Bucks business uses robots to keep balloon production lines moving

B Loony

A Buckinghamshire manufacturer of printed balloons and other promotional products are keeping calm and carrying on thanks to investment in production line robots.

Chesham-based B Loony  supplies global brands including McDonalds and Costa Coffee and have a busy order book which they are able to fulfil thanks to the investment, which enables them to put robots to work undertaking repetitive work such as like sewing bunting and making burger flags.

B Loony 3The company is continuing to fulfil orders for clients during lockdown by operating with a skeleton staff and using their robots to take over a lot of the work so that the factory can keep going.

This has been a really innovative use of technology within the business that is helping them through a difficult time.

B Loony was established 40 years ago and are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of printed balloons and suppliers of promotional products, including paper flags, bunting and banners.  They supply global brands including McDonalds and Costa Coffee and have a constantly busy order book. As with all businesses, they had to adapt quickly to changing circumstances when the Government announced lockdown arrangements in March.

Andy MacInnes, Commercial Director at B Loony said: “Four years ago, we took the decision to invest in our first collaborative robot to work alongside members of our existing team in order to increase productivity as the business expanded. It was important for us that we kept the staff engaged in the process and took them with us as we used technology to carry out some of the more repetitive, time consuming tasks which include sewing promotional bunting and making burger flags.  Over that time, they have enabled us to significantly increase our capacity and efficiency and have been a vital investment for the business. B Loony 2

“We now have eight robots working alongside a skeleton staff and they have really come into their own and been one of the key reasons that we have been able to keep production lines going.   The co-bots are allowing us to fulfil contracted orders from larger clients so that the business can continue to operate until we can start full production again when restrictions ease.”