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And your 2019 Food Processing Award winners are...

20 October 2019

The winners of the 2019 Food Processing Awards were announced by multi award-winning comedian, Dominic Holland, at an awards ceremony held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Coventry on 17th October. 

There were nine awards up for grabs in the 2019 Food Processing Awards. The judging panel had the task of choosing the finalists in each category from all the nominations received. A call was then put out to the readers of Food Processing and the judges used this to inform them about the most popular nominations. 

The 2019 winners are:

Lean / continuous improvement solution or project 
Winner – SMC Pneumatics (UK) Limited
SMC’s Productivity Solutions Strategy has utilised the company’s own experience to create an optimised productivity strategy for its customers. Using a combination of the various Lean Six Sigma methodologies the Productivity Solutions Strategy can help identify key business challenges and to create a bespoke business solutions strategy which enables companies to more quickly adapt to changing market conditions.

Skills & development 
Winner – Bakkavor
The judges were particularly impressed with Bakkavör’s apprenticeship programmes which are designed to develop the skills of young talent who want to embark on a new career in food manufacturing while working towards a nationally recognised qualification. Bakkavor offer an Advanced Apprenticeship, aimed at school leavers who have completed GCSE’s, and those starting in a new career, with Higher Apprenticeship for those who have typically gained A-Level qualifications and are hoping to fast-track their career. To compliment the qualification the company has designed a structured internal training programme.

Process & packaging solution or project
Winner – Beckhoff Automation Limited
The eXtended Transport System (XTS) sees Beckhoff’s linear motion technology driving movers around a track, independently of each other. It replaces mechanics with software functionality to allow for a higher degree of design freedom and reduces maintenance requirements. A version designed for use in hygienic applications – The XTS Hygienic – is EHEDG complaint and meets the requirements for system certification according to EL Class I AUX. It has a protection rating of IP 69K and can cope with surfactants, acidic and alkaline cleaning agents, different alcohols and disinfectants and even hydrogen peroxide.

Robotics & Automation solution or project 
Winner – igus UK Limited
With robolink DCi, Igus is offering a cost-effective robotic arm solution for the food industry which offers the benefits of flexibility for picking and packing applications, as well as handling packaging goods. The robotic arm is suited to use in lifting applications. It can handle items weighing up to 1kg with an accuracy of ±0.5mm and it can be installed and commissioned without the need for any prior robotics experience using online tutorials, simulation tools and other services. 

The modular control system of the robolink DCi, supplied by software partner, Commonplace Robotics, is located in the foot of the gripper arm of this 4- or 5-axis robot and this is important as it means that the articulated robotic arm is compact and that a permanent connection to the PC or control cabinet is not necessary so it can be easily moved around a facility to where it is needed.

Hygiene & food safety solution or project 
Winner – PVSL Limited
The design and installation of a new four-channel CIP system with in-line monitoring system for Lancashire Dairy ensured that the company could continue its planned expansion and gives greater flexibility in cleaning up to four parts of the plant simultaneously. Each channel is further split to clean routing pipe work, incubator tanks, valves and pumps associated with finished products. Each CIP has its own validated ‘recipe’ staged wash cycle and can be traced back in time, date, recipe or route selection. The new system has resulted in a reduction in water consumption and energy for cleaning and has contributed to greatly reduced CIP times at the dairy. 

Environmental / sustainability solution or project
Winner – JD Cooling Systems Limited
Judges were impressed by a project being undertaken by the company to create an energy-efficient secondary cooling system for a client’s new fresh produce cold store. The project saw JD Industrial (JDI), (part of the JD Cooling Group), develop a revolutionary heat recovery system using the client’s existing biogas engine. The original system discharged all exhaust gases into the atmosphere. The new method saw JDI install two inline heat recovery heat exchangers, which now extracts the waste heat from the exhaust gases and provides ‘free’ heating to the new factory.

Smart / digital technology solution or project
Winner – Omron Electronics Limited
The addition of an AI controller into Omron’s Sysmac platform for factory automation will help drive holistic optimisation of the manufacturing process by streamlining the analysis of data to support continuous improvement programs. In contrast to cloud computing this solution, which features adaptive intelligence, is closer to the action and learns to distinguish normal patterns from abnormal ones for the individual machine. It collects, analyses and utilises data on Edge devices within a controller to prolong equipment longevity and detects unforeseen events to prevent failures. This can help reduce the risk of equipment damage and downtime. 

Young Engineer of the year 
Jordan Brosnan of Coca Cola European Partners Limited
Jordan is a newly qualified apprentice who has recently moved into a permanent technician role within the Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) Morpeth Operation. Jordan’s values have stood out since his Apprentice Assessment day. During his assessment interview, he was asked why he would want to leave a well-paid, secure job.  His answer was: “I don’t want just a job – I also want a successful career”. Jordan has graduated from his CCEP apprenticeship programme, and has also completed his Degree in Engineering Management with a First Class Honours. All of this has been achieved while raising a young family, and he is only 23 years old.
The Lifetime Achievement Award 
Eric Partington, chairman of the Regional Section of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG).

Eric gained a BSc. Hons Metallurgy from the University of Manchester and spent 20 years working as a technical manager at Allied Breweries, with responsibility for development, specification and purchasing of all Allied Breweries’ beer containers, their associated equipment and materials handling systems and their maintenance facilities.

Today he is a consultant metallurgist at Effex, and is a European consultant to the Nickel Institute of Toronto. He is also a member of UK Institute of Brewing & Distilling.
It is Eric’s work within EHEDG which really made him stand out to the judges as an obvious choice for this lifetime achievement award for his tireless promotion of the importance of hygienic design and his drive to improve hygienic engineering and design standards to ensure greater food safety. Last year was a particularly busy year for Eric and the EHEDG UK & Ireland Section hosted the EHDGE World Congress for the first time ever in London. Eric, as consumers we wish to thank you for your hard work in ensuring that all equipment used within the food production is as clean and safe as it needs to be.

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