UK’s first degree apprenticeships to support higher level skills for food manufacturing

New degree apprenticeships will help to deliver higher level skills needed by the food manufacturing sector, thanks to a major funding award from the Government.

foodmanufacturing

The University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) will lead the pioneering project to deliver the country’s first degree apprenticeships in Food Engineering, Technical Management and Operations Management as part of a national programme to develop new opportunities for apprentices.

NCFM, based in Holbeach in south Lincolnshire, has secured a share of the £4.5 million Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund to deliver the new courses in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and the National Skills Academy Food & Drink (NSAFD). Together, the organisations have formed the Degree Apprenticeship Food Industry Partnership.

Professor Val Braybrooks MBE, Dean of the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, is the Project Leader for the Degree Apprenticeship Food Industry Partnership. She said: ‘‘The Government’s drive to grow degree apprenticeships has been well received by employers and universities. Degree apprenticeships offer an exciting new way to deliver the higher level skills needed by the industry, with employers and universities working together to develop high quality workplace training complemented by part-time, flexible degree level study, which will both attract young talent and reward and enhance the skills of existing employees.”

Funding for the new degree apprenticeships was announced today (Thursday 10th November 2016) by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This first phase of the degree apprenticeships initiative will see the development of 18 projects involving higher education providers and employers working in partnership to develop apprenticeships ready for apprentices starting in September 2017.

Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships will deliver high-tech and high level skills and offer an alternative to the traditional degree course. Bringing together university study with paid work, degree apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and many leading food businesses including Nestle, 2 Sisters Food Group, Princes and Moy Park, are directly supporting the development of these three degree apprenticeship programmes, which are being developed to tackle the higher level skills gap in food engineering, technical management and operations management.

Employers and students wishing to find out more about the new degree apprenticeships are invited to contact dafip@lincoln.ac.uk, or phone the Degree Apprenticeship Food Industry Partnership on 01406 493000.

Read the full article here

Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference – Agenda

Food manufacturing 2030 agenda 

We cannot wait to welcome all our guests for our Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference tomorrow (October 13, 2016).

Please see below an agenda for the day.

Agenda Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference 131016 v1.3 copy

 

We will start promptly at 9am after a networking breakfast, with University of Lincoln’s Val Braybrooks and OAL’s Harry Norman.

Simon Lushey from Marks and Spencer will give a talk on the importance of innovation to food retailing, leading into ‘New robot technologies for food manufacturing’ by Andrea Paoli at the University of Lincoln.

After a coffee break at 10.30am, we will look at ‘The Future of Chilled Food Manufacturing’ by technical specialist, Ann Savage. We answer ‘How will consumer trends shape food manufacturing?’ with a talk from Steve Osborn from Aurora Ceres Partnership.

The day will end with demonstrations, discussions and tours of the Holbeach National Centre for Food Manufacturing facility.

Feel free to save a PDF version for your use. We look forward to seeing you there.

Agenda Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference

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.

IMG_2082

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.

 

APRIL the ‘robotic chef’ to be unveiled at NCFM!

APRIL the 'robotic chef'A pioneering robotics system which could dramatically change the way food is manufactured will be launched this month at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) in the UK.

The Automated Processing Robotic Ingredient Loading (APRIL) ‘robotic chef’ system has been developed by OAL, a leading provider of process and automation solutions for the international food industry.

It 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. APRIL is designed to boost production and efficiency, while improving the quality of food produced.

At a special launch event on Thursday 28th April 2016, the new technology will be unveiled to individuals and businesses from across the food industry.

Representatives from the University of Lincoln, OAL and KUKA Industrial Robots will outline developments in the use of robotics in food manufacturing and the event will also feature a full-scale demonstration of the system, which includes a five tonne industrial robot recently installed at our campus in Holbeach.

Mark Swainson, Lead for Food Manufacturing Research at the NCFM, said: “The nature of the processing and sheer scale of the APRIL system really sets it apart from other robotic manufacturing processes in the food sector and we are delighted to be working with OAL on this initiative here at the University of Lincoln.

“APRIL enables much more control over recipe management and recipe control of liquid food products on an industrial scale.

“With this new process we are looking to emulate the chef in the kitchen in a large-scale batch robotic environment, which brings with it many labour and product benefits.”

APRIL allows users to scale up the approach chefs use to prepare restaurant food, with typical applications including the production of soups, sauces and ready meals. The technology includes robotic cells which have a modular and flexible design that enables the system to easily switch between products.

OAL, which is headquartered in Peterborough, recently received a £60,000 grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative to continue its development of the patented technology.

For more information on the system, visit www.aprilrobot.com.

We feature in Food Manufacture magazine this month

Our new robotic chef ‘APRIL’ features in this months ‘Food Manufacture’ magazine!

Food Manufacture wrote: “The way food is manufactured is set to change dramatically following the launch of a modular robotics and automation manufacturing cell at the University of Lincoln, according to those behind the new development.

The University is working in collaboration with OAL, the company behind the novel steam infusion cooking technology, which is already in use at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) at Lincoln’s Holbeach site.

Much secrecy surrounds the Automated Procession Robotic Ingredient Loading (APRIL) ‘robotic chef’ system developed by OAL, because of the commercial interest being shown in this technology in advance of the launch.

However, it is said to use modern cooking and material handling technologies to process ingredients on an industrial scale.

The launch event will take place at the NCFM on April 28th 2016, where representatives from OAL, the University of Lincoln and Kuka will outline the use of robotics in food manufacturing. The event will include a full-scale demonstration of the system, which includes a 5ft industrial robot recently installed at the test centre.

“What sets this system apart from other robotic manufacturing cells is ‘the sheer scale of the system,” said Mark Swainson, head of research at the Holbeach campus.

“It’s more of a front-end approach. Most robotics and automation that is happening is end-of-the-line palletisation, product casing, product packing. This is really recipe management and recipe control of liquid food products,” said Swainson.

“So many food manufacturing set-ups right now are running on technologies that are 20 to 30 years old; a lot of traditional cook-chill, cook-freeze systems. So products can be held for long periods of time, they can be over-mixed and over-processed.

“With this process we are looking to emulate the chef in the kitchen but in a large-scale batch robotic environment, which brings with it labour and product benefits.”

“Typical applications include soups, sauces and ready meals where this technology could be used to optimise liquid food processing.”

APRIL allows users to scale up the approach chefs use to prepare restaurant food. It features robotic cells which are sufficiently modular and of flexible design to switch between products.

Analysis of existing chilled food plants indicate a 7-14% bottom line improvement is possible following adoption of this technology, claimed the developers.

APRIL - Food ManufacturerCome along to the unveiling of #APRILRobot on 28th April