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Appetite for Engineering: the UK’s annual food processing industry forum

08 September 2014

The 2015 Appetite for Engineering (A4E) event is set to take place on 21 October at the Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire – a must attend event for the UK food processing sector.

The event is a one-day forum aimed at senior engineering professionals. If offers a great opportunity to learn about the issues that will affect the UK food business in the future, as well as looking at solutions for today’s food and beverage engineering teams. It also offers a good networking opportunity for the industry.

The 2015 event will look at new legislation coming into force – not only in the UK but also globally. For example, the new EU regulation 1169/2011 will be coming into effect from 13 December 2014 and industry needs to be prepared for the new mandatory labelling information for consumers. 

In 2015, the US Food Safety Modernisation Act will also come into force and this will affect all businesses manufacturing for export to the US. A4E will discuss these important legislative issues and what they will mean for UK businesses.  

The one-day conference will also look at challenges facing food and beverage processors and manufacturers today, and how to plan for the future with ‘Smart Manufacturing’ and developments in automation.  Now is the time to start looking at how the factory of the future will be shaped, and making those steps towards that future. 

A4E is also looking at the future of food engineers, and how the food and beverage industry is addressing the skills gap in food engineering. 

A4E is positioned for those involved in food engineering roles from food and beverage processing and manufacturing companies who are looking to solve problems, foster innovation in the industry and increase efficiencies and look ahead to the future of food engineering. 

Presentation content
One of the keynote presentations will come from Sam Millar, director of technology at Campden BRI, who will be focusing on the drivers for innovation in the food and drink supply chain.

The food and drink sector is highly innovative – partly driven by competition, but also by external pressures such as food safety, food quality, diet and health, and supply chain resilience. Each of these factors creates a need, some of which can only be addressed with the help of science and technology. 

This plenary address will provide a considered overview of the inter-relationships of drivers, needs and innovation across the entire supply chain, drawing on an extensive consultation of Campden BRI members. 

Duncan Goodwin, technical services director at NSF International will be looking at the implication of the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA for UK food processors and manufacturers. Manufacturers looking to export to the US need to be aware of the implications of the
new US Food Safety Modernisation Act which come into force in 2015. Duncan Goodwin’s  presentation will outlined the relevance of this Act to UK and European businesses, and will offer advice on how to continue exporting legally to the US without disruption to business. The presentation will also look at the importance of having robust food safety systems in place and how far GFSI benchmarked certifications such as the BRC can help.

Sukh Gill, director of Global Regulatory Services at Leatherhead Food Research will be tackling the subject of EU1169/2011 and its impact on the food supply chain. Following the Lidl Italia case, Article 8 of EU1169/2011 has been seen as an opportunity to underline compliance responsibilities within the food supply chain. 

Muthukumar Viswanathan, practice director, Industrial Automation & Process Control at Frost & Sullivan will be looking at the subject of  ‘Smart Manufacturing’ and asking whether it is food manufacturing’s panacea?  Industry 4.0 is a platform that enables the unification of information at every touch point of the supply chain, from product inception to design, manufacturing, services and even refurbishment. The end result will be a system in which all the processes are completely integrated and will exchange information in real-time.  The presentation will look at how feasible this concept really is for the food processing industry and will question whether it can answer the challenges that lie ahead.

Toby Bond, associate at Bird & Bird will be asking where cyber security risks come from, focussing on risks that particularly affect those in the food processing industry. He will look at how risks evolve and what impact an incident can have on a business in the food processing sector. He will also lead a discussion on the EU’s Cybersecurity Directive and will offer advice on how cyber security can be improved with a few simple steps. 

John Gray from the University of Manchester will be offering a European perspective on the PickNPack Project which is concerned with the flexible automation and packaging of food products to provide cost reduction, greater hygiene and more efficient use of resources, combined with the unique ability to adapt the product and batch size during production.
The primary focus of the project will be on chilled food and fruit and vegetable processing and the project will develop a number of modules that can cope with the typical variability of food products and the requirements of the sector regarding hygiene, economics and adaptability. These include a sensing module that assesses the quality of individual or small batch products of before or after packaging, a vision controlled robotic handling module for bin picking and placing and an adaptive packing module that can be flexible in terms of packaging shape, size, product environment, sealing and printing. The project is hosted by a large European consortium including leading food sector research groups and machine manufacturers and is due for completion in October 2016. 

To book your delegate place at this event now – speak to Kay Killick  at 01732 359990 kay.killick@imlgroup.co.uk


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