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FP Awards: And the winners are...

27 June 2011

This year's Food Processing Awards contained some of the most fiercely contested categories in recent history, and was held amid much excitement on the evening of 23 June at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire. Here is our wrap-up of the evening's winners...

Robotics & Automation
Sponsored by Omron
Three recently installed Total Bag Control Systems from Pacepacker Services now provide I'Anson with what it describes as superior product presentation and eliminate virtually all bag waste. "Owing to an increase in the price of paper and oil over the past 10 years, packaging prices have risen considerably and our sack wastage amounted to about £10,000 per year,'' says chairman and fourth family generation owner Chris I'Anson. "With the introduction of Pacepacker's new Total Bag Control System we've been able to virtually eliminate sack waste and totally eliminate customer complaints regarding product presentation."
Runners-up: KUKA Automation + Robotics, Western Mechanical Handling Automation UK, Loma Systems, Moody Automation

Company of the Year
Sponsored by Rittal
In 2010 Festo proved that European manufacturing is alive and well. Despite the UK fluid power market falling by a third during the recession, Festo increased market share by a record 2.7% points. And the secret to our success - is our people. Everyone knows how they contribute and shares in the success. It's not just about financial performance though. We are well known for training our people through our own 'Fit for Change' development programme and have a strong and open communications and coaching culture that ensures people are supported and personally developed.
Runners-up: Winkworth Group, Werma UK, BHJ UK Protein Foods

Product of the Year
Sponsored by Ishida Europe
Coloured Mini Cones from pastry specialist Pidy were one of the company's most popular lines at the 2010 Food and Drink Expo in Birmingham. Available in four shades - Green (Spinach), Red (Tomato), Black (Squid ink) and Neutral. The 7.5cm long cones are made from crisp corn wafer. A 2.5cm diameter rim allows for liberal fillings of pate, mousse, seafood, fruit, ice cream - in fact, anything your customers can dream up. Comes with a free gold/silver artists' palette-shaped holder. Serve filled cones from the palette or stand on the table (feet supplied) for self-service.
Runners-up: Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients, Dawnfresh Seafoods, RR Spink & Sons, Snowbird foods

Packaging solutions
Sponsored by PPMA
Endoline Machinery completed its biggest ever project - a £1m deal which secured its position as the premium end-of-line packaging specialist. The Bedfordshire-based company has project-managed the build and installation of 12 packaging lines within the world's most modern sausage factory - opened by Tulip, part of the Danish Crown Group, near Liverpool. The 12 lines, incorporating semi- and fully automated lines, have been modified to meet the requirements of Tulip. Key to the design of the production lines was they were efficient to deal with raw meat, so stainless-steel was used in the construction of the machines for ease of wipe-down.
Runners-up: PFM Packaging Machinery, LINPAC Allibert, Ishida Europe, Heraeus Noblelight

Environmental initiative
Sponsored by Siemens
Universal Beverages chose Puresep as its key partner in providing top-of-the-range filtration and water treatment plant. UBL commissioned Puresep to provide two PureFlow Crossflow systems as well as a range of water treatment solutions to facilitate its production plant requirements. The PureFlow Crossflow system, used for product clarification following fermentation, boasts high performance and productivity through quality design and engineering along with maximum filtration efficiency. The system is made of stainless-steel, ensuring a long service life as well as preventing odour pickup and adverse taste. It utilises high-quality 0.2 micron membranes, ensuring exceptional product clarity.
Runners-up: CHEP, ITT Water & Wastewater, TNA

Hygiene solutions
Sponsored by Food Processing
Rittal’s HD enclosures, with a protection category of IP69K, are key in the design of cleanrooms for open processes in the food industry, where there’s an emphasis on ease of cleaning. Utilising Rittal’s HD system accessories, many benefits have been designed into the stainless-steel cases and enclosures, which are available in various sizes. Simple cleaning with inclined surfaces of 3° on all sides and 10° on the front cover; all-round gap-free silicone seal between enclosure and front cover; hygiene compliant hexagon locks and seam-free construction. Captive quick release-cover locks and a one-piece easily replaceable silicone seal for easy assembly/maintenance are standard.
Runners-up: Hygiene Group, ERIKS UK, seepex

Technological development
Sponsored by ABB
Mitsubishi provided sophisticated modern drive and control equipment to WMH Automation UK so it could develop a servo-based system that irons out the inaccuracies of batter pumping for a frozen food manufacturer. The objective was to produce the perfect Yorkshire pudding. The system comprises of a 10 axis J3 servo drive arrangement. Each servo is linked with Mitsubishi's high-speed SSC net. Nine of the axes are dedicated to the depositors, each driving 32 pump chambers. The servos are each programmed with a map of known volume to be dispensed and the required number of rotations can be calculated depending on the required product settings.
Runners-up: Burkert, Cablofil, Bosch Rexroth, Atlas Copco Compressors

Energy management
Sponsored by Bosch Rexroth
Cool Energy, specialists in temperature rental, works with many in the food industry to save energy and provide cost-effective cooling from zero o-zone depleting refrigerants, units with built in redundancy, fault monitoring (ensuring optimal efficiencies) and the latest components all designed to save power and provide optimum performance. Cool Energy recently worked with microbrewery Loose Cannon to build a 60-pallet in-house cold store providing onsite cooling to house casks of ale, before its final journey to the customer. With energy management a key component in the cold store refrigeration provided and also in the adaptable solution to cater to future needs and potential expansion, Cool Energy was able to provide the stable temperatures required keeping cooling costs to a minimum and efficiencies high at each cooling stage.
Runners-up: Spirax Sarco, IsoCool, Heraeus Noblelight, Next Control Systems

Skills development
Sponsored by Festo
An earlier manufacturing scheme from Unilever met standards for today but not tomorrow. Changing it required aligning 14 UK sites' varying schemes, and ensuring high-calibre, next-generation engineers. The company formed a UK team to share best practice and review processes; shareholder discussions identified business and individual needs and feedback on gaps. Performance monitoring followed, and the impact has been impressive: the company's mindset is focused on recruiting and retaining home-grown talent to meet manufacturing needs in 5-10 years, providing Unilever with high-calibre, competent individuals.
Runners-up: Warburtons, Kerry Foods


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