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Prisk: Govt committed to nurturing manufacturing skills

07 March 2012

Mark Prisk, MP and Minister of Business & Enterprise, reconfirmed the government's commitment to engineering skills at the Automated Britain seminar in London

Mark Prisk says the word 'excellence' needs to be brought back to our core skills in engineering, and that the culture within homes and schools is important in this regard. ''We need to change ingrained impressions about the lack of status among pro engineers in the UK.''

He was speaking at Automated Britain, a one-day seminar held in London, hosted by Gambica and Intellect. Other speakers included Juergen Maier, MD of Siemens UK; Bob Spooner, group supply chain director of Premier Foods; and Lynn Tomkins, director of UK operations at Semta.

Bob delivered a talk on the end-user perspective of automation. He previously had been group supply director for Northern Foods and MD of Northern Foods' pastry products business and prior to that held senior operational and supply chain roles with ICI Paints and Sara Lee.

Bob's key responsibilities at Premier Foods include responsibility for operations strategy for the Group including line management responsibility for manufacturing, logistics, health and safety, group engineering and environmental management.

Later, Geoff Friswell, process development engineer for Kraft Foods spoke with Dominic Molloy of Rockwell Automation. Their talk focused on a case study regarding convergence in production and gaining competitive advantage.

Geoff has been with Kraft for 24 years and in his current role for the past 20 years. He spent 14 years in the Merchant Navy with Texaco as a marine engineer. He has accumulated extensive experience of operating, maintaining and improving process plant and implementing control system projects.

The day had several sponsors including Mitsubishi UK, Siemens, ABB, Omron, Danfoss and Semta. It was supported by IET, BIS - the Department for Business Innovation & Skills; the Carbon Trust; Automating Manufacturing and BARA.

Exhibitors included Eaton, Emerson, Mitsubishi, PCME, Rittal, Schneider Electric and Siemens.

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