Skip to main content

Starring roles for the Arla’s robots

Press Release   •   May 05, 2016 12:41 BST

Automated Guidance Vehicles (AGV) at Arla’s state of the art fresh milk processing facility in Aylesbury

The Automated Guidance Vehicles (AGV) at Arla’s state of the art fresh milk processing facility in Aylesbury have taken a leading role on The Financial Times website (FT.com) as part of ‘Robot Week’, a week dedicated to articles, videos and multimedia content on the rise of robotics in the workplace and home environment (https://next.ft.com/artificial-intelligence-robotics)

To watch the video, click here

One of the FT.com films looks at the use of robotics in the logistics; manufacturing and industrial environment and the filmmakers were keen to feature the Arla site as a good example. The AGVs collect the tets of milk bottles asthey arrive in the cold store and move to the correct areas before the milk is loaded on to the trailers for distribution.

Opened in 2014 following a £150 million investment, Arla’s Aylesbury site is one of the world’s largest dairy operations, has the ability to process one billion litres of fresh milk a year. It was built to support Arla’s long-term strategy to increase the volume of milk being processed in the UK and support Arla’s significant growth plans for its largest market.

The filmmakers filmed the AGVs in the dispatch area and spoke to Mark Burrows, Senior Dispatch Manager, to understand why the decision was made invest in the state of the art technology, discuss their efficiency and how they are deployed.

Arla is a farmer-owned dairy company with 12,700 owners of Arla of which 2,700 are in the UK. One of the owners, David Christensen, appears in the film explaining why the farmer owners were supportive of the £150 million investment to build Aylesbury and implement the AGV technology. “I sometimes join fellow farmers to visit the Aylesbury site and we’re really struck with the machinery in place, in particular the robots in the dispatch area. It encourages us as its talking about low cost and efficiency for the processing of our milk into the finished product.”

This is not the first media appearance of the AGV’s at Aylesbury – last year they appeared with Steph McGovern live of BBC Breakfast as part of their own robot themed week. (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34266212).

Earlier in 2015, Chef Gregg Wallace visited the Arla Aylesbury dispatch as part of the BBC One’s ‘Inside the Factory - How Our Favourite Food Is Made. (’http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/xF8zVbpwtkdTpMxdZg4W3v/whod-have-thought-it-surprising-facts-about-our-favourite-foods)

Arla Foods is a global dairy company and co-operative owned by 12,700 dairy farmers with circa 3,000 of whom are British. 

Dating back to 1881, Arla’s purpose is to secure the highest value for its farmers’ milk, while creating opportunities for their growth. With production facilities in 11 countries and sales offices in a further 30, Arla is the world’s fifth largest dairy company and largest supplier of organic dairy products. Arla has a total of more than 18,000 colleagues and its products are sold under the well-known brands Arla®, Lurpak® and Castello® in more than 100 countries.

Arla Foods UK is the largest dairy company in the country and is home to leading dairy brands Anchor, Cravendale, and Lactofree with a turnover of €2.9 billion. As well as being a leading supplier of fresh milk, number one in butter, spreads and cream, Arla is the UK’s largest cheese manufacturer. It has also built the world’s largest fresh milk facility located at Aylesbury and has plans for it to be the first zero carbon site of its kind. The UK business has a team of approximately 3,500 colleagues located at its dairies, distribution centres and head office.