Queensland-based palletizing solution experts Packweigh become the newest ABB Robotics Authorised Value Provider

Queensland-based palletizing solution experts Packweigh become the newest ABB Robotics Authorised Value Provider

  • Packweigh designs and manufacturers automated weighing, bagging, and turnkey palletizing systems for the food, consumables, chemicals, and stock feed industries
  • Packweigh’s bespoke systems largely feature ABB’s IRB 460 industrial robots
  • As an ABB Authorized Value Provider (AVP), Packweigh will advance their capabilities to deliver the sales, service support, and engineering expertise to install ABB robots in various applications in Australia

They are a small business doing big things. Packweigh specialises in designing and manufacturing automated weighing and bagging systems. Their systems are capable of batching product bagging, pick and placing, and palletizing, and are integrated within custom turnkey solutions. These systems are widely used in various industries such as food packaging, consumables, chemicals, seed, grain and stock feed, for palletizing applications and bagging products such as powders and granules. Packweigh is headquartered near Brisbane, Queensland, and has recently joined the ABB Robotics Authorized Value Provider (AVP) network.

Packweigh Co-Director, Jim Nolan, says “we’re proud to be a small business doing everything in-house. From the design of the turnkey system and tooling (robot grippers, pick-up stations) through to the PLC programming, electrical cabinets, and motor control systems – it’s all us. We started using ABB robots because of inoperability issues we were experiencing with an alternate manufacturer. We’ve been using them now for over 5 years and haven’t had a service issue or breakdown yet.  That’s why becoming an AVP was a natural progression for us.”

Packweigh’s systems typically feature ABB’s IRB 460 industrial robots. These robots are the world's quickest palletizing robots, with a 110kg payload and 2.4m reach, and are designed for a small footprint. Their compact size makes them suitable for integration into existing packing lines.

  • In front of Packweigh’s Queensland headquarters which includes office floors, assembly and manufacturing facilities, a metal (welding and fabrication) factory, plus testing site.
  • Presenting the ABB AVP plaque to the Packweigh team. (L-R): Harsh Patel, Rod Wilson, Peter Katsos (Head of ABB Robotics in Australia), Jim Nolan, and Matthew Nolan.
  • Peter Bradbury, Channel Manager for ABB Robotics in Australia (centre) also presenting the ABB AVP plaque to the Packweigh team.
  • An ABB IRB460 robot being prepared for a customer system application that features two separate incoming packing lines, and the one robot which will service both lines for palletizing.
  • The ABB IRB460 system undergoing final stages of factory testing before it is installed in a stock feed application palletizing system.

Jim mentions that the ABB team's quick response time and the support provided by their ABB Channel Partner Manager, Peter Bradbury, has been immensely helpful for their small business.

“We’re thrilled to become an AVP and receive expert support for any design challenges we may face. Additionally, we look forward to making full use of the complimentary robotic learning courses for our technicians, and the inclusion of RobotStudio® offline programming and simulation tool as part of the AVP offering,” he says.

"The ABB robots are unparalleled in terms of their reliability and ease of programming"

Rod Wilson, Co-Director at Packweigh, notes that providing reliable and efficient ABB robotic technology has made a significant difference to their customers' businesses and industries.

“The ABB robots are unparalleled in terms of their reliability and ease of programming. This has been crucial for us in designing and delivering systems to our clients who are facing a pressing need to fill positions that were traditionally occupied by human beings, particularly in an era where staffing shortages continue to be the norm.

"By utilising robotic automation to perform mundane, repetitive tasks, our customers have been able to thrive"

We observed an increase in demand for automated robotic systems from customers in the food industry during the pandemic. This demand is driven by the realisation that robots can provide essential support to businesses that cannot afford to experience downtime due to a lack of available personnel or employee absences resulting from physical injury. By utilising robotic automation to perform mundane, repetitive tasks, our customers have been able to thrive and reallocate their skilled employees to other roles. This has increased the value of these employees to their employers, resulting in happier employees.” 

Despite concerns in the past about robots taking over human jobs, there is a growing acceptance of robotic automation as a way to speed up progress in Australian manufacturing and production. This has paved the way for a shift to more dynamic business models, creating significant efficiencies in operations as robots take on dull, dirty, and dangerous activities. This enables workers to take up more rewarding jobs.

Reflecting on his ongoing business relationship with Packweigh, Peter Bradbury, Channel Manager for ABB Robotics in Australia says, “I was delighted when Packweigh chose to partner with ABB to offer robotic palletising systems alongside their new equipment and extend this to their large installed base. It’s fantastic to have them be a part of our ABB Robotics family, and I look forward to being a part of their ongoing success.”

ABB AVPs are committed to promoting progress in robotic automation and enhancing the knowledge of robot applications around the world.  Packweigh is sure to continue their pathway of success by improving the quality and efficiency of their customers' expanding operations nationwide. Their next project involves a fully-automated palletizing line that uses innovative robotic technology to perform work equivalent to two people per day. This will allow their customer’s employees to be reassigned to work requiring greater skills.

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