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30 October 2020

FDF Cymru announced as AMRC Cymru partner as part of WGov business outreach programme

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FDF Cymru announced as AMRC Cymru partner as part of WGov business outreach programme

FDF Cymru, which represents Welsh food and drink manufacturers, has been announced as a partner to the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru. This follows September's announcement of a £2m investment from Welsh Government to create a Food and Drink Packaging Sustainability Centre in North Wales.

The new collaboration will see both organisations engage with businesses across the food and drink sector in Wales to scope out potential challenges in the adoption of emerging technologies. The outreach will involve collating demonstrator case studies to assist the industry in practice, as well as on-going webinars and networking events.

It is hoped the activities undertaken as part of the partnership will support the broader industry needs of the food and drink manufacturing sector in Wales, particularly as it deals with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Pete Robertson, Acting Director, FDF Cymru, said:

“I'm delighted that FDF Cymru has been chosen as effectively a brand ambassador for AMRC Cymru. By working together we will better understand the barriers food and drink manufacturers currently face when it comes to implementing newer technologies, and in doing so we hope to be able to support wider productivity gains across the industry. I'm very much looking forward to putting in place a programme of engagement so we can begin speaking to as many businesses as possible.”

In addition to prototyping and functional test equipment for new packaging solutions, the Food and Drink Packaging Sustainability Centre at AMRC Cymru will have a central demonstrator to exhibit the AMRC's capabilities in advanced automation, collaborative robotics, additive manufacturing and visualisation.

Bobby Manesh, AMRC Cymru's Food and Drink Technical Lead, said:

"The team at AMRC Cymru is very much looking forward to working closely with FDF Cymru. The food and drink sector is a new area for the AMRC so having this partnership with FDF Cymru will be invaluable as we demonstrate that Industry 4.0 technologies can be easily implemented in a new manufacturing set up at relatively low cost but with significant rewards.”

The demonstrator will be based on a conveyor system which will be linked together with collaborative robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and AMRC engineers wearing exoskeletons.

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