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Appetite: The talk of the town returns

05 January 2011

Appetite for Engineering is back. And this year, the speakers will be more exciting than ever before.

The conference will be held at the Hinckley Island Hotel on 23 June in Leicestershire.

The programme sees representatives from every part of the food and beverage sector, ranging from food hygiene and safety to robotics and waste management.

After an opening address from Lord Rupert Redesdale, chairman of the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association and former Liberal Democrat spokesman on energy matters, the delegates will hear from Calum Murray of the Technology Strategy Board.

Melanie Leech, director-general of the Food & Drink Federation, will talk about the report on the food industry from the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge and she’ll be followed by a presentation about how a famous supplier made 20% fuel savings by installing a control system.

Skills and training is a hot topic in the food industry and we’ll be devoting plenty of time to those in the industry who have important points to make. The University of Lincoln’s Mike Dudbridge will talk about his work with Domino, which provides printing machinery to food manufacturers.

Festo will talk about reaping the rewards of engineering skills, and the National Skills Academy for the Food Manufacturing Centre will also deliver a presentation on skills.

With respect to packaging, Jane Bickerstaffe, director of the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), will provide advice about what to do when regulation comes knocking. She’ll be followed by a talk from Kent-based Ardo, frozen fruit producers, who’ll address the benefits of engineering consultation.

Ardo is a very successful company that recently revamped its facility in Charing, bringing in robots from Motoman and equipment from various other suppliers.

Honeytop Speciality Foods is another star name at the conference, and its MD William Eid will talk about the benefits of using robotics in his plant. The naan and flatbread producer will include contributions from robotics supplier, ABB Robotics, and installer RG Luma.

Then there’s chief executive of the Foodchain and Biomass Renewable Association (Fabra), Stephen Woodgate, who will talk with the Dutch food giant, Vion Food Group.

Fabra is the trade body concerned with the processing of animal by-products and food residues. Its members account for more than 60% of animal by-product processed in the UK and are using it to generate green energy, feed ingredients and raw materials for the oleochemical and construction industries.

Next up will be another star attraction: Coca-Cola Enterprises. This talk will consist of a three-way presentation between Jos van Limberghen of CCE and representatives of EPLAN and Rittal. This case study revolves around how EPLAN reduced CCE’s downtime.

Hygiene and food safety is also covered on this year’s agenda – the presenter in this case will be Neil Brown of The Hygiene Group who will talk about ensuring consistent hygienic and food-safe conditions.

Finally, Charles Baughan, MD of Westaway Sausages, who was a speaker at last year’s event, is back by popular demand. Last year, Charles brought the house down with some home truths about the banks and government funding. This year he’ll be talking about launching a global company and remaining competitive.

Interspersed throughout the day will be talks from SMEs, starting with one from Muddy Boots, a burger producer for Waitrose. Later we’ll hear from Mr Singh’s Sauce, a London-based supplier to the retailers; finally there’ll be a presentation from two companies – Wooden Spoon and Karimix – which have ‘merged’ their locations so they can benefit from the combined resources.

 If you’re interested in taking advantage of Appetite for Engineering’s special two-for-one deal, e-mail Peter Middup on peter.middup@imlgroup.co.uk


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