Food and Drink is one of the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing sectors of industry. Food and Drink Engineers maintain, manage and install a diverse range of specialist equipment and technology used in the manufacture of food and drink products. Combining engineering competence with an understanding of the principles of food safety, science and technology, their focus is on managing, maintaining and continuously improving existing assets. They operate within the confines and unique challenges of the sector. These include the variability of the product itself, the legal and regulatory framework, environment factors and customer and consumer expectations and standards.
They fulfil a variety of functions within food businesses, dealing with mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, process development and project engineering.
Typical duties include:
- Co-ordinate site-based engineering activities using site standards
- Implement and operate engineering activities within regulatory requirements
- Assist the site/company to deliver operational targets, achieving optimal operational efficiency at the lowest cost
- Support the transition from a reactive to proactive approach to engineering
- Maintain and optimise the performance of current food and drink manufacturing equipment and machinery
- Design and install new process lines to meet emerging business needs
- Embed reliability centred maintenance strategies and techniques
- Identify the root causes of process and equipment failure and addressing through the implementation of continuous improvement techniques
- Lead the development of systems to drive planning and control focussed improvements
- Lead the efficient and effective delivery of asset care
They usually work as part of a team including other engineers and will interact with other functions and teams within their own company, such as Manufacturing, Production Planning, Health and Safety and Quality. They are responsible for their own work and may be responsible for teams.
Food and Drink Engineers have core knowledge, skills and behaviours and knowledge and skills relating to one specialism, either mechanical or electrical.
Typical job titles include Food and Drink Mechanical Engineer, Food and Drink Electrical Engineer, Continuous Improvement Food and Drink Engineer and Food and Drink Reliability Engineer.