Innovative Manufacturing Technologies for Redistributed Manufacturing

Research Area:
Sustainable Food Manufacturing


Food, Energy and Water Local Nexus Network

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard , Pedro Gimenez-Escalante

See all publications

This report aims to provide an overview of food technologies that could support the
wider adoption and application of Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM) in the food
sector, and has been developed as part of a series of feasibility studies under the
umbrella of the ‘Food, Energy and Water Local Nexus Network’ (LNN) for RDM. The
technologies include both traditional food processing technologies that could be
reconfigured to be used in smaller scale and also a number of new emerging food
technologies that currently may have limited commercial applications, but could
provide significant potential in the context of RDM. These technologies are assessed
against fourteen specifically defined criteria in order to identify their benefits and
drawbacks for future applications of RDM.
One of the main findings of this study has been that RDM, as an innovative
production structure, necessitates further research, innovation and development
(RID) in order to enable successful applications by food businesses. These RID
activities could be categorised under three areas of process level, product level and
system level innovations. In this context, a number of key research questions
regarding future development of food technologies for small scale production
systems are presented. Based on these, the report also presents a number of
specific research challenges that need to be addressed in order to develop a viable
and sustainable approach to the production of food products on smaller scales
(redistributed) and closer to the source of consumption (localised), whilst preserving
the safety and maintaining the quality of manufactured food.
Finally, one of the main conclusions of this study is that increasing productivity,
improving resilience and reducing waste are important considerations upon which
the future of the UK food sector must be founded, and distributed manufacturing of
our food products will play a vital role in the achievement of these goals.

PDF download