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Manufacturers helped to drive up efficiencies at free event

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Manufacturers helped to drive up efficiencies at free event

Manufacturers helped to drive up efficiencies at free event
June 02
11:05 2013

To achieve success in today’s food supply chain, it is necessary to capitalise on fast moving trends, optimise manufacturing efficiency and productivity, while managing supply chain logistics and minimising waste, according to control systems and automation specialist Mitsubishi Electric Europe.

To highlight the latest methodologies and technologies available to help food manufacturers achieve world class status, Mitsubishi is organising a free one-day conference, comprising a variety of speakers, and an exhibition at its headquarters in Hatfield next month (July 10).

The event, called ‘Continuous Improvement in Food & Beverage Production’,  and supported by Food Manufacture, will cover a range of topics. Those include: establishing a continuous improvement culture; food safe handling solutions; filling the skills gap by food process engineering training; robot integration, 3D vision solutions and applications in the sector; energy management and overall equipment effectiveness.

Most intense pressures

Chris Evans, UK sales manager for Mitsubishi Electric, said that, perhaps more than any other sector, the food industry faces the most intense pressures to meet the needs of a fickle market whose preferences can change on a whim.

Added into the mix are increasingly demanding legislation and a growing environmental awareness among the public, government-driven campaigns on what should and should not be consumed and the ever-present requirement to manage hygiene and food safety, said Evans.

To add to manufacturers’ complexity, they face highly volatile raw material costs, which places margins under extreme pressure.

“Then, of course, there is the fierce competition within the industry and, indeed, the even fiercer competition throughout the retail chain,” said Evans.

Food manufacturers have to be able to move quickly to address changing consumer preferences with exciting new products. At the same time, they are increasingly required to drive consumer choices, particularly in the wake of the western world’s obesity crisis.

‘Maintaining the bottom line’

Evans added: “Maintaining the bottom line means addressing the industry issues in such a way that production efficiency is increased, waste is minimised, flexibility is maximised and traceability is assured.”

The key to all of this is automation technology – automating new sections of the production line or updating existing automation systems to take advantage of new technologies and platforms, he argued. Automation, he claimed, offers food manufacturers many avenues for improving their processes, enhancing quality, meeting changing end-user expectations and increasing profitability.

Automation can play a key role in eliminating machine downtime, reducing waste, increasing throughput, reducing cycle time, reducing machine changeover time and optimising assets, he added.

For more details about attending the ‘Continuous Improvement in Food & Beverage Production’ event, click here

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