The National Centre for Food Manufacturing, in collaboration with Business Lincolnshire, hosts the first Greater Lincolnshire Food Robotics and Process Automation Conference to discuss how a systematic adoption of ground-breaking robotics and automation technologies can considerably advance the food manufacturing sector.
The food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and its challenges therefore have significant economic, environmental and social implications. The sector currently faces major unsustainable economic pressures including rising input/utility costs, labour shortages and increases in the National Living Wage. With limited opportunity to increase product prices, food manufacturers are facing ever-increasing margin erosion. A significant change to reduce processing costs is therefore urgently needed.
It is with this in mind that during the day we will discuss how automation and robotics technologies can respond to emerging and ongoing challenges in the food manufacturing sector, which alongside economic pressures include the need to maintain high standards of supply in terms of quality and safety, reduce waste and lower impacts on natural resources.
During the day we will also present a number of funding sources that Lincolnshire based SMEs in the food sector can access to set up innovation management and technology transfer projects aimed at boosting their productiveness by adopting ground-breaking robotics and digital technologies.
The day is sponsored by the Interreg European project COTEMACO (Increase Competitiveness through Man and Machine Collaboration). During the conference, we will inaugurate the new UK COTEMACO factory and launch the COTEMACO funding scheme.