24 Jul 2024


Event will look at digitalisation in the food & bev sector

Leading experts on the food and beverage industry have been lined up for a one-day conference next month that will examine the issues involved in bringing digitalisation to the sector. Called Demystifying the jargon: How to make the digitalisation transition, the conference will take place on 22 May at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham.

The conference’s main aim is to provide a practical, jargon-free opportunity to those starting out on the digital transformation process to experience a complete smart roadmap, highlighting the incremental stages on the 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) journey and covering all aspects of the digital transformation in the food and beverage sector.

Producers in this sector are increasingly adopting automation and digitalisation technologies that give them a competitive edge, and allowing them to produce more efficiently and provide insightful information for decision-making. Those who lag behind will be unable to compete in the smart era. Technologies that were previously optional are now essential for plants and factories that want to remain competitive in a rapidly-changing landscape.

Next month’s event will be an unique opportunity to help provide a roadmap for both SMEs and larger businesses to adopt automation and digitalisation.

The speakers will discuss the practicalities, technologies and issues surrounding the transition to, and implementation of, digitalisation in the sector.

The day will kick off with Victoria Montag, sector head for industrial automation at the Gambica trade association, introducing the range of opportunities that industrial digitalisation offers to the British food and beverage industry.

Other speakers will include:

•  Matt Rayment, chief engineer for food and beverage at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), who will focus on how producers can implement automation and digitalisation technologies that give them a competitive edge, and allow them to produce more efficiently and provide insightful information for decision-making.

•  Chris McComb, managing director of the Scottish systems integrator iTech, who will discuss how increasing numbers of key players in the food and beverage industry are looking to embrace digitalisation to deliver fundamental improvements to their businesses.

•  Keith Thornhill, head of food and beverage at Siemens Digital Factory for the UK and Ireland, who will look at how digitalisation and automation can help the sector to become more productive, efficient and agile to cope with consumer demands for greater choice and multiple buying options.

•  Steve Sands, Industry 4.0 spokesperson for Festo UK, who will examine some of the ways in which the new digitalisation technologies can help tackle the challenges faced by the industry.

Other speakers will cover the benefits of edge computing, and report on how artificial intelligence has improved efficiency at a dairy factory.


There will also be a panel discussion on the next steps in implementing a digital future in the sector.

All delegates will receive a recognised certificate of attendance and gain CPD points through the CPD Certification Service.

The event is being organised by DFA Media, which publishes Drives & Controls. The conference will run alongside the 2019 Motion & Control Industry Awards (MCIA).

The event is the first of a series of three sector-specific Smart Industry conferences that will be take place in 2019. They are:

Food & Beverage

22 May, 2019, at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham


12 September, 2019, at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, Coventry


6 November, 2019, at the Bristol Hotel, Bristol

To find out more and to register, visit https://www.smartconferences.org.uk