Better use of process equipment key to savings, says UK group

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Efficient energy use Better

Increasing energy bills are having a considerable impact on the food industry, in particular during the current financial climate, but food processors can cut energy consumption of processes by better use of existing equipment, claims a UK consultancy.

UK group, Resource Efficiency Knowledge Transfer Network, which promotes better use of materials and energy, said it is targeting process engineers in the sector with a free workshop in Merseyside on 24 February that includes talks on how the more effective employment of both refrigeration equipment and ovens can reduce energy demand and deliver cost savings.

Dr Rachel James, Knowledge Transfer Manager at Resource Efficiency KTN told FoodProductionDaily.com that the event will include a presentation by Colin Woods Associates, looking at how reduced energy and water consumption can be generated by improving systems of working, based on an approach that requires minimal capital expense.

A seminar by Advanced Heat Engineering, she continued, will cover some of the more energy efficient process heating equipment that can be used by the sector, while a presentation from the advisory body, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), will provide advice on possible sources of funding for projects that aim to improve process energy efficiency.

Speed dating

In addition, she said there will be opportunities for participants to meet the experts for a 'one to one' brief meeting to identify areas where each manufacturer could become more resource efficient, said James.

“We aim to capture the outcomes of these discussions in order to help delegates progress their ideas after the meeting,”​ she added.

Food processors seeking to register for the event can do so by e-mailing resource ‘at’ ctechinnovation.com

Green profits

Meanwhile, Nizo Food Research claims that shareholders are increasingly looking for evidence that a food company has green projects ingrained in the management strategy.

David Hollestelle, who works in business development at the Dutch research company, said that shareholders scrutinize the sustainability reports of big food firms to see “what they are doing for people, planet and profit.”

Nizo said that it is holding a workshop on 2-3 April, which aims to look at a range of areas in which sustainability may yield profits.

The company said that projects geared towards sustainability can be both long- and short-term – for instance, investment made in developing breakthrough technologies now may not be recouped for a number of years.

Moreover, investment now is all the more crucial, argues Hollestelle, because “in 10 years plus sustainability will be even more important”.

More information on Nizo’s workshop is available from david.hollestelle ‘at’ nizo.nl

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