NCFM to showcase pioneering technologies set to transform future of food manufacturing

A pioneering new system which is designed to dramatically improve food packaging processes will go on show to industry representatives and food manufacturers of the future this month.


As part of a two-day event at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach, South Lincolnshire, the PickNPack system will be demonstrated along with a host of other new industry technologies.

PickNPack is an innovative packaging concept which offers the food industry the benefits of automation – cost reduction, greater hygiene and more efficient use of resources – combined with the unique ability to adapt to the product and batch size at hand. PickNPack is designed to give the European food industry a competitive advantage in the rapidly changing marketplace, where customers demand more quality, more choice and more safety for lower prices.

It will go on show at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) as part of a tour showcasing the results of the associated four-year research programme.

The NCFM showcase event will run for two days on 13th and 14th September 2016.

Tuesday 13th September is a dedicated Industry Day for representatives from across the UK food manufacturing sector. It will be organised around a working production line demonstrator, illustrating different aspects of the PickNPack technology.

The industry event offers an opportunity to discover new ideas and solutions, listen to in-depth talks, and learn directly from the engineers involved in the PickNPack project.

On Wednesday 14th September, Lincolnshire school pupils will visit to learn about the industry, and to see and experience its latest technological developments.

This demonstrator will be supported by a range of specialist technology booths, each of which will focus on specific areas of progression, including robotics, instrumentation, wireless communication, and system control.

NCFM April robot

The innovative Automated Processing Robotic Ingredient Loading (APRIL) ‘robotic chef’ system which has been developed by OAL and is housed at the NCFM, will also be shown to visitors. APRIL is a fully automated robotic system that can mix, load and cook ingredients in a manner similar to professional chefs yet on an industrial scale, by using modern cooking and material handling technologies. It is designed to boost production and efficiency, while also improving the quality of food produced.

Further information is available online, where you are also able to book your place.


Digital Technology and the Food Sector

Don’t miss our latest event looking into the role of digital technology and the food sector.Invite1

 Join us on September 15th, 9.30-13.30pm at the National Centre for Food Manufactoring, Holbeach campus where you will get an insight into digital technology and all its forms in relation to the food chain.

We will cover:

  • Why digital data is so important to the food chain
  • How the development of automation has been enabled by digital technology
  • The digital potential for food traceability
  • Understanding markets through digital data

If this is something you’d like to learn more about, book your place today

NCFM inspires next generation into apprenticeships

University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) sponsors the biggest careers event in the region to help thousands of young people find their future careers.


The huge annual  ‘Mission Possible’ event attracted nearly 3,500 visitors and over 200 exhibitors to Peterborough Arena, aiming to showcase the wide range of career opportunities on offer in the surrounding area to 14-24 year olds, providing the chance to try out different skills and talk to employers from all sectors.

careers2NCFM showcased the vast amount of apprenticeships available at their Holbeach campus to give students an alternative to going to University.

It was a great event where students, parents and teachers travelled from across Lincolnshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Norfolk and Suffolk to gain careers advice, try out new things and to consider other great opportunities.

Large industry partners such as OAL, Manu Fresh and Tulip Ltd also attended on the day showcasing the opportunities of engineering as a career and the breadth of careers within the food industry.



careers3 careers4

Key food and drink leaders talk apprenticeships with NCFM

A member of the Prime Minister’s Food and Drink Board attends a Skills Funding Agency event at NCFM, Holbeach campus.
SONY DSCKey large employers in the food and drink sector were invited to take part in a round table discussion and information sharing session with Dr Rami Ranger who has been appointed by Government to be a specialist advisor and ambassador for apprenticeships in the food and drink manufacturing sector.

The Prime Minister’s Food and Drink Board representative, along with other employers, heard about the latest information on the Apprenticeship Levy. They also took the day to learn about ways in which apprenticeship can be embedded and help productivity within business.

Some outcomes from the event have lead to partnership working between businesses as well as planning meetings with the National Apprenticeship Service.