Company Rakusen’s Ltd 

University: University of Bradford

KTP Associate Yang Lan 

Funding from Innovate UK

Project: Improving production control and quality consistency of traditional cracker manufacturer, Rakusen’s, using Industry 4 technologies

The challenge: This well known and successful manufacturer of water crackers (it has been flame-baking its entire range to a traditional recipe since 1900) wanted to improve production planning flexibility and production capacity, overcoming these challenges:

  • Achieving Industry 4.0 often relies on investing in new technology, machines or automaton equipment – a huge financial barrier for SMEs 
  • For traditional food manufacturing, new machinery does not guarantee producing the same quality products that their customers have enjoyed for generations
  • An alternative option is to utilise Industry 4.0 technologies for the century old machines, but this is a huge challenge as there is no off-the-shelf solution
  • The data capture, data mining and data visualisation are the key challenges during transforming and modernising a traditional factory, because there is no such infrastructure for detecting, collecting, formatting, transferring, storing, analysing and/or archiving the real-time data from the production lines at all in the last entire century.

This project has overcome this engineering challenge, and delivered a state of the art data-driven intelligent process control system by using Industry 4.0 technologies including Big Data Science, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Cyber Physical Systems and Internet of Things. This new smart manufacturing approach has transformed the production processes to produce good quality products based on real-time data-driven decision-making models.

The system is fully integrated into the company’s existing production facilities (for the first time since the production over a century) enabling transformation from a traditional workshop to a modernised assembly factory . The dissemination and exploitation of the results will help maximise the effect of the modernisation of traditional factories with Industry 4.0 technologies. 

“The Knowledge Transfer Partnership provided an effective mechanism to develop, deliver and embed innovation leading to enhanced processes, efficient use of resources, change in behaviour and operational environment and new growth opportunities. We are proud to be amongst the best KTP teams contributing to the transformation of UK businesses and industry through innovative research and technologies”. Savas Konur, Rakusen’s

You can hear a podcast interview by Food Manufacture magazine with KTP Adviser, John Clayton, featuring this project here.

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