The California-based company landed the award at the recent CFIA Rennes 2014 food processing exhibition. Bruno Adam, director of the company’s French division, said the technology can help food producers increase efficiency and yield.
“These grippers enable gentle, hygienic food handling in a fast automated production environment,” he said. “SoftPIC grippers come in several models, which can be swapped out in less than two minutes, to accommodate lines that package multiple products or handle more than one packaging size."
SoftPIC grippers are compatible with the manufacturer’s Quattro and Cobra robots. Made of soft silicone approved for food industry use, the grippers reportedly enable fast, accurate and hygienic transfer of product in primary and secondary food packaging operations.
The grippers conform to the shape of the product or packaging being handled. The capability reportedly lets the system gently handle items at high speeds, even with non-rigid, wet, and irregularly shaped items.
With primary packaging, packaging applications include processing raw protein, fruits and vegetables, and bakery items. Secondary packaging applications include configuring bags, pouches, containers and clam shells.
The Innovation Awards are a 17-year feature of the CFIA food-industry exhibition. The awards recognize products, equipment, and services in four different food-industry categories.