UNISTA: Delivering Excellence with Customized Robotic Packaging Lines

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UNISTA is a specialist in design of flexible packaging lines for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals from unscramblers and other alimentation machines (depalletizing, manipulation of full trays) to the end of the line (case packers & palletizers).  

Together with its partner UNILOGO Robotics, UNISTA offers its customers a complete line of solutions that includes flexible filling, caps sorting, capping and labelling machines. The company believes in the uniqueness of every production and focuses on adapting its machines to suit the needs of its customers. It also offers custom-made automatic solutions for very specific applications, not only from cosmetics and pharmaceuticals alone. This customer-oriented approach is the basis of its reputation, that its valued customers know that they can rely on UNISTA. 

UNISTA builds machines that require almost no operators’ interventions, but if a customer encounters a problem with its equipment, the dedicated maintenance team is always available to resolve the issue. UNISTA has developed its system for remote maintenance that simplifies problem solutions. First of all, its machines are equipped with cameras that make short video sequences when a problem occurs. This helps a technician to resolve the problem in a few seconds. Instead of searching for a problem, the technician just needs to take a look on the screen of a tablet. Besides, UNISTA technicians can also access the HMI of the machine through UNISTA’s remote maintenance software if necessary, to help the customer. 

Automating the Future with Intelligent Machines 

UNISTA drives its mission to make the cosmetics and pharma industry more flexible to follow consumers’ needs. In the world, where the market requires the creation of new products every single day, automation and flexibility give an enormous advantage to each company.  

Furthermore, people deserve a better future than manipulating products all day long for living. In a long perspective, automating actions with a low added value will bring to a better world, where people will be able to use their creativity.  

The company is already seeing the impact of its work and prides in sharing how small companies that had the courage to order its machine a few years ago, and seeing a turnover growth, further orders new machines from UNISTA. 

Resilient Leader with a Visionary Approach 

Anthony Forget is the Founder of UNISTA, who has seen in practice the requirement of industrial automation for the beginning of the line. Anthony observed that every company had filling machines but there were no automated infeed solutions to complete filling lines. This made, the beginning of line looking always the same whether the infeed was done manually, or with mechanical machines that require a lot of time for a format change. 

Thus, Anthony got an idea to offer a robotic infeed solution with a zero-changeover time. And a few years later the company he founded has presented its first bottle unscrambler. And now after 13 years, its turnover has achieved over US$9 milliongrowing at a rate of 30% yearonyear. 

Propelling Industries with Robotic Solutions 

UNISTA is the biggest integrator of ABB robots in France after the automotive industry, which is the biggest consumer of robots. UNISTA also works with other companies, e.g. with Fanuc and Stäubli and is proud to acknowledge that it makes the robotics industry move forward and become more accessible to companies. Because of its high reliability and a relatively fast return on investment, even a middle-sized company can now afford a robotic machine. UNISTA also creates a range of jobs in the automation field and mentors the future robotic and automation engineers.  Besides this, UNISTA has created an academy that trains students who are passionate for robotics. 

Driving Innovation from Customer Inspiration 

UNISTA’s main source of inspiration and innovation are its customers, who say they have something impossible to do and approach UNISTA to take a look if it can invent something innovative. And in many cases, UNISTA finds a solution to satisfy its customer’s needs.  

UNISTA has different patented solutions, but it always looks beyond, every day to continue developing something new. The company believes in that fact that to stay on the top tomorrow, it is important to invent something new today. Another innovative point is its complete lines. Today, it is the only company in Europe which is able to propose to its customers a complete line from products infeed until palletizing. And now during the COVID crisis, a lot of companies have understood the true importance of flexibility. A lot of UNISTA’s customers have faced the vital need for a radical switch of production. Half of its clients from the cosmetics industry have started to produce hand sanitizers even though they had never produced it before. So, they had to adapt agility in their production and here, UNISTA machines were a great help for them since they require almost no time for a changeover. 

Progressing to the Disruptive Technologies of Tomorrow 

According to Anthony, nowadays, UNISTA combines classical programming of the machines and machine learning to get an optimal result. It will be very soon that deep learning technologies will become an inalienable part of work.  

UNISTA already uses collaborative robots that are able to learn from simple manipulation of their arms and its classical machines use machine learning for calculation of robots’ trajectory. 

Awards and Recognitions  

UNISTA has won several awards which include “Growing champions” by Statista for being one of the most fast-growing tech companies of France. It has been recognized for “Outstanding performance” delivered by ABB and awarded in category “Industry 4.0, smart Factory” by Warsaw Expo.  

UNISTA is recognized by L’Oréal in their annual report as a supplier of equipment accelerating their performance. In 2020, Anthony was invited to participate in the TOP 2020, a unique event where directors of small and medium-sized French companies have a possibility to meet the CEOs of the biggest French corporations. 

Unique Challenges to Move Forward 

Unique challenges are stepping stone to new learning, the founder had to drive 4000 km from UNISTA in France to their partners UNILOGO in Poland and back recently after the COVID restrictions were lifted. They made it just after the end of COVID-isolation in order to present a new line to a customer. And why did they drive? because air borders were still closed, and they could go there only that way. Though it may sound crazy, they were resilient and committed to driving solutions to the customer. 

The Future Ahead 

UNISTA is very optimistic about its future. Right now, it grows at 30% every year and even the COVID crisis didn’t stop their growth. As more and more companies order robotic solutions, the leadership at UNISTA add that they are more ecological and allow their customers to produce smaller batches of products, which don’t need as much storage space than with old solutions. 

The company looks forward to delivering solutions and adds that since companies always lack space, more and more companies go for UNISTA’s solutions since they are efficient and compact. 

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