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Robots and the fire-blowing chilli baby - Food Engineering at the Big Bang fair 2013

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Gatwick, UK

A robot that can move and pack a whopping 150 chocolate bars a minute will be amongst the bumper load of exciting food engineering activities on offer to the 65,000 visitors attending this year’s Big Bang Fair at London ExCel (14-17 March). 

The robot will be located on the joint stand run by Nestlé UK & Ireland and the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) Taste Success – A Future in Food careers campaign. Specially programmed, the robot will play a ‘Beat the Robot’ game against a player to pick Kit Kat bars off a conveyor belt. Designed by Bosch in partnership with Nestlé, the 4-Axes Delta Robot is a real example of high-tech robotic solutions used on the factory floor. See a Bosch robot in action on You Tube!

Food and drink engineering will be a key theme of this year’s stand as the industry has recently launched the UK’s first dedicated degree - MEng Food Engineering - at Sheffield Hallam University. The stand will also include a range of other STEM-related activities to inspire budding young engineers to consider a future career in the industry.

Other highlights from this year’s stand are:

  • Nestlé engineers, apprentices and graduates will be on hand to tell young people what it’s like to be an engineer at Nestlé UK & Ireland and how they use their skills to make some of Britain’s best-loved brands.
  • The Munchbot! App: a specially designed app simulating a robotic food production line has been designed for the event. Players will have to quickly grab food as it comes off the production line. The highest scorer will have the chance to win an iPod Shuffle every day of the Fair. The Munchbot! app will also be available to download from iTunes after the event.
  • Kit Kat Factory Game: a factory automation simulation game based on the Kit Kat production line which has been designed by Nestlé engineering graduates and apprentices. The top-scoring winner will each day have the chance to win a giant Kit Kat or food hamper for their school or family. 
  • Mad about Food video: the latest Taste Success video instalment of Lily, the fire-blowing Chilli Baby with clever engineering skills up her sleeve  (link to video)
    Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector employing 400,000 people in a huge variety of roles. By 2017 the industry anticipates that it will need over 130,000 new recruits to help it meet growing demand and skills shortages in areas such as engineering. The industry is addressing this through its careers Taste Success and through raising food and drink’s profile at events such as the Big Bang Fair.

The Big Bang Fair is free to attend and is targeted primarily at young people aged 7-19. It is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. To register, go to  The Big Bang Fair’s website .

Richard Martin, Chief Engineer, Nestlé UK & Ireland said The food and Drink industry is central to all of our lives. As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, it puts food on our tables and offers a variety of skilled and rewarding careers producing some of our most loved food products. Whether you are considering taking an apprenticeship, engineering or science degree, the food and drink sector is for you.

Angela Coleshill, FDF's Director of Employment, Skills and Corporate Services said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be teaming up with Nestlé UK & Ireland once again at the Big Bang Fair to bring careers in our industry to life for young people. We are also incredibly pleased to have the support of Bosch – one of our industry’s key suppliers of robotics solutions.

“Engineering is one of our industry’s most vital specialisms, helping us increase efficiency and productivity. The recent launch of the MEng Food Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University marks a major step forward for our industry by creating a pool of specialist engineers equipped to help us meet future challenges, so it is important that the next generation know that there are exciting opportunities available.”  

Roy Fraser, Bosch Product Manager Robotics, said: “Bosch has supplied about 130 Delta robots to companies in the UK and our long standing relationship with Nestlé stretches back to the very early days of Delta robotics, in fact Nestlé were one of the first companies to adopt this type of technology for handling operations in chocolate and coffee. Today there are about 2,500 Bosch Delta robots in the field globally across the food and drink sector.

“We are really looking forward to the show and to demonstrating the high levels of technology that potential apprentices and graduates could be working with and responsible for when working in the food and drink industry for companies such as Nestlé.”

Notes for editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit:
  2. Follow our plans for this year’s Big Bang Fair at: #FDFTasteSuccess
  3. The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. Find out more at: 
  4. Taste Success- A Future in Food is an industry-led campaign to engage with young people, parents, teachers and careers advisors to highlight the wide range of exciting job opportunities available in highly skilled and well-paid professions such as engineering. For further information please visit:
  5. Playing the Beat the Robot game: 13 Kit Kat bars will be placed in a line, the player selects 1, 2 or 3 the robot removes the selected number. Then the robot chooses 1, 2 or 3 and removes them, at the end a single Kit Kat should be left and this will be given to the player.
  6. The MEng Food Engineering degree has been developed as part of the Graduate Excellence project by FDF, the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, and Sheffield Hallam University where the course will be delivered. The degree has also received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund.
  7. Nestlé UK and Ireland has approximately 7,000 employees across 14 manufacturing sites including sister companies such as Nestlé Waters, Purina Petcare and Cereal Partners.
  8. In the UK, the company manufactures some of Nestlé’s most popular and iconic brands, including KIT KAT® confectionery (the UK’s No 1 selling biscuit), NESCAFÉ® soluble coffee, SHREDDED WHEAT® cereal, BUXTON® water and FELIX® petfood.
  9. For full details of careers at Nestlé please visit: and click on the Academy page.
  10. Find out more about Bosch robots at:

Find out more:
Graduate Excellence project
MEng Food Engineering degree