UK engineering firm Olympus Automation were recently approached by the president of Azersun, the leading food producer in Azerbaijan, for a rapid cooking system to feed refugees in Northern Iraq.
The president was so appalled by the plight of the refugees stuck on mount Sinjar he has chosen to fund the equipment himself.
Time is clearly of the essence and managing director, Harry Norman, of OAL has been quick to respond and a system will be shipped in record time next week. Norman, says: “Normally systems take 24 weeks to manufacture, but this is clearly not a normal situation, lives are at stake and we will be able to deliver a Steam Infusion cooking system in a week. Steam Infusion is 4 times faster than traditional processes making the equipment ideal for feeding lots of people, hence the call from the president.”
OAL will be flying application specialist Stuart Rigby to an undisclosed location in Turkey to provide training on the system before it is deployed in Northern Iraq.
OAL are supplying a simple cooking system based on its revolutionary Steam Infusion technology to make lentil soups, rice and provide a clean source for drinking and washing water. The cooking system uses will use Steam Infusion, OAL’s revolutionary heating and mixing process to make 4,000 portions of hot food an hour.
Work has now finished at the most northerly gin distillery on mainland Britain with the final piece of equipment – a new still called ‘Elizabeth’ – installed in the new custom-built distillery at Dunnet, Caithness.
Husband and wife team Martin and Claire Murray, the founders of Dunnet Bay Distillers have distilled and tested the first batches of Rock Rose gin and full production will be under way in time for the launch of the new micro distillery on 21st August. Over the next three years, the company will receive support of £83,990 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise which the owners say have put a huge amount of effort into helping them develop their Rock Rose gin. Claire has been working with experts in Caithness to research local botanicals which can be used to flavour the gin.
Martin currently works in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen and has a master’s degree in process engineering. He is now studying for a pHd in brewing and distillation at Heriot Watt University. As part of this study, he worked with the Centre on a number of research projects to assist with product development.
Located in the Bay of Dunnet where fresh air and pure water is in abundance, Martin and Claire’s goal is to create a spirit which reflects the Caithness way, carefully and slowly distilling by hand to create the product.
Claire says, “Each year we will create a new vintage. Our Caithness botanicals are dependent on our climate resulting in a truly hand crafted gin that will change year on year, but is still undeniably Rock Rose.
“Rock Rose gin was named after our first botanical forage along our Caithness cliffs, where local herbalist Brian Lamb introduced us to Rhodiola Rosea, a rose in the rocks. Hundreds of years ago, the Vikings would pillage these wild exposed cliffs to gather this precious plant, which was thought to give them extra strength to continue with their long, arduous journeys. Our gin uses this ‘Rock Rose’ and a blend of local and traditional botanicals to create a unique taste of Caithness in the Highlands.”
Martin says, “Since the new still arrived, we have been making some trials and we look forward to launching Rock Rose at the end of August. We aim to make about 700 bottles in every batch, producing about 10,000 bottles a year. The first batch sold out by pre-orders within 48 hours and the second batch is expected to be released in early September. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the last year, but we realise that a lot of hard work is ahead of us. We really cannot wait for people to taste the gin!”
Laura Gunn, account manager from HIE, says, “We are very excited about having the most northerly distillery in mainland Scotland opening in Caithness. Martin and Claire have put a huge amount of time and effort into ensuring the product they are creating is of an extremely high quality, and we look forward to working with them in the months and years to come as they take the product into markets at home and abroad.”
A family-run bakery business is celebrating its 80th year with rising orders for the likes of John Lewis and Asda as well as sandwich shops, secondary schools and London cafes.
Barnsley-based White’s Bakery manufactures a wide range of cakes, cookies and bread products for wholesale and retail customers.
The fourth generation business has seen a steep increase in orders in the last four years and now has a turnover of £2.6 million and employs 56 people at its Worsbrough Bridge bakery and four South Yorkshire shops.
White’s has now launched a new marketing drive to build on success and attract more customers in its 80th anniversary year.
Managing director David White says: “We are always handling fresh enquiries and repeat orders and have an excellent relationship with our existing customers whether they are the local corner shop or a national food production company.
“We’ve had four straight years of growth, following the quieter years of recession, and what we’d like to do now is expand our customer base further. We have the capacity to expand so we are stepping up our marketing drive.”
Whites’ business growth strategy is being supported by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
The family bakery business was established in 1934 by David’s grandparents Albert and Elsie White. David’s dad and uncle, Jack and Colin, then joined the company and David took over as MD in 1996. His son Mathew is leading on the new marketing initiative to boost their expanding order books.
Recent new orders include a contract to design and bake Victorian gingerbread figures – gentlemen and ladies - to celebrate John Lewis’ 150th anniversary. This is not the first time White’s has baked for the department store as they also produced ‘The Bear and the Hare’ decorated biscuits which accompanied John Lewis’ huge Christmas campaign in 2013.
Another order will see more than 200,000 Madeira cakes baked by White’s on the shelves of Asda stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the run up to Christmas this year. The sponge cakes are a particular festive favourite in these parts of the UK and this sale represents a repeat order for White’s via a wholesale supplier.
Fairtrade cookies - made from ethically-sourced ingredients including chocolate, spices, raisins and sugar – are an increasingly significant product for White’s. Sales of these premium cookies have quadrupled in the last two years. Most of the cookies are delivered to London’s universities, colleges and coffee shops again via a large wholesale supplier.
Whites’ customers also include a growing number of schools across Yorkshire and the East Midlands, to whom they deliver flapjacks, cookies and shortbreads.
David says: “Our schools are very important customers to us. Their goods have to be baked and delivered daily and they have to meet all Government required low fat, low sugar and low salt content levels. We are committed to our schools and have doubled the number we supply across the region in the last two years.”
Whites also delivers bread and confectionery direct to small grocers, sandwich shops and chip shops as well its own four retail outlets in Worsbrough, Darfield, Conisbrough and Barnsley market.
Large wholesale orders are transported to food preparation and sandwich-making companies and niche goods are developed for customers too. For example, Whites’ bakers are currently developing a mini Eccles cake for a catering company which supplies big name airlines like Emirates.
David says: “We are responsive to our customers’ needs – whether that means creating bespoke novelty biscuits, following regulated ingredient guidelines for schools or fulfilling bulk orders of cakes.”
White’s Bakery in Charles Street routinely bakes from 6am – 6pm and packs and delivers through the early hours of the morning. The company used to operate a chain of its own small local shops, but when David took over as MD he steered the business towards more manufacture, when he realised the bakery’s equipment was standing idle most of the day.
Enterprising Barnsley is now supporting White’s with intensive specialist coaching to develop robust sales and marketing techniques and improved IT systems.
Enterprising Barnsley business development manager Shaun Higginbottom says: “This is an exciting time for White’s Bakery as it puts fresh impetus into its drive to seek new customers and explore new markets.
“White’s is a perfect example of a family firm which understands the value of its heritage but looks to the future too. We look forward to seeing the business expand and in the next few years, building on its first 80 years.”
Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Production has begun at a new whey and lactose production facility that is a joint venture between Denmark’s Arla Foods Ingredients and German dairy co-operative Deutsches Milchkontor.
The factory, which cost more than €50 million to build, is operated by ArNoCo, an organisation created by the two companies specifically to produce high quality ingredients for the food and beverage industry. Located in Nordhackstedt in Germany, just 22km south of the Danish border, the new facility is adjacent to an existing 60,000 tonnes-a-year cheese factory owned by DMK. This site produces Mozzarella and semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda.
ArNoCo will use the whey by-product from DMK’s cheese-making operations to produce whey protein concentrate ready to be converted into value-added ingredients for the bakery, dairy and nutrition sectors.
The new site will also produce 25,000 tonnes of lactose annually, which will be processed and sold as Arla Foods Ingredients’ premium quality Dry Blend lactose for infant formula.
Hans Jørgen Lauridsen, ArNoCo’s Project Director, says: “This new joint venture will enhance Arla Foods Ingredients’ position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of the highest quality whey protein and lactose ingredients. The market for these products is growing faster than the ingredients industry can supply them, so the establishment of ArNoCo in co-operation with DMK is a significant development.”
Following a test production phase in July, the ArNoCo factory is now running at 80% capacity and is on track to be at full capacity in September.
Hans Jørgen Lauridsen adds: “The construction of the new ArNoCo factory in Nordhackstedt is part of our quest to fulfill the pledges we make under our ‘Quality starts here’ brand platform, which promises to offer our customers security of supply backed by adequate capacity, logistics and documentation, along with uniform high product quality, supported by strong traceability.”
Lincolnshire’s small businesses in the food manufacturing industry can now access the latest in time saving technology as SUSTAIN Lincolnshire has acquired pizza press machinery, capable of making up to 400 pizza bases in just one hour.
Available for use at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, the Cuppone Pizzaform presses dough evenly in seconds, producing a pizza base that can be cooked quickly and at a lower temperature, saving energy, time and waste because each base is created in perfect uniformity.
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, says: “Acquiring the Cuppone Pizzaform will provide local food manufacturing SMEs the opportunity to use or test machinery that could increase their outputs and expand their business in a sustainable and cost effective way.
“The goal of SUSTAIN is to offer small and medium-sized businesses from all over Lincolnshire the tools and support needed to increase their competitive advantage and save money, all while safeguarding the environment and reducing the carbon footprint.”
The pizza press can produce bases measuring up to 300mm in diameter in varying thicknesses, as well possessing the versatility to also create flatbreads and chapattis.
Professor Val Braybrooks MBE, Dean of the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to further support local businesses and provide time-saving tools that are not only energy efficient and cost effective.
“The Cuppone Pizzaform is just one of 11 pieces of SUSTAIN machinery available at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing. Not only is this new pizza press available for eligible businesses to use, but we also have a humidity cabinet, blast chiller and Hobart oven.”
For more information about the Cuppone Pizzafrom and its availability, call 01406 493000 or email Linda McWatt or Moses Ajayi.
Leading UK coffee roasting company, Lincoln & York, has made history this month by installing the UK’s largest coffee roaster at its North Lincolnshire HQ. The new 600 kilo Brambati drum roaster is now in operation, roasting to a consistently high quality.
The new addition to Lincoln & York’s family of roasters has almost doubled capacity, paving the way for further growth.
Not only are the team celebrating the arrival of this magnificent piece of equipment unique amongst UK firms, but Lincoln & York has also just opened the doors to its own contingency coffee roastery. This fully equipped, standalone building is on the same site as the main factory.
As part of the development, roasting and packing equipment has been moved across from the existing Lincoln & York factory to fully replicate its production capabilities and make room for the 600 kilo roaster.
In the event that the smooth running of the existing roastery is affected, the contingency facility, which runs on an independent power supply, will allow the team to fulfil orders without disruption.
The new facility also includes additional office space as Lincoln & York makes room for new recruits.
James Sweeting, Managing Director of Lincoln & York said of the developments, says: “Our customer base has massively diversified over the last five years and our new roaster and contingency roastery are just two of the ways we are responding to this and preparing for future growth.
“We work with a range of different sized businesses across the out of home, foodservice, wholesale, vending and specialist retail markets. This new roaster will allow us to fulfil high volume orders for our largest national and international customers, increasing capacity across our other roasting equipment.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be pushing the start button on this piece of equipment and opening our second coffee roastery in our 20th year. Having our own contingency operation has always been our ambition and to now be able to offer our customers a degree of reliability that no other UK roaster can is an attribute we are very proud of. Guided tours are available on request, of course.”
The first hotfill line with slurry dosing to be installed in Kazakhstan and Central Asia has resulted in annual cost savings of $1.4 million, say Galanz Bottlers.
The new production line, featuring a Sidel SBO heat resistance blower and a Sidel Matrix hot filler, enabled significant lightweighting of the bottle. This achieved a reduction in PET material usage of some 700 tonnes for the year, generating the significant cost savings as well as improving the environmental footprint of the bottler's production processes.
Galanz Bottlers is a leading name in healthy beverages, drawing on the worldwide trend for healthier living which is being embraced by consumers in Kazakhstan. Sales of products such as hotfilled tea, juices and drinks containing fruit pieces are all increasing and Galanz Bottlers operates extensively in this soft drinks sector, holding the position of Central Asia's leading producer of iced tea, including its Maxi Tea brand.
Nestlé is another company that has invested in this fast developing sector of the beverage market, with its Nestea range achieving significant sales growth in the region. When Galanz Bottlers was awarded the Nestlé contract to bottle hotfill Nestea in Kazakhstan, it brought about the need to expand production capacity and to rethink the existing production process. Tursengali Alaguzov, owner of Galanz Bottlers, explains, "We didn't have enough capacity for this production so we turned to Sidel." Working closely with Galanz Bottlers, Sidel drew on its forty years of experience in hotfilling to propose a production line with the SBO14 Universal2eco HR blower and the company's latest sophisticated filling system, the Sidel Matrix SF 700 ISD Hot Filler.
This advanced Sidel packaging technology allowed a focus on lightweighting. Working with Sidel, Galanz Bottlers is the first company in Kazakhstan to convert its PET Heat Resistant bottle production to a short neck, as well as redesigning the bottle, ultimately achieving a saving of five grams per bottle for the 0.5 litre format and around 10 grams for the 1.2 litre format. By adopting these much lighter preforms, this results in savings of around 700 tonnes of material a year, equating to $1.4 million.
The combination of these technologies provided the flexibility to accommodate the six different packaging formats of Galanz Bottlers, from 0.45 to 1.2 litres, at speeds of up to 24,000 bottles per hour. It also offers the versatility to handle the different neck sizes of 28mm and 38mm. The line operates with two modes - it can blow and fill non-carbonated drinks, such as teas and isotonic beverages without fruit pieces, and it can also fill a variety of drinks with pulps, fibres, sacs, fruit pieces and Aloe Vera with its integrated slurry dosing system.
With the ISD system for drinks containing pulps and fruit pieces, the filling process is carried out in two stages. Firstly, the fruit pieces are added, with the liquid then filled into the bottle. This is achieved through pistons that manage dual stream dosing to ensure the pulp or fruit pieces are introduced to the liquid accurately and at a steady rate.
During production, the correct flow rate can be controlled from the tank to the filling valve without stressing the liquid beverage, an important factor with such delicate particulates. The filling valve is subjected to constant pressure which leads to high distribution accuracy in the filling process.
Sidel had worked previously with Galanz Bottlers, supplying another bottling line and several pieces of standalone equipment. The support provided by Sidel was an important factor in selecting the company again, with the speed and efficiency of communication highlighted by Tursengali Alaguzov. He says, "The staff were very responsive and we received answers to our questions on the same day. I would especially like to thank the Sidel technicians who were communicative and responsive during the line installation and setup. We often had the feeling that they were installing the line personally for themselves."
Powerstar, the global market leading voltage optimisation system, is now available in Ireland following a distributor agreement with leading Irish energy solutions company Powerstar Voltage Limited.
Powerstar is developing a market presence in a number of new international territories - the company also recently signed agreements with distributors on the East Coast of America.
Headed by Gerry Corrigan, Powerstar Voltage Ltd. is identifying strategic energy efficiency opportunities across Ireland, by capitalising on the Irish Government’s policy to reduce energy consumption by 20%, with the implementation of energy efficiency measures, by 2020.
Recognising that Government must lead by example, it is, at the same time, challenging public sector procurement departments to achieve a 33% reduction in energy usage in the same time frame.
Gerry Corrigan says: "With these targets at the forefront of many strategic energy plans, the demand from companies and public sector organisation alike for the Powerstar range of products has never been greater. The reaction from customers, when they are presented with the potential savings they can achieve is extremely positive.”
Voltage in Ireland is on average supplied at 242V by the National Grid, however only 230V is required by modern equipment and appliances. Powerstar’s innovative products reduce the voltage coming into a building or site to the optimum level. Average electricity consumption savings of 12% to 15% can be achieved by installing Powerstar solutions.
At the same time, Powerstar products reduce harmonics and maintenance requirements, extending the life span of appliances.
Dr. Alex Mardapittas, managing director of Powerstar says: “Currently 15% of our business is from international markets, we plan to grow this by developing our presence in new markets across the world including Ireland. Gerry holds the same values of customer care, product excellence and entrepreneurial drive that have been at the centre of Powerstar’s success in the UK, and we are looking forward to developing what promises to be an exciting market for our products in Ireland together.”
Powerstar voltage optimisation systems, have been designed and manufactured in the UK for over 13 years and are the only systems in the world to be granted a patent on their design. Powerstar boasts 100% reliability with no recorded failures across thousands of installations globally, offering a secure, proven and reliable solution for businesses in Ireland.