Clear Robotic Vision

BluePrint Automation is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of turnkey end of line packaging solutions and vision guided robotic systems. Philip Yorke talked to Jos Van Oekel, sales director, about BPA's Delta Robotics and integrated case and tray packing technology.

BluePrint was founded by Bob Prakken in 1980 and has since grown steadily to become one of the world's foremost providers of innovative and versatile solutions for case packing for flexible bagged products. The company provides high-tech solutions for the food industry, including frozen foods, snacks, baked goods and confectionery, as well as for non-food applications, such as personal- and home care products. BPA serves multinationals, as well as smaller mid-sized companies worldwide.

The company offers a broad systems portfolio, including high speed vision guided robotics for sophisticated picking and placing of individual packed and non­-packed items for loading into cartons, cases or wrap-around containers.

BPA's case and tray packing solutions provide state-of-the-art packaging technol­ogy with a range of tailor-made turnkey options for flexible and other tough-to­-handle packages. Furthermore, the company provides unrivaled wrap-around case packing capabilities, especially for retail-ready packaging requirements. Complete turnkey packaging systems are also readily available that enables the customer to take complete control of its packaging lines from the end of the processing cycle right through to final palletising.

Innovative integrated solutions

Innovation and customer service have always been at the heart of BPA's culture. With the strategic acquisition of Racupack in 2013, BPA has widened its expertise in carton handling technologies offered to its customers. "Customers are demanding more total integrated solutions with a smaller foot­print," remarked Mr Van Oekel. "With the additional Racupack carton expertise, we are able to offer product- and carton-handling in one monoblock frame, resulting in higher output per square meter and still keeping performance rates at 98 per cent and higher. A good example of such development is a monoblock designed casepacker for our biggest confectionery customer'.'

This machine with twin infeed includes integrated case erecting for four different case designs, Delta Robots for case transport and filling at a rate of 330 bags/min, integrated case labelling, inkjet, closing with lid, tape or hotrnelt and case weighing. The overall footprint of this BPA case packing solution is less than 30 m2.

With another global manufacturer for food and non-food products BPA devel­oped hand-in-hand a very standard and modular-designed Delta Robot. "With this Delta Robot we are offering competitive solutions that can handle products such as ice-cream sticks, doy-packs with soups and sauces, as well as flexible bagged detergents all within the same machine execution;' Mr Van Oekel observed. "Of course, we also offer this modular Delta Robot design to other customers with dif­ferent application demands, such as bakery and confectionery products or non-food products such as flow-packed wet wipes'.'

He continued: "In addition, for our traditional markets such as frozen food and snacks, we are developing innovative and cutting-edge new technologies and ma­chine designs. We are still seeing strong growth in these traditional sectors and with these new developments we also serve this important existing customer base."

Flexibility is in BPA's DNA and the company strives to ensure that it offers the optimal solutions and the best possible fit. Although BPA is increasing levels of standardization and modularity, it still finds there is a substantial demand on the market for customized solutions. With the vast experience within the BPA engineer­ing group, the company is very well placed to provide the best solution for each individual case-packaging challenge.

Over the last couple of years BPA has been growing 20 per cent year-on-year. The company moved into its current factory, which was built for the long term future, in 2000. With the impressive growth of the last years and the promising outlook for the coming years, BPA is now making a major investment in a brand new facility in the Netherlands. Construction of this ultra-modern 14,000 m2 plant will com­mence in May of this year and the move is scheduled for early 2017. The new prem­ises will include offices, workshops and assembly halls all under one roof. Racupack will also be fully integrated in this new location.

"Our new building will support the further development and growth of the company with greater flexibility and efficiency than ever before;' said Mr Van Oekel. "This means we can offer a truly one-stop-shop service for end of line case packing operations. With the move to the new factory and the forthcoming lnterpack in Diisseldorf, 2017 will be an exciting year. With new innovations on display at Interpack and the inauguration of the new plant, we want to show that BPA is ready for the future!"

For further details of BluePrint Automation's innovative packaging solutions visit:

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