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Surprises among FP Awards winners

15 June 2012

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 12 June at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire. Here is our wrap-up of the evening's winners...

Robotics & Automation
Sponsored by SCM Handling
Organic ale is now produced by Stroud Brewery in larger quantities thanks to expert process automation from Burkert. Moving forwards in a business as traditional as an organic craft brewery takes sympathy, understanding and very flexible process equipment. Fortunately for Gloucester beer drinkers that is exactly what Burkert UK has supplied to Stroud Brewery. In an application that combines traditional processes with the latest automation systems; old techniques meet new controls in the new Stroud Brewery brew house, to create beer. Burkert UK's project team has completed the installation of a complete flow, temperature and level control system comprising of the sensors, valves and control panel required to manage the new microbrewery installation at Stroud Brewery.
 
Company of the Year
Sponsored by Food Processing
Pacepacker has been trading since 2004 but with a small team it has grown by 38% over the past three years by taking brave decisions. During the recession it took an entrepreneurial leap of faith into exporting in order to help ride the storm. What they didn't foresee was the unexpected benefits they gained from going through the process. This has made them a leaner, technology driven manufacturer of equipment, which tackled customer confidence with a bold, innovative practical solution: its Try Before You Buy Service. At the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards, the company won the EEF Innovative Operating Practices runner-up award for this service, and was deemed winner of the EEF Outstanding Export Strategy Award in November 2011.

Product of the Year
Sponsored by Ishida Europe
The latest release of Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 software delivers the high performance of an integrated control system for manufacturers and machine builders requiring a smaller control system. Most notably, the software brings integrated motion capabilities on the EtherNet/IP network to the Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller family. Using RSLogix 5000 v20 in combination with scalable, right-sized control system components allows users to scale from 200 to 10,000 I/O points using a single control platform and common user experience. "Many machine builders and manufacturers must use multiple control platforms to meet their diverse needs," said Mike Burrows, director, Rockwell Automation. "This creates unnecessary complexity because each platform has a unique design environment, user interface and vendor support model. Forward-looking machine builders and end users need a single-control infrastructure that easily scales to match application requirements."

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.

Environmental initiative
Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric
Biffa hatched the perfect waste partnership with food processor Moy Park. With Biffa's help, over the last 18 months food processing company Moy Park now sends 95% of waste to recycling or re-use facilities and has recovered more than 90% of waste in less than 18 months. Eight sites have already achieved zero waste to landfill with the remaining seven sites on track to achieve zero waste by 2013. Biffa and Moy Park have worked together to appoint on-site 'waste champions' as well as Biffa staff working full time at Moy Park's facilities. They have identified areas of potential improvement in waste practices through ongoing waste audits, which are revolutionising environmental performance and cutting long-term costs.

Hygiene solutions
Sponsored by Rittal
SICK has developed a new fluid level probe, extending its industrial instrumentation product offering. It is being used by a confectionery manufacturer in North England, among others. Designed for use in hygienic environments, the EHEDG-certified LFP is ideal for use in the food and beverage industry. The liquid level sensor, designed using FDA-compliant materials, features a level display, level measuring and overfill/demand indicator in a cost-effective, durable and flexible device. Darren Pratt, UK instrumentation product specialist, said: "The LFP has a robust design, developed to increase service life and functionality. If required the customer can trim the probe to the exact length needed. This, combined with its interchangeable connection concept, makes the LFP adaptable and easy-to-use."

Technological development
Sponsored by ABB
Mitsubishi Electric’s “C Controller” platform offers a flexible, robust, secure environment that can house multiple “apps” to perform complex and challenging tasks. The C Controller forms part of the integrated iQ Platform and therefore sits in a ruggedised non PC based environment. As part of Mitsubishi’s e-Factory Alliance, partner companies have embedded their technology onto the C Controller platform enabling a whole host of Mitsubishi solutions to be developed including various connection options from plant to enterprise level, interfacing to SAP, Oracle, DB2 and other business system solutions. Other applications include a distributed secure database, an energy management solution and a batch control system.

Energy management
Sponsored by Xylem
Instead of separately providing refrigeration to cool production and keep product at temperature and using a number of boilers to provide heat for CIP and pasteurisation, dairy processor Robert Wiseman Dairies at its plant in Manchester now counts on heating-cooling co-generation with refrigeration heat pumps from GEA Refrigeration. Where all of the energy removed from the product in the refrigeration stage and the power required to drive the refrigeration system is returned as hot water for pasteurising and CIP. With its share of almost one third of the British market, RWD is the largest supplier of fresh milk in the UK. In all six RWD production plants and 14 distribution centres, cooling is critical to maintain food freshness and to guarantee production quality for all product variations. At the same time, the company requires heat to pasteurise its milk. RWD has systematically implemented a program to optimise its facilities required to provide the useful energy needed.


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