Shortlisted for two awards in the first round of the Made in the UK Awards.

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We are pleased to announce that our APRIL Robotics Cooking Cell has been shortlisted in the first round of the “Made in the UK Awards” in the categories ‘Digital Engineering/Technology’ and ‘Manufacturing Innovation’’.

The APRIL Cooking Cell developed with the University of Lincoln at their National Centre for Food Manufacturing revolutionises the way we manufacture food. By combining advanced materials handling and processing technologies, APRIL can consistently emulate how chefs cook in a professional kitchen bringing restaurant standard food to our supermarket shelves.

She effortlessly moves pans around the factory without pumps and pipework to combine and process ingredients; heating, mixing and pouring soups, sauces and ready meals on an industrial scale. Using a pre-programmed schedule, APRIL can process multiple recipes at the same time to a consistent and accurate standard, without contamination.

APRIL moves away from traditional linear continuous production set-ups where high volume and limited flexibility impedes quality and consistency (due to pumps, pipework and large vessels). With an 80% smaller factory footprint, intelligent scheduling and automated modular processing system, APRIL increases flexibility, optimises productivity and improves efficiency in a safer and more hygienic environment.

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This opens up opportunities for manufacturers to research and develop new products and extend shelf-life of products contributing to reducing food wastage.

Simon Lushey, Technical Manager at M&S explains “We are excited by the new thinking involved in the APRIL robotic chef approach. Modular robotics cells may transform food manufacturing kitchens, by breaking up processes in a different way, in doing so providing a step change in performance.”

As a company, we are passionate about revolutionising the way we manufacturer food helping to secure the future of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry through innovative technological solutions, processes and applications.

The winner of this award will be announced on Thursday 22nd March at the DoubleTree Hilton, Milton Keynes.

Deborah Stokoe