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Government incentives help food and beverage take the Industry 4.0 plunge

food and beverage

Bürkert can help food and beverage manufacturers innovate the market utilising recent government incentive programs. Food & Beverage Industry News reports.

It has not been an easy road for the food and beverage industry over the past two years.

COVID-19 has impacted the Australian food and beverage industry with lockdowns, export restrictions and supply chain issues. As a result the federal Government responded in late 2020 with a plan to shape the future of our nation by promoting growth in local F&B manufacturing.

When the Federal Government announced the commencement of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) in February of 2021, after launching the Modern Manufacturing Scheme (MMS) the previous October, road maps were detailed. The road maps set out a 10-year vision for each of the National Manufacturing Priorities and formed an integral part of the Government’s transformative MMS.

In total six National Manufacturing Priority sectors were named, with food and beverage being one of them. A total of $1.5 billion is being spread across these sectors, helping Australian manufacturers be more competitive, resilient and build scale in the global market.

“The other great thing about food and beverage manufacturing is its imprint on regional Australia, both in where many of the factories are located and the support for businesses right along the supply chain,” Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said in an official statement.

Bürkert, experts in fluid control systems, has been supporting their existing F&B customers throughout pandemic and its impacts.

Tom Kirby, National Sales Manager for Bürkert Australia, has first-hand experience with the F&B industry and as such has worked with hundreds of manufacturers, helping them discover the best ways to evolve and improve their process applications.

“In working with the food and beverage industry for over three decades, I’ve seen a lot of changes. However, the pressures of modern manufacturing can sometimes be daunting for producers, especially when considering investment in new technologies,” he said.

The MMS aims to scale up sectors, encourage transformation for manufacturers who are looking for ways to bring their product to market faster, maintain high-quality standards and support other Australian Government initiatives of reducing food waste, improving emissions, and overall supporting a green more powerful Australian economy of trade.

Through the MMS, the Government wants to support projects from industry that will transform manufacturing in Australia. The Food and Beverage National Manufacturing Priority road map outlines investments that both Government and industry will make over the next 10 years.

Further funding for larger projects will be provided by The Manufacturing Collaboration Stream for both business-to-business and business-to-research realms, while the Manufacturing Translation Scheme will be applied to helping ideas become commercial realities. And finally, the Manufacturing Integration Scheme applies to the integration of local and international supply chains.

Kirby said the government initiatives will drive the industry forward and into newer innovations, possibly at a quicker rate than previously anticipated.

“We’re starting to hear Industry 5.0 through the grapevine, whereby there is a refined interaction between humans and machines, AI and the like. Preparing our customers now for the future including innovation that focuses on the interconnectivity of machines and systems, in order to achieve optimum performance, improve efficiencies and productivity, is how we know we can assist the industry for the next chapter of technology,” said Kirby.

“For those who are still grappling with Industry 4.0, these schemes and funding are the gateway to taking the plunge so their ready for what’s next.

“At Bürkert we’ve got hundreds of experts working with us around the world. Research and development are core to Bürkert’s values. Because of this, we have an array of solutions fit-for-purpose that can support our customer’s vision and goals. Partnering with industry allows us to customise solutions, in turn offering a unique approach to meeting the challenges our customers face.”

The specific goals for the Federal Government, when it comes to the food and beverage industry, is three-fold.

First, to harness and grow the sector’s strength and advantages. Second, providing innovative solutions to overcome constraints that limit value creations and thirdly, transforming the sector by developing a high-value reputable, and dynamic food and beverage manufacturing industry.

Kirby said Bürkert was in a great position to help drive innovation in the food and beverage industry, as it has been doing for years now.

“We invest in designing devices that align perfectly with the government’s initiative, and the global strategy to reduce waste and emissions,” he said.

“We want to help Australian manufacturers to adopt these advancements, essentially ‘transform’ in line with this welcomed government enterprise to industry.

“Helping our customers do this, whilst perhaps being eligible for a grant through the MMS and other schemes, will take some of the initial investment costs associated out of the picture, and we’re happy to work with manufacturers to achieve this.”

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