Adept Technology signs agreement for packaging robotics

JANUARY 26--Adept Technology (Livermore, CA, USA; www.adept.com) has signed an agreement with Fundacion Fatronik (San Sebastian, Spain; www.fatronik.com) for exclusive supply, distribution, and service of a high-speed packaging robot mechanism.

Jan 26th, 2007

JANUARY 26--Adept Technology (Livermore, CA, USA; www.adept.com), a provider of intelligent vision-guided robotics and global robotics services, has signed an agreement with Fundacion Fatronik (San Sebastian, Spain; www.fatronik.com) for exclusive supply, distribution, and service of a high-speed packaging robot mechanism targeted at the expanding international packaging market in food, pharmaceuticals, packaged and consumer goods, and life sciences. Fundacion Fatronik, a privately funded European technology research company, has extensive experience in the development of high-speed packaging robotics. The initial product, the Adept Quattro, is based on Fatronik's patented four parallel arm concepts, enabling ultrahigh speeds and more consistent performance.

Under the terms of the agreement Fatronik will provide Adept with exclusive use of the patented technology. Adept and Fatronik will both fund and participate in the commercialization of the mechanism and incorporation of the applications into the standard Adept control platform. Adept will own all intellectual property associated with the commercialization of the Quattro product line, including the final manufactured design and the integration of controls, vision, and tracking software into the robot.

Initially distribution will focus on existing Adept markets in the European Union, United States, Canada, and South East Asia. Adept will also use these products to partner with distribution in Japan, South Korea, Russia, and Taiwan. Fatronik has been licensed by Adept as the first value-added packaging integrator for the Adept portfolio of robots, including the Quattro.

"Following the enthusiastic reviews of the Quattro technology showcase last fall, we are now taking orders for initial volume delivery in our April quarter. Currently, using COBRA and Viper robots, packaging represents more than 25% of our product revenues. Quattro will allow Adept to offer a compete portfolio to the mainstream market," said Robert Bucher, chief executive office of Adept Technology.

According to the ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, MA, USA), there are more than 250,000 food and pharmaceutical packaging lines. Producers, increasingly concerned with labor cost, cleanliness, and government regulations, are motivated to update and replace existing packaging lines with robotics. The current, estimated US and EU market for high-speed packaging robots is between 1000 and 1500 robots or US$50M--$100M per year.

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