Industrial Robotics Systems and PCB Design School thriving at Parkside

Two high-tech businesses are looking to the future after joining the thriving business community at Parkside, on the University of Essex’s Knowledge Gateway research park.

Industrial Robotics Systems (IRS) has benefited from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University to develop a transformational robotic system to autonomously assemble sandwiches and other ready meals.

IRS, with venture capital backing, moved to Parkside, as it fine-tuned its robotic gripper and visual software system which identifies, picks and places any ready meal ingredient on standard industrial food production lines. It will soon be testing its patent pending system with leading sandwich manufacturer Raynor Foods in Chelmsford.

Founder Peter Schwabach explained: “I wanted to develop a robotics solution to help the industry transform from being a low tech, low wage industry to being a high wage, high tech one.”


PCB Design School, founded by industry expert Roger Benfield, moved to Parkside to take advantage of the University campus location. Roger said: “It’s a fabulous place to be.”

Roger set up the school to train the next generation of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) designers to tackle the skills shortage in this vital part of the electronics industry.

“The Knowledge Gateway team have done an enormous amount to help us get set up here,” Roger said. “We’re now hoping to establish strong links with the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.”

Read more about IRS and PCB Design on the University of Essex's news pages.

Parkside’s expansion continues, with a new £10.7 million building due to be ready for occupation later this year.

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