Scotland’s first “Arctic robot” has landed in Aberdeenshire as part of an investment programme by leading food ingredients manufacturer Macphie.
The futuristic facilitator operates at temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius, stacking boxes at the company’s headquarters in Glenbervie.
It works in a factory which was opened 18 months ago as an extension to Macphie’s existing operations, producing cookie dough for a well-known US ice cream manufacturer and the boxes had previously been moved by hand.
Macphie was keen to minimise this exposure of its workforce to severe temperatures however, which led to the introduction of the automated assistant.
The Kuka robot, nicknamed “Cookie” by workers, is part of a significant investment of over £1million being made by Macphie. It precision-builds pallets of boxes at the end of the packaging conveyor belt, assisted by sensors to keep it fast, efficient and safe.
Three other robots, working in ambient environments, have been installed as well as a new bottling line and new industrial bowl mixers that assist in the preparation process.
Macphie Managing Director Andy Underwood said: “Innovation is the key to unlocking opportunities for growth in the food and drink sector.
“We have made this significant investment knowing technology can improve supply chain processes and make us more productive.
“The introduction of our Arctic robot has also allowed us to move workers into more skilled areas of the business and into higher-value jobs. So instead of building pallets of boxes, our employees are monitoring production line efficiencies and operating computer-controlled equipment.
“It is part of Macphie’s wider innovation agenda which looks at using enhanced technology, collaborating with research centres and unlocking talent to drive business growth. These investment plans underline our ongoing commitment to both industry innovation and people development.”