NCFM to exhibit at UK Produce Industry Fair 2017

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), University of Lincoln, UK, will be exhibiting at this year’s UK Produce Industry Fair on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th September at the Peterborough Arena in the East of England Showground.

The annual fair aims to showcase all aspects of the industry from the produce itself to all associated products, machinery and services with a focus on cost savings and efficiency. Exhibiting alongside our Centre will be the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), with the Director of LIAT, Prof Simon Pearson delivering a talk on Agri-Food and research being undertaken by the Institute.

We would be delighted to chat to our industry peers and anyone wishing to find out more about opportunities available at NCFM; you can find us at stands 125-126 – come and say hello!

Find out more about NCFM.



Robotic Flexible Food Manufacturing System (RFFMS)

Robotic Flexible Food Manufacturing System (RFFMS). Innovate UK funded under the “Materials & Manufacturing” Competition 2017 – 2019.

Over the course of this project, NCFM and the Engineering School will work together with Industrial partners, OAL, plus selected industry end users, to develop a robotic flexible food manufacturing system for liquid based products covering large, medium and small scale volume manufacturing. The system will also be designed to process powder based food products and will be able to be applied to other food and non-food industries.

A key aspect of the initiative is that the large and complex food manufacturing sector needs a game changing innovative reinvention of the approach to its manufacturing processes, unlocking improved value, quality and sustainability in the sector. This research & development will address significant robotic control and technical process challenges, and in achieving this the production system developed will have high impact and major commercial value in both its flexible “bespoke” physical structure and just as vital, its underpinning digital technologies (which will unlock further robotics and automation approaches across the food manufacturing sector and also cut across many other industry sectors).

University of Lincoln Schools and staff involved in research:

NCFMMark Swainson, Dr Keith Brewood

School of Engineering
Dr Andrea Paoli

Examining potential for automated inspection in meat production

An in-depth industry workshop has been organised by the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing as part of a pioneering project to evaluate the potential for automated inspection procedures in poultry and red meat production.

Project Title: FSA Project SEP-EOI-02 – Exploring the Potential for Technology to Support Agency Objectives in Meat Operations 

Event: Project Dissemination and Industrial Feedback Workshop

Date: 23rd February 2017 

Location: Think Tank, University of Lincoln

This workshop has been organised by the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) and Food Refrigeration & Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC) as part of the Food Standards Agency project SEP-EOI-02: Exploring the Potential for Technology to Support Agency Objectives in Meat Operations.

The purpose of this project has been to use a science-based approach to evaluate the potential for automated inspection procedures in poultry and red meat production, focusing on the implications for public health.

Through this workshop, the project team are now seeking opinion from industry bodies and stakeholders on the potential for implementation of such technologies.

The project outcome will be published at the end of the project/after the FSA has reviewed and approved the project report.

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.


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, 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