24 March 2021

09:30 - 11:30

£ FDF Event

24 - 25 March 2021

Join the FDF and our expert speakers for this two-day virtual event exploring the role of Automation & Digitalisation in the Food and Drink Industry.

FDF members - this event is free to FDF members, please register here

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John Patsavellas

John Patsavellas

Snr. Lecturer in Manufacturing Management, Cranfield University

John Patsavellas is a senior lecturer in manufacturing management in Cranfield University having joined the university in 2018, following a career in the manufacturing industry spanning sectors as diverse as steel, food, paper products, pharma, fashion, building products and sanitary-ware ceramics. He has been a boardroom director since 2004.

John has an honours degree in mechanical engineering, an MSc in manufacturing and an MBA, whilst his PhD research in Cranfield focuses on the digital transformation of operations. John is an active member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Manufacturing Policy Panel and the IET’s Production and Design Sector group. He is the annual presenter of the Manufacturer’s Top-100 UK talent awards, the convener of the annual National Manufacturing Debate at Cranfield and a frequent opinion contributor and speaker in the fields of supply chain and digital manufacturing ecosystems.

Helen Munday

Chief Scientific Officer, Food and Drink Federation

Helen Munday is the Food and Drink Federation’s Chief Scientific Officer.   Helen is accountable for the diverse food safety and science policy briefs, but also has responsibility for sustainability and contributes to health and wellbeing policy.

Helen has a wealth of experience of the food and drink sector.  Helen started her career with Mars Petcare where she spent 20 years in various roles including nutrition research, product development and innovation processes.  Helen has also held the position of Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Coca-Cola and worked as Lead Technologist in AgriFood at InnovateUK. 

Helen is a Fellow of Institute of Food Science and Technology (becoming President in 2020) and a Registered Nutritionist.   With her qualifications in Agricultural and Meat Science, together with her vast business experience, Helen has a broad and deep knowledge across the entire AgriFood chain. 

Halil BedeviHalil Bedevi MSc, CEng, FMM, MIET

Head of Aerospace, Defence, Rail & Advanced Manufacturing, Santander UK

Halil Bedevi is the Head of Aerospace, Defence, Rail & Advanced Manufacturing sub-sectors within the Manufacturing Sector Team at Santander UK. 

Halil is responsible for leading and directing Santander’s strategy in driving client primacy and growth across the above four key manufacturing sectors. He delivers bespoke products and solutions, both financial and non-financial, to meet the needs of targeted and specific UK manufacturing businesses, engage with front line relationship colleagues to add value to customers by identifying and facilitating opportunities, both international and domestic.

Halil is a Chartered Engineer with 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry ranging from engineering to board level senior management gained in a variety of industries including the Defence, Aerospace, Space and Technology sectors and companies from start-ups, SMEs to large multi-nationals. He is a Visiting Fellow and Advisory Board Member of Cranfield University and Member of the IET.

Mike Codd

Mike Codd

Sales Manager, Active8 Robots

Mike is a consultative technical sales specialist, with a particular expertise in helping customers improve their competitive advantage though the smart application of automation and robotics. After working in product design as a graduate mechanical engineer, Mike spent over 30 years working in technical sales, serving a huge array of customers in the manufacturing and logistics sectors.

Mike knows what truly drives investment decisions – and it’s not about “feature bashing” the latest technology. It’s how well you connect with the people you’re trying to help and communicating your understanding and relevant engineering solutions to help grow their business. Mike has worked in this capacity across the globe, serving clients from SME’s to the largest multinationals. He has worked on automation projects of all sizes and complexities, ranging from the application of components to the largest integrated systems. An aviation enthusiast, Mike spends his spare time flying gliders and instructing others as a BGA Full Category Gliding Instructor.

Steve Brambley

Steve Brambley

Chief Executive, GAMBICA

Steve Brambley is the Chief Executive of GAMBICA, the Trade Association for Instrumentation, Control, Automation and Laboratory Technology in the UK.

He leads GAMBICA in being a highly collaborative and influential organisation engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders including UK and European governments, associations, institutions, industry & manufacturing, media and events companies and standards bodies. He has over 14 years of trade association experience at GAMBICA with previous roles in public affairs and the industrial automation sector.

Steve also brings previous experience from the automotive industry, having worked for the Michelin Tyre Company and the Dana Corporation in management roles across manufacturing, quality, logistics and engineering. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Loughborough University. He is passionate about the positive influence that technology can bring to UK industry, with a view to generating growth, protecting the climate, ensuring health & well-being and driving innovation in the UK.

Mike Payne

Michael Payne

UK Food and Beverage Sector Manager, KUKA Robotics UK Ltd

Michael joined KUKA UK towards the end of 2019, with a strong background in robotic engineering, having worked on the design and integration of many Robotic systems into various applications.

His role within KUKA is to understand manufacturer’s needs, within the Food and Beverage sector and the pressures companies may be facing, actively promoting the use of robotic automation and the associated technologies available to them.

In the UK, automation is often seen as a means to reduce headcount. It is his belief that in practice however, there are several other advantages, often overlooked, which can positively affect the bottom line. These are;  Productivity, quality, traceability, and reduced waste. These benefits all have a significant impact on production costs and give companies a competitive edge. It is our Job as robot providers to help end users realise the full benefits that robotics can bring.

James KempJames Kemp

Managing Director and Co-Founder, Pentadel Project Management

James Kemp is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Pentadel Project Management.  He heads up a team of architects, engineers and project managers delivering projects in the food & beverage, logistics and general manufacturing sectors for clients including Charlie Bighams, Tyrrells Crisps and Montana Bakery. Pentadel's portfolio of projects ranges from £0.5m to £50m and since starting in 2017 it has grown a strong track record of servicing both blue chip and fast growth brands throughout the UK and globally.  Previous to setting up Pentadel, James was Head of Engineering at Yum! Brands.

Dan Rossek Dan Rossek

Marketing Manager, Omron

Dan Rossek is the Marketing Manager for Omron, a global supplier of automation and robotics solutions. Passionate about technology and innovation, he has spent the last 22 years working in the field of automation within the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Since graduating with a degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, he has worked in a number of roles within application engineering, product management and marketing, providing a broad experience of automation disciplines and the application within a diverse spectrum of industry sectors.


Day one - 24 March

The Case for Automation and Digitisation in the Industry

9:30: Chair’s Introduction

  • Helen Munday, Chief Scientific Officer, FDF

09:35: Getting Started on the Digital Journey

  • Steve Brambley, Chief Executive, Gambica

10:05: Innovation

Remote auditing processes and technologies in food and beverage

  • Julian Shepherd, Business Development Director, British Standards Institute (BSI)

10:35  Managing Supply Chain Resilience

  • Paul Hastings, Global Food & Drink Manufacturing Sales Executive, Ideagen Plc

11:05  Increasing Food and Drink Manufacturing’s Productivity, Efficiency and Agility

  • Keith Thornhill, Head of Food & Beverage, Siemens

11:35: 30 mins panel discussion with all session one speakers, plus audience Q&A

12:05  Chair’s closing comments

12:10  End of Day One

Day Two Agenda - 25 March

09:00: Chair’s introduction

  • Helen Munday, Chief Scientific Officer, FDF

The Future Development of Automation and Innovation

09:05: Skills, Learning and Job Creation

  • Nik Watson, Learning and Development Manager, SMC

09:35: Developing Innovation clusters in Northern England

  • Prof. Martin Howarth, Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE), Sheffield Hallam University

10:10: 30 Minute Break

10:35: Automation and Society

10:40: ‘Zero Touch’ Technology

  • Dan Rossek, Marketing Manager, Omron

11:10: Representative from MTC

11:40: Representative from Rockwell Automation

12:10: Direct-to-consumer - how automation has revolutionised the food and drink industry

  • James Kemp, Director, Pentadel  

12:40: Chair's closing comments

12:45: 10 minute break

12:55 Panel discussion

13:00: How to increase the use of robots and automation in the F&D Industry

A highly practical session which will examine the reasons as to why food & drink companies of all sizes should consider starting or increasing their use of robotic & automation and how to go about it.  The panel will compare UK with others, consider barriers to adoption and demonstrate what is possible and already in use now to achieve positive outcomes which companies can replicate in order to be more productive and more competitive in the UK and on the global stage. The carefully constructed and highly experienced panel (made up of a major bank, a major robot manufacturer, a system integrator / automation consultancy and a technical university) will cover the topic from multiple angles including Engineering, Problem Solving, Financing, Skills, Productivity and Business Growth.

  • Halil Bedevi (Panellist & Chair) UK Head of Aerospace, Defence, Rail & Advanced Manufacturing, Santander 
  • Michael Payne, UK Food and Beverage Sector Manager, KUKA Robotics UK Ltd
  • John Patsavellas, Snr. Lecturer in Manufacturing Management, Cranfield University
  • Michael Codd, Sales Manager, Active8 Robots (Active Robots Ltd)

14:00: Chair’s closing comments

14:05: End of event

Price (includes VAT)

Options Non-members Members Saving
(tickets available until 24/03/2021)
£54.00 - £54

This is the terms and conditions for all Events. This will show on all Event pages and can have a link.