Time for Robotics in the Food Industry
“Northern Ireland Food and Drinks companies are encouraged to consider investment in robotics an automation and to avail of the help and assistance available to them.”
This was the message relayed to all attending the ‘Robotics and Automation in Food Processing’ conference held at CAFRE, Loughry Campus.
Key note speaker, Mike Wilson, Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association informed the audience that “With increasing uncertainty around future labour, increasing costs of production, robotics and automation offer a potential solutions for large and smaller food processing companies.”
The conference was a partnership between the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) Queens University Belfast, Northern Regional College (NRC) and CAFRE.
Alan Reid and Gordon Kane from NRC, Mike Wilson, British Automation and Robotics Association, Raymond Martin, CAFRE, Colm Higgins and William Bradley from NITC, QUB at the Robotics Automation conference, held at Loughry Campus.
During the day delegates were inspired with a range of food specific case studies and had the opportunity to ‘get up close and personal’ with the robots on display. In particular the presentation by David Holmes of Irwins Bakery highlighted the importance utilising innovative robotic automation to remain competitive in today’s challenging market place.
Colm Higgins, NITC explained, “The world of technology is increasing at a great pace and we at NITC are available to help local companies understand the opportunities that robots offer. Today’s robots can carry out a number of functions in the food processing and our role is to design solutions for industry.”
Alan Reid, NRC, Mike Wilson, British Automation and Robotics Association, Michael Bell, NIFDA, Joy Alexander, CAFRE, David Holmes, Irwins Bakery, and Colm Higgins, NITC, QUB at the Robotics Automation conference.
Alan Reid, NRC added, “Robotics and automation offer huge potential to the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks sector and today’s event allowed people to see for themselves the range of help and support available.”
Joy Alexander, CAFRE said, “We at CAFRE are delighted to host this fascinating conference. Today has demonstrated to us that continued innovation within the robotics industry will have an ever growing role in shaping the future of our food industry.”