Our 2017 - A Year in Review
As 2017 draws to a close and plans are laid for the year to come, it’s a natural time to look back as well as forwards. Through sheer hard work on the behalf of our Ishida colleagues worldwide, 2017 was a year of many successes.
Back in January, our own Emily James was named Apprentice of the Year by UK manufacturing association the EEF, after winning the regional heat at the end of 2016. Gaining a distinction in every module of her BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Engineering to date, Emily is also considered a perfect role model for apprentices in any field – as well as an ambassador for women in engineering. Her success is testament to the strength and depth of the apprenticeship programme at Ishida, which builds confident and competent individuals who enjoy long and rewarding careers with us.
While our apprentices continue a long tradition of award-winning work, our products too have been recognised on the international stage for the contribution they make to efficient food production and packaging across many varied industry sectors.
In September, for example, our Orbicote marination system took first place in the Innovative Processing System of the Year category at the annual PPMA Awards. We knew that, in many European markets, consumers have been seeking out shortcuts rather than entire ready meals, preferring to cook pre-prepared ingredients themselves rather than simply reheating. And by anticipating this trend, we were able to lead the way with a highly-accurate weighing system to ensure delivery of the perfect amount of marinade to meat, fish and poultry products. As well as achieving 95% coverage of marinade over protein, Orbicote allows rapid changeover of ingredients and food types, taking just 10 minutes including cleaning to make the switch. Reducing both waste product and downtime, Orbicote shows how keeping our finger on the pulse of our industries helps us to help our customers adapt.
Capping off the year, Ishida’s solutions were also winners of two categories at the inaugural Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards, held in Dubai. The Robotics Industrial Vision category is focused on rewarding efficiency and consistency that’s achieved through automation, and our RobotGrader solution for protein products met all of the judges’ exacting standards. The key stats – reduction in giveaway to less than 1% per pack coupled with speeds of 320 pieces per minute – made RobotGrader the clear choice for the top prize.
Also Highly Commended by the judging panel was the Ishida AirScan, which found success in the Production Protection category. AirScan reduces spoilage in pre-packed retail products by identifying leaks of CO2 – in a 100% reliable and fully non-destructive way.
By having three completely different product solutions rewarded by independent industry bodies, Ishida has shown a comprehensive understanding of not just our customers, but our customers’ customers – home chefs, snackers and mass caterers alike. And with our apprentices – the Ishida engineers of the future – also achieving recognition for their skills, the future of Ishida is certainly assured.
Look out for the second part of our 2017 review, where we’ll revisit the shows we attended and also recount how our 20th anniversary of UK manufacturing operations coincided with our new branding launch.