The University of Nottingham is developing an artificially-intelligent sensor system to clean food manufacturing equipment more precisely, which could save £100m a year for the UK industry alone.
This revolutionary AI-driven monitoring system could lead to greater production capacity and therefore cheaper food prices for consumers.
Food and drink production is the largest manufacturing sector in Britain and the highest industrial user of water at approximately 430 million litres a day.
As current technologies cannot accurately determine exactly how dirty food and drink processing equipment is inside, cleaning can last up to five hours a day – to minimise food safety risks.
Cleaning accounts for 30 per cent of energy and water use and leads to excessive productivity down time and over-use of chemicals, at huge cost to manufacturers and the environment.
This research project, led by Martec of Whitwell Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Nottingham and Loughborough University, has secured Innovate UK funding to ensure the UK food industry substantially cut cleaning times and remains a global leader.
Dr Nik Watson, assistant professor and chemical engineer specialising in food measurement systems is leading the University of Nottingham team.