3 Millennial Innovations for Food Manufacturing 2030
We asked the latest cohort of Bakkavor Graduates "what will the food factory of the future look like?" The millennials were attending an innovation day at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, as we supported the University of Lincoln inspiring future food industry leaders. “Millennials”, with a reputation for being digitally savvy, were shown the latest automation and robotics technologies before we discussed what will food manufacturing look like in 2030? There key ideas included:
1. Going Digital on the Shop Floor
Unlike their baby boomer counterparts, millennials have grown up with digital technologies and are very much at one with their smart phone. One of the clear changes they see is the movement to digital manufacturing systems and the elimination of paperwork from the factory floor. The key drivers for the adoption of digital will be improved traceability, decision making and the overall equipment efficiency of a factory.
2. More Robots
There are many repetitive manual tasks that will be automated as the cost of robotics and automation falls. From cakes to wraps, robots and collaborative robots will play a much greater role in our food production systems. A particularly interesting area of discussion was the potential impact of reduced human interventions on hygiene and the shelf life of products.
3. Flexibility is a Requirement
But to do this, millennials recognised the need for flexibility within future food systems providing the opportunity for products, recipes and lines to be changed quicker and easier allowing flexible manufacturing and development.
Inspiring New Technologies
At the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, OAL demonstrated how new technologies will shape food manufacturing. Demos included:
- OAL Connected - Using automation to connect devices and remove paperwork from the factory floor. Tasks can be recorded digitally covering food safety, traceability, performance, productivity, recipe management, packaging and date security and ERP validation.
- Steam Infusion - To demonstrate how new processing technologies can offer efficiency and product differentiation, the grads cooked up a broccoli and stilton soup with Steam Infusion. They could see first hand how the cooking process can eliminate burn on achieving a cleaner, more nutritional product with locked in flavours, colours and vitamins.
- APRIL - APRIL (Automated Processing Robotic Ingredient Loading) our robotic chef is disrupting the way we handle and process raw ingredients by combining state of the art cooking and material handling technologies. The site of a five-tonne robot, cooking sauce, definitely inspired the graduates to the possibilities of robots in food manufacturing.