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Appetite for Engineering 2017: See the full conference programme

06 October 2017

Appetite for Engineering takes place on 19th October at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. If you are still undecided about whether you can spare the time to attend the event, then do take a look at the programme. Food industry engineers will be explaining how they have successfully overcome their challenges. You will leave the event armed with the evidence you need to start to tackle your own challenges more effectively. 

This year the event will focus on how the industry is moving forward by employing smart technology solutions. We will also be looking at how the industry is tackling some of its more traditional issues – ensuring food safety and greater energy efficiencies.

The full event programme includes:

Keynote presentation : Prof Ken Young, technical director, MTC. 
Ken will welcome delegates to the venue and set the scene for the future of manufacturing, highlighting the important role that automated solutions have to play in ensuring greater production flexibility and efficiency and why the food sector should not get left behind.



SESSION 1: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE OF FOOD PRODUCTION

9.30: Making a case for the use of robotics in the food industry. Mike Wilson, president, British Automation & Robotics Association, Sam Part founder and Chris Tait, lead designer, Candy Mechanics.
Mike will open with an update on the imperative for the UK food industry to consider the greater use of automation and robotic solutions and will go on to question how Sam and Chris, of Candy mechanics, have used robotics and automation to overcome many of the challenges typical of SME food manufacturers catering to the digital consumer. Currently using CNC machines to produce personalised chocolate cards and ‘lolpops’ (CNC machined lollipops of customers’ heads), Candy Mechanics is now experimenting with using a small multipurpose industrial robot to perform the milling process. 

9.50: Smart sensing solutions in action – improving accuracy, reliability and product quality! David Cobbledick, electrical and instrument team manager, British Sugar
David will be presenting an application that can get a bit sticky! The dissolver can be a bottleneck in any sugar plant, this is where a number of product streams in many forms are returned to be homogenised before further processing. Controlling the process at this point is a fine balance and needs accuracy, but conditions are very challenging. After trying other control technologies, the company also decided to put 80 GHz radar technology through its paces. 

10.10: Connecting the brewing process to the cloud to predict optimal fermentation end point. Dr Nicholas Watson, assistant professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham
Nicholas will explain that digital manufacturing does not require expensive new hardware or onsite expertise, so SMEs need not fall behind the smart factory curve. He will talk about a project to develop an ultrasonic sensor for use in craft breweries which, when combined with temperature and pH sensors and connected to a cloud empowered gateway, allows intelligent algorithms utilising real-time and historical fermentation data to be developed to predict optimal fermentation end point.

11.05: Automation is the key to a commercially viable and sustainable vertical farming model. Dave Scott, co-founder and technical director, IGS
Dave will talk about a project to create a commercially viable and sustainable vertical farming model and will explain how this has been achieved through the implementation of innovative robotic and automation solutions.

11.25: Disruptive technologies are critical for survival. Barbara Warburg, principal innovation engineer, PepsiCo International
Barbara will be highlighting the innovation challenges that face the food manufacturing sector and its supply chain in the 21st century. She will argue for the industry to start adopting some disruptive technologies to ensure survival in the future. 


SESSION 2: DEALING WITH THE HERE AND NOW

1.15: The importance of establishing hygienic conditions in food factories. Craig Leadley, principal research officer in the Department of Food Manufacturing Technologies, Campden BRI
Craig will explain the importance of establishing hygienic conditions in food factories, with respect to both hygienic design of equipment, hygienic infrastructure and layout with illustrative examples.  He will also discuss the work of the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) looking at its origins, it’s mission, certification schemes and how users can get involved.

1.35: Looking at excellence in hygienic food practices. Ian Abbotts, food technical consultant
Ian will look at excellence in hygienic food practice. He will highlight the consequences of poor hygienic design for food manufacturers, their customers and consumers – of both food production equipment and building structures and layout.

1.55: Partnering to meet the goal of 25% energy savings. Ryan McNeill, category sustainability manager, Nestle
Ryan will give an overview of the environmental challenges we all face today and will go on to discuss some of Nestlé’s environmental projects and initiatives. He will also highlight how working collaboratively can have positive results on manufacturing efficiency and productivity and how it can also result in some impressive energy, and therefore cost, savings.

2.15: A cool way to halve your carbon emissions and reduce your energy use. Bob Stewart, engineering manager of Caledonian Foods, part of the Bakkavor Group
Refrigeration is an interrelated part of food production. Bob will explain how the company is using heat from a new refrigeration chiller to make savings of over 900kw of gas annually, and also halving its carbon emissions.

SESSION 3: ADDRESSING THE SKILLS CONUNDRUM

3.10: Make sure you take your workforce with you on the automation journey.
John Griffiths, engineering director, Princes Foods 
When John moved into the food sector he quickly identified that the industry suffered even more than other sectors from a significant age and skills demographic within the engineering population.  John will argue that, to make our industry sustainable, competitive and relevant, we need to make our factories modern and efficient. We can’t do any of that without a highly skilled and motivated workforce. His presentation touches on the journey, from defining the problem, to putting strategies in place for dealing with the skills, the age profile and the organisational design challenges and importantly why the industry needs to do this and how to gain business approval for change.


3.25: From fragile to agile – Lead, inspire and develop your team for success. Gary Wyles, trainer and coach, E3 Leadership Development
Food businesses today need to be agile, quick to respond to the challenges and opportunities that occur, or better still, anticipate them. Gary will focus on what might make a business fragile and what will make it more agile. He argues that, if companies are too accepting of the ‘status quo’, even if the results are currently good, they will not be agile enough to respond when confronted by the unexpected. There is, therefore, a role, or even a need, for disruptive leadership. To take full advantage of Industry 4.0, organisations also need Leadership 4.0! 

3.40: Encouraging women engineers to enter the food sector to help fill the skills gap. Michelle Fitton, senior section leader, Mondelez International
Michelle will speak about her experience of working with women engineers in the food industry and will talk about why she feels that the industry should be encouraging more female engineers to take up a career in the food and beverage sector.

3.55: Industrial Cadets – Inspiring the next generation. Christina Bond, employer engagement manager, Industrial Cadets
Christina will introduce the Industrial Cadets, which offer workplace experiences that develop employability skills in young people aged 9-21. Employers' work with both the Industrial Cadets team and a flexible framework to decide how to deliver a structured programme of activities, including; site visits, presentations and talks, hands-on team tasks, workshops and project work. Once the activity has been successfully completed, young people taking part will then graduate as Industrial Cadets, becoming part of a national accreditation network.

4.10: An apprentice’s tale: A young engineer explains what motivated him to enter the food industry. Chris Dobson, student engineer, Premier Foods / Sheffield Hallam University 
Now in his fourth year of an MEng food engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam, Chris will talk about his food processing journey so far as a mature student. He will explain the reasons behind his decision to move into the food industry, and away from a previous career as a senior architectural technologist on Industrial, commercial and residential projects.

There is still time to join us... simply register here: www.appetite4eng.co.uk


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