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Metis Automation took part in a two-day advanced manufacturing Hack and Pitch event. This was facilitated by InnovateUK, to propose potential solutions to three key packaging challenges raised by Unilever.

The Challenge

In a joint pitch with Whistonbrook Technologies, Metis Automation won a challenge to measure packaging resilience throughout the supply chain. Judges commended the joint pitch as innovating and an ideal example of what Hack & Pitch events aim to achieve. Notably, a collaboration between companies with the complementary expertise to deliver outstanding solutions to their customers.

Unilever has invested in a state of the art Advanced Manufacturing Centre at their Port Sunlight base on the Wirral. The centre houses a pilot plant for the testing of new products and packaging developments. The consumer giant is consequently appealing to the sensor community for novel approaches to optimise their use of the facility.

In this challenge, Unilever aims to find new ways to quantify how well optimised a package design is, as well as how smoothly it runs in the supply chain, the forces it is exposed to and opportunities to enhance and improve it. Furthermore, Unilever is aiming to develop a way of measuring the impact on packaging as it is transported, sorted, labelled, filled and capped.

Martin Griffiths, Technical Director at Metis Automation said “Hack and Pitch events are an excellent way to propose innovative solutions to a diverse range of manufacturing challenges. We are pleased to have been awarded this win and look forward to exploring the challenge further.”

Metis Automation and Whistonbrook will work with Unilever to further define a solution to this challenge in 2018.