Wilson to speak at FDF Virtual Convention (2 Dec)

23 Nov 2020

Mike Wilson, Chairman of BARA, will be joining a panel of Food and Drink Manufacturing sector speakers to discuss industry’s “Immediate Needs for an Automated and Digitised Future”, at the FDF Virtual Convention on Wednesday, 2 December 2020 (day two of event).

In 2020, interest in automation and digitisation has peaked in the sector, thus due to the Covid-19 crisis and the upcoming changes facing UK manufacturing at the end of the Brexit: Transition period

The current climate has also highlighted the need to address weaknesses in the supply chain. Even though the sector responded well to the unexpected challenges, many businesses worry about how future shocks might affect them. The obvious answer seems to be the application of technology to achieve agile manufacturing systems and supply chains.

But is the food and drink manufacturing sector ready for this shift? What are the more immediate on-site technical needs that the sector will need to fulfil? What challenges will the sector face in meeting these requirements?

Currently, the UK manufacturing sector ranks 22nd worldwide for robot units installed per 10,000 employees (85 units), and the food and drink sector is one of the least automated manufacturing sectors across the world (Source IFR).

FDF panellists will discuss the on-site technical requirements that will need to be met for the sector to be able to integrate into a digital supply chain, as well as how to build capabilities to address the immediate threat to labour shortages.


  • Chair: Helen Munday, Chief Scientific Officer, Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
  • Ben Ramsden, Partnership Manager - Food & Drink, Digital Catapult
  • Keith Thornhill, Head of Food and Beverage UK and Ireland, Siemens Digital Industries
  • Mike Wilson, Chief Automation Officer, The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Chairman of BARA
  • Dan Rossek, Regional Marketing Manager, Omron Industrial Automation Europe

Register your place here: https://www.fdf.org.uk/events/FDF-Virtual-Convention-2020-Day-Two