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Sonoco Partners with Rethink Robotics for Advanced Packaging Technologies

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Rethink Robotics, Boston, Mass., USA, and Sonoco Alloyd (Dekalb, Ill., USA), a unit of global packaging company Sonoco (Hartsville, S.C., USA), have entered into a strategic alliance to deliver complete, innovative manufacturing solutions to Sonoco Alloyd’s packaging customers.

Sonoco Alloyd, a leader in medical and retail package design solutions, will incorporate Rethink Robotics’ collaborative robots into their line of sealing machines in order to provide a complete automation solution for their customers. Rethink’s Baxter and Sawyer robots will be sold as part of an integrated part transfer and sealing system through Sonoco Alloyd’s sales force. The partnership will give Sonoco Alloyd’s manufacturing customers a flexible, adaptable and low-cost solution to more fully automate their custom packaging lines.

"At Sonoco Alloyd, we believe that leveraging the industry’s most advanced collaborative robot technologies, along with our own world-class sealing systems, can provide a unique and complete solution for customers that will deliver real results in a short timeframe," said Jeff Christensen, vice president and GM of Sonoco Alloyd.

"We are constantly listening to our customers and developing new ways to improve the quality of services and solutions we deliver. Rethink Robotics provides a differentiated technology that we have begun to use in our own factories, and we are now able to pass those innovations on to our customers as well," he concluded.

"As an innovator in its space, Sonoco Alloyd is at the forefront of providing what today’s global manufacturers need to be successful," said Scott Eckert, president and CEO of Rethink Robotics. "Sonoco Alloyd understands that collaborative robots are a big part of the future of manufacturing, and they can offer additional value to the reliable automation they’re already providing to their customers. The combination of these two great product lines is a huge competitive advantage for manufacturers everywhere."

Rethink Robotics helps manufacturers meet the challenges of an agile economy with an integrated workforce, combining trainable, safe, and cost-effective robots with skilled labor. Its Baxter robot, driven by Intera, an advanced software platform, gives world-class manufacturers and distributors in automotive, plastics, consumer goods, electronics, and more a workforce multiplier that optimizes labor. With Rethink Robotics' products, manufacturers increase flexibility, lower costs, and can invest in skilled labor—all advantages in fueling continuous innovation and sustainable competitive advantage.

Committed to accelerating robotics innovation in manufacturing and beyond, the Baxter Research Robot gives academic and corporate research environments a humanoid robot platform with integrated sensors and an open software development kit for creating custom applications.

The business is funded by Bezos Expeditions, Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, DFJ, and Two Sigma Ventures. More information about the company is available online.

Sonoco Alloyd is a leader in custom thermoformed and printed package design, offering innovative, skillfully engineered protective packaging solutions for a variety of markets. Sonoco Alloyd is a unit of Sonoco. Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of approximately $5 billion, the company has 20,800 employees working in more than 330 operations in 34 countries, serving some of the world's best known brands in some 85 nations. More information is available online.
 

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