Successful APRIL Robotic Food Processing Launch & Slides

We launched APRIL the robotic chef at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing during a conference with the University of Lincoln focused on understanding how robotics and automation will change food processing.

Food manufacturing is facing a perfect storm driven by the living wage; flat lining productivity and food deflation. Advanced technology and robotics can address these issues yet the UK is seriously lagging the developed world in its implementation.

Speakers discussed different aspects of this challenge which culminated in live demonstrations of the APRIL robotic chef system installed at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing.

Moving forward our vision is to create a Global Centre of Excellence for Robotic Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln to:

  1. Educate the industry.
  2. Partner with visionary early adopters.
  3. Deliver disruptive change in manufacturing.

The APRIL system developed at the university demonstrates the potential of robotics to deliver competitive advantage for food manufacturers and how they can overcome existing challenges e.g. traceability, flexibility, adaptability, quality etc.

If you share our vision and would like to get involved, please contact us now.

We will be holding a follow-up event on Thursday 13th October where we will demonstrate lights out food manufacturing, register your interest here.

Speakers included:

  • Andrea Paoli, Senior Robotics Lecturer at the University of Lincoln explaining the basics and future of robotics.
  • Jeff Nowill, CEO, Kuka Robotics UK on the intersector knowledge transfer opportunities for the adoption of robots.
  • Ian Beauchamp, OAL’s Head of Process Engineering on the challenges robotics can overcome on the shop floor.
  • Mark Swainson, Principal lecturer on the challenges robotics can overcome on the shop floor.
  • Harry Norman, OAL’s Managing Director describing his vision of robotic food manufacturing.

Delegates also spent time understanding two Innovate UK projects currently being undertaken at the university; Steam Infusion cooking and cryogenic cooling.

Here are the slides from the day:

For more information please contact OAL

Biographies of Speakers:

Andrea Paoli
Andrea has been a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Automation and Robotics since 2014 at the University of Lincoln, where he serves as the Programme Leader for the brand new BEng Automation Engineering programme. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society UK organising committee.

Jeff Nowill
Jeff is a chartered engineer; having completed an apprenticeship at Dunlop Aviation, and a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Coventry University. He joined KUKA in 2009, and is CEO of the UK and Irish operations, and sits on the board of ESPRC’s RAS network. KUKA boast a turnover in excess of €3 billion, as a world-class manufacturer of industrial robots and automation solutions.

Ian Beauchamp
Ian’s background is control engineering and business. He draws on over thirty years’ experience working for companies such as P&G and APV within R&D, design, project management together with leading product, service and engineering activities. Ian facilitated Performance Optimisation projects within the food industry in a global position utilising Six Sigma and Lean Methodologies.

Mark Swainson
Mark’s industrial background is Technical and Operations Management within the high risk chilled and frozen food industry. He is listed on the European Food Safety Authority Food Safety Experts Database, is an experienced Lead Auditor and a member of the Institute of Packaging. Mark conducts industry based research to address specific food industry challenges; Quality, Safety and Hygiene Control Systems, Advanced Process Technologies & Automation, Food Supply Chains, Microbiological Safety and Shelf Life

Harry Norman
Harry was just 28, with only a few years of industry experience and a 1st class degree in controls and automation when he founded OAL (Olympus Automation Ltd) in 1993. OAL now supply cutting edge food manufacturing systems for leading blue chip clients such as Allied Bakeries and Bakkavor that have increased the efficiency and consistency of their manufacturing operations.

Jake Norman