented rates. Customers, becoming increasingly time poor were demanding more and more variety, and the pressure from retailers was on manufacturers to deliver.

Consequently, many became reliant on a range of processing and packaging technologies to manage production.

Ron’s semi-automatic case sealer, which is still widely sold by Endoline today, enabled manufacturers to seal cases at speed, and with precision. As demand for automation increased, Ron and his team (many of whom are still employed by the company today) engineered new systems which would support manufacturers.

From semi-automatic to fully-automatic systems, Endoline became synonymous with creating high-quality end-of-line machinery, with Ron achieving wide respect across the packaging industry.

In 1990, having moved the business to larger premises in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, where the company is still based today, Ron was joined by his son, Alan.

During the 90’s the business went from strength to strength. Its range of end-of-line packaging machines grew to include both semi and fully automatic case erectors, case loaders, case sealers, and hand-packing stations. At a time when the health conscious and governing bodies were dictating that a greater degree of nutritional information had to be printed on food packs, Endoline, having forged alliances with other OEM’s, integrated its systems into manufacturing plants to create fully turnkey lines.

Customisation and international growth
With engineering still firmly at its roots, Endoline continually re-designed its systems to incorporate unique technical features which would aid both manufacturers and overcome any packaging automation issues.

For instance, the company’s unique dual opposing vacuum technology was first launched in 1990 to ensure that each case was opened positively from both sides, to eliminate damage to packs, which was particularly important in the forming of shelf-ready cases. The booming snacks industry, and demand on manufacturers to produce greater product varieties and sizes led to Endoline creating the 744 Fully Automatic Random Case Sealer in 2012. This system went on to set new standards in high speed, random case sealing and was sold to snacks manufacturers across the globe. It also continues to be a flagship, award-winning Endoline machine.

Endoline has always been, and will continue to be, a staunch British manufacturer. During the recession in 2008, while reaffirming its vision that manufacturing and development should remain focused on one key site of manufacturing excellence in the UK, the company devised a clear export strategy to sell its systems overseas to boost sales during the crisis. The move paid dividends as Endoline’s reputation for engineering high quality systems with technical design components to meet specific customer needs laid the foundation for the company’s overseas success.

Today, Endoline, through direct customer sales and distributor relationship, has a presence in over 20 countries.

Looking to the future
Today, the vision which Ron Yates set out back in 1981 still holds strong: “We pride ourselves on our engineering expertise, product quality, after sales service and pursuit of the corporate objective – a total dedication to customer needs”

Now under the steer of the third generation of Yates, with Andrew Yates as Managing Director and Richard Yates as Operations Director, Endoline is in a good position. The pandemic expedited demand from manufacturers to automate and Endoline today boasts a strong order pipeline.

In 2019, Endoline entered into a strategic partnership with FANUC UK and, for the first time in its history, launched a sister company, Endoline Robotics Limited (ERL). The move was made to meet the ever-growing demand for fully automated end-of-line systems, which increasingly require robotic solutions.

“My grandfather, Ron, was an exceptionally gifted engineer, qualified as both a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Chartered Electrical Engineer – he was to all intents and purposes the Lionel Messi of engineering,” Andrew comments.

“To this day, this passion for engineering and UK manufacturing is at the heart of Endoline and will drive us into the future. As a family, we firmly believe that a business is only as good as the people employed and the product created. We are very fortunate because we are excellent in both of these areas.

Even after all these years our products remain industry leading and, in terms of our people, we have some fantastic, dedicated, loyal and hardworking employees, many of whom have spent their entire careers with us. Both Richard and I are delighted to now be at the helm of the company and, one day in the future, we look forward to handing on the mantle to the fourth generation of Yates.”

Pictured centre, the late Ronald Yates with, from left to right, Alan, Andrew, Kit and Richard Yates

 

Endoline is celebrating 40 years in business

 

Ron Yates working on one of the very first Endoline machines.

 

Both a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Ron had a passion for British manufacturing.

Endoline Automation achieves market-leading health & safety accreditation

Endoline Automation has been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.

A leading third party accreditation scheme, Alcumus SafeContractor recognises extremely rigorous standards in health and safety management among contractors. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies as a way of demonstrating capabilities to customers.

Employing over 50 people, Endoline Automation is a globally renowned manufacturer of high quality end of line packaging equipment, supplying the food, beverage, pharma and e-commerce markets.

Endoline’s application for SafeContractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business, validating its commitment to high quality and safety. The accreditation, which will also help Endoline stay ahead of the competition, was achieved through a careful audit examination of the company’s health and safety processes.

Andrew Yates, Managing Director of Endoline Automation, commented: “As a company, we have always been committed to implementing the highest safety and ethical standards. Qualifying for Alcumus SafeContractor accreditation endorses this commitment, while giving both existing and new customer’s peace of mind when working with us.”

Endoline Automation has been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor

Now Extended: Tape Unit Offer 2021

Due to popular demand we have now extended this offer until 31 July 2021!

From 1st June to the 31st July 2021 Endoline Automation is offering up to 30% off 5055 tape units.

RRP price per 5055 tape unit £611

Endoline June/July 2021 offer*

£519.40 – for 1 tape unit (15% off)
£488.80 – for 2-3 tape units (20% off)
£427.70 – for 4 or more tape units (30% off)

Please call or email to place your order:

+44 (0)1767 316422
spares@endoline-automation.com

*please be aware this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions or discounts. Order lead times will be confirmed once an order is placed.

Tape Unit Offer – June 2021

From 1st to the 30th June 2021 Endoline Automation is offering up to 30% off 5055 tape units.

RRP price per 5055 tape unit £611

Endoline June 2021 offer*

£519.40 – for 1 tape unit (15% off)
£488.80 – for 2-3 tape units (20% off)
£427.70 – for 4 or more tape units (30% off)

Please call or email to place your order:

+44 (0)1767 316422
spares@endoline-automation.com

*please be aware this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions or discounts. Order lead times will be confirmed once an order is placed.

Endoline’s Tray Erecting solution helps pouch packer meet shelf-ready retail demand

Endoline Automation has re-engineered its Tray Erector to enable a supplier of food pouches to major supermarket chains form non-standard sized, shelf-ready trays.

The customer, a global leader in the packing of food products into resealable pouches, was looking to automate the labour-intensive process of erecting up to 10,000 trays a week.

Packing a leading baby food brand into pouches, they required a system which could manage the construction of both standard, and taller sided trays – in a bid to meet retail demand for trays which could be transferred directly from a pallet onto a supermarket shelf.

Due to the height of the baby food pouches, they were unstable within standard sized trays and made unpacking and shelf presentation inherently difficult.

The first, standard sized tray had four sides of equal height and was fitted with RRP pouch pack units to hold the products in place. The non-standard sized, taller tray featured three higher sides, with a shallow front for full product visibility.

Endoline, working with long-standing Scottish distributor, Murray Packaging, modified the tooling on the 501 Tray Erecting system to manage the forming of both tray sizes.

Rigid in construction, due to the use of corrugated board, the trays also featured printed branding so accurate and reliable forming was needed to ensure product presentation was maintained.

Using a hot melt glue to seal and secure the trays efficiently, the 501 Tray Erector is now forming up to 25 trays per minute for the company. Offering 24/7 operation, the 501 has been programmed for ease of tray size changeover, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum.

“Endoline’s Tray Erector has the capability of handling trays of varying sizes,” comments Ian Murray, Murray Packaging, “however, this was a new tray size which had been created to suit the pouches. As with all customised Endoline systems, the design team and engineers worked to create a solution for the customer. They are very happy with the tray erector, which is now seamlessly forming 7,000 of the taller, non-standard trays every week along with the standard trays.”

Endoline Automation re-engineered its 501 Tray Erector to manage both standard and non-standard sized tray

The non-standard sized, taller tray was designed for shelf ready products

Endoline Automation’s 501 Tray Erector runs at 25 trays per minute

 

Endoline Automation appoints new Export Sales Manager

James Ramsay has joined Endoline Automation as Export Sales Manager.

With a strong presence in over 30 countries, Endoline Automation has been engineering end-of-line automated solutions for globally renowned manufacturers within international territories for over a decade.

Bringing a wealth of experience in managing European business relations to the role, James is set to maximise the potential of Endoline’s existing distributor partnerships, and forge new ones.

Focusing on previously un-tapped territories which are fiercely competitive in end-of-line packaging machinery, including France and Germany, James will promote the high-quality build of Endoline Automation’s case erecting and case sealing machinery.

Joining Endoline from induction cap sealing specialist, Enercon Industries Ltd, James has worked across the processing and packaging line and was familiar with the Endoline brand before joining the company in March.

James comments: “I am delighted to join Endoline Automation as I have been aware of the great reputation of the company for some time. They have achieved great success on an international level, and I look forward to building upon this and maximising their potential.”

Packaging automation set to aid food manufacture growth in the wake of Covid-19

Automation is set to play an increasingly larger role in safeguarding the future of the UK’s food manufacturing industry, and the Chancellor’s recent super-deduction tax allowance on plant and machinery announcement is set to give the sector the boost it needs.

While most UK food manufacturers understood the efficiencies gained from automation, adoption was at a far slower pace than other countries. However, Covid-19 has emphasised the need to update manual manufacturing practices that will prevent many from recovering quickly once social distancing measures are lifted.

According to a recent post by the International Federation of Robots (IFR) in comparison to several countries across the world, the UK was the only country, over a 10-year period, to report a 9% decrease in productivity per person.

While coronavirus has undoubtedly put a strain on global productivity, UK manufacturers faced significant issues because of workers being unable to work in production lines where they normally stand less than 50 cm apart on 12-hour shifts.

There is an established link between automation and increased productivity, so now is the time for UK manufacturers to look at long term growth and invest in automation to support labour intensive activities.

So, why have UK food manufacturers always been so reluctant to take the automation plunge?

Here, Andrew Yates, Managing Director of Endoline Automation, discusses the reasons why the UK lagged behind its global counterparts, how automated end-of-line packaging systems today meets manufacturer demands, and how machinery can be integrated into processing and packing lines quickly to ramp up output.

Demonstrating flexibility

For some food manufacturers, a wariness to change well established manual processes, and an aversion to the risks that new technologies can bring, have created major roadblocks, preventing them from reaping the many benefits automated systems can yield.

Within food manufacturing, the variability of materials has played a major factor, particularly as many believe that uniformity plays a vital role in ensuring automation runs efficiently. To meet retail demand, manufacturers are producing an abundance of brand varieties in all shapes and sizes which can cause greater complexities, due to the variation in size, shape, quality, and weight of the product.

“Retailers are constantly vying for consumer attention, creating greater choices which are continually changing. Historically, this hasn’t always lent itself well to automation and manufacturers need assurances that the investment they make in end-of-line packaging automation is future-proof.”

Fully automated end-of-line systems today can manage an unprecedented range of case styles and sizes and have been re-engineered to handle a wide variety of case materials to suit retail specifications, from poorly scored, lightweight cases, to heavy, twin wall cases. Random systems, with integrated bar code reading technology can seal random sized cases at high speed – and be reconfigured remotely to manage new sizes and orientations as and when required.

Health & Safety

Getting health and safety right has never been more paramount. Food manufactures need to adhere to stringent measures and are being set greater guidance on the use of machinery through the Food Standard Agency’s regulatory model, facing stiffer sentences if they are non-compliant.

Tougher governance around health and safety shouldn’t be a deterrent to automation, however it is vital that manufacturers do not take a CE certified machine at face value.

“There are a number of other factors which need to be considered. Manufacturers need to understand the area the machine will be located in and assess the environment for any safety concerns such as access.”

End-of-line equipment in particular presented significant hazards. Not only do they operate automatically and, in some cases, at very high speed, but the openings, to allow the cases to be transported through the system, are often large enough to be a potential for unauthorised access.

Over the years quality, end-of-line systems have been ergonomically designed offering safer operator access and the integration of Safety Light curtains not only safeguards the machine, but eliminates the need for additional safety guarding so reducing the overall footprint. Systems can also be constructed from IP65 washdown rated stainless steel.

Eliminating unnecessary downtime

Food manufacturing sites that are highly automated operate with fewer workers, resulting in a larger opportunity for uninterrupted processing. Manufacturers are currently seeking to mitigate the risk of sending people home in virus-susceptible areas within their facilities, and automation is a big part of this solution.

The risk of downtime, as a result of machinery failure, servicing or reprogramming has always been a bottleneck in the adoption of automation.

However, automation specialists have been driving the intelligence of end-of-line systems forward for some time, and there is now a greater emphasis on linking these systems together and integrating them into a customers’ own specific data network. 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.

“Our systems built today feature an integrated, Industry 4.0 compatible HMI interface enabling engineers to easily re-programme the machine to allow for new configurations of case sizes remotely via a computer, tablet or even a mobile.”

In addition, these SMART systems can be also used to monitor the machinery and send alerts on any preventive maintenance issues and spares shortages. “End-of-line systems are very self-sufficient.”

Beyond Covid-19

Automation has always been an enabler to streamline and enhance efficiency and, as a result of the pressure created by the crisis on manual process, manufacturers should now be able to clearly identify which areas would benefit from automation.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly heightened the need for the UK to integrate automation into their packing lines. By taking the steps to automate, manufacturers will be prepared for any future crisis or shutdown, while ensuring that their output levels and efficiencies remain high.

Super-deduction tax

From April until March 31st 2023, manufacturers can qualify for a 130% capital allowance deduction. This tax break will provide 25p off company tax bills for every £1 spent on qualifying plant and machinery.

This measure – which is expected to boost UK investment by £20 billion a year – includes a super-deduction of 130% on most new plant and machinery investments, which would have ordinarily qualified for 18% relief, and a first year allowance of 50% on most new plant and machinery investments which would have ordinarily qualified for 6% relief.

Automation has always been an enabler to streamline and enhance efficiency and manufacturers should now be able to clearly identify which areas would benefit and take advantage of the 130% tax break. This will also make the UK more competitive on the global production field.

Government announces super deduction tax on machinery

From April 2021 until March 2023, businesses investing in plant and machinery will qualify for a 130% capital allowance deduction. This tax break will provide 25p off company tax bills for every £1 spent on qualifying plant and machinery.

This measure – which is expected to boost UK investment by £20 billion a year – includes a super-deduction of 130% on most new plant and machinery investments, which would have ordinarily qualified for 18% relief, and a first year allowance of 50% on most new plant and machinery investments which would have ordinarily qualified for 6% relief.

The ‘super-deduction’ which was announced by the Chancellor in the recent budget, is intended to spur business investment, aid post pandemic economic recovery and give the UK’s productivity levels a boost.

With no upper spending cap, any UK manufacturer looking to invest in machinery to increase the efficiency of their facility, and speed of their production lines should look to bring forward any spending plans.

While not applicable to second-hand assets the super-deduction tax is, according to tax experts, likely to benefit all businesses that are increasing their spend on capital equipment.

The move is set to boost the UK’s slow pace in moving to automation and robotics.

Over several years the fact that the UK has lagged behind G7 counterparts in the adoption of automation has allowed other countries to steal a march in leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and seize upon the opportunities for economic growth and jobs.

Automation has always been an enabler to streamline and enhance efficiency and manufacturers should now be able to clearly identify which areas would benefit and take advantage of the 130% tax break.

For further information on Endoline’s case erecting/packaging and sealing systems visit www.endoline-automation.com or call us on +44 (0) 1767 316422.

Endoline increases efficiency for Bird Bros by automating egg packing plant

Endoline Automation is assisting leading egg producer, Bird Bros with automating their end-of-line packing operation of 4 million eggs a week, while helping the company meet ambitious sustainability goals.

Pushing the environmental benchmark, family run business Bird Bros operate a low carbon Packing Centre. Since Endoline integrated four, 251 slimline case erectors into the egg packer’s Bedfordshire factory, the company has already reported efficiency gains of up to 10%.

Supplying multiple retailers and caterers, both locally and nationally, Bird Bros produce 30,000 boxes of eggs every week, from smaller, retail sized consumer packs to larger food service and catering boxes.

In a bid to automate the egg packing process, eliminate waste and increase overall efficiency, Bird Bros installed two new, MOBA MR-12 dual robot loading cells late last year.

The twin capabilities of the robotic systems allows for the independent processing of two individual packing lines and Endoline, who work closely with MOBA as a preferred supplier of case erectors, were called upon to install machinery which would manage the flow of formed boxes into the MOBA systems.

Endoline integrated four of its slimline, 251 case erectors into the packing lines, to work in tandem with the MOBA loading cells.

Measuring just 1 metre by 2 meters, almost half the size of traditional case erectors, the slimline nature of the 251 case erectors means that limited factory floor space has been taken up within Bird Bros’ factory.

In addition, due to the shape of the area in which the systems were due to be installed, Endoline created a layout to work within the restricted space. The company also designed the conveyor layout, installing chain transfer conveyors to make quick 90 degree turns, to reduce the overall length of the system.

The 251 case erectors are now erecting and loading four different case formats simultaneously at speeds of up to nine cases per minute. However, with greater speed capacity, Bird Bros now has the flexibility to increase their offering and take on further business if required.

The filled packs are then fed through to an Endoline 734, fully automatic random case sealer which was installed within the Bird Bros factory several years ago.

Automating the process has also enabled Bird Bros to reduce waste as Matthew Bird, the company’s Commercial Operations Director explains: “The smaller, catering packs are inherently difficult to pack. Due to the manual nature of packing eggs, waste can be an issue, however as a result of automating the lines, this has been eliminated. With increased efficiency, we have also decreased supply time so, where eggs have a shorter best before date, we have also reduced food waste for the end user.”

Significantly, by automating the entire process the eggs are not touched by human hand until they reach the consumer.

Joe Fox, Technical Projects Manager at Bird Bros who led the project commented: “We are delighted with the automated packing lines. Not only has it enabled us to increase

efficiency and redeploy employees who were previously working in monotonous, repetitive packing roles, it has also enabled us to meet sustainability goals.”

Image 1: Endoline’s 251 case erectors seamlessly integrated into two Moba MR-12 robot loading cells are now packing 4 million eggs per week within Bird Bros.

Image 2: The compact footprint of the 251 case erectors has kept floor space to a minimum.

Image 3: Bird Bros produce 30,000 boxes of eggs every week, from smaller, retail sized consumer packs to larger food service and catering boxes.