Now more than ever, growers are focus on economies of scale, always searching for innovative ways to drive the cost of fruit packing as low as possible. In 2018, on a visit to the Interpoma trade show in Italy, we first discovered the Aporo produce packing robots. A year later we proudly took on the UK agency seeing enormous potential in these unique machines, and realising the possibilities they would provide to packhouse operators looking to reduce their dependency on labour.
Developed by agri-tech company Robotics Plus, who spent over a decade researching and putting prototypes through commercial trials, the Aporo produce packing robots went into full production and started being distributed by Global Pac Technologies in 2018.
As well as allowing packhouse managers and owners to better distribute their labour force, ensuring that there are more people in skilled jobs and overseeing operations which robots cannot yet perform, the Aporo can also pack fruit at a pace which people cannot consistently deliver the same quality and presentation results.
By identifying and orientating the stem and calyx, the Aporo’s arms place the fruit perfectly in the tray every time, and the tray recess recognition also means that it doesn’t matter if trays are placed irregularly onto the conveyor. Capable of working at speeds of up to 120 pieces of fruit per minute, when it comes to tray packing, the Aporo is the only machine, we have found to deliver the best presentation results in the most efficient way, optimising the productivity of the whole packing line.
Designed with the end-user in mind, the Aporo is easy to retrofit into existing packhouse infrastructure and the touchscreen interface is also intuitive and requires little training. In terms of dealer support too, the technology means we can log in to the machines from our office at Avon Works to see the robots working in real-time, as well as the packing figures and data loggers.