Inside the Factory

By Nigel Leak posted 18-01-2022 15:19

I am always on the lookout for television programmes which can demonstrate manufacturing technologies in an informative and entertaining way.

One such programme is Inside the Factory which is broadcast on BBC 2 and presented by Greg Wallace (Master Chef) and Cherry Healey.  It is in it's 6th Season.

I would commended it as "must see" for anyone involved in outsourcing any goods and buyers and technologists in the retail sector.

As a ceramic technologist, I find the programmes showing food processing, such as the Malt Loaf production a couple of weeks ago, fascinating: mainly the similarities between processing ceramic materials and food stuffs.  High energy mixes and blenders are the same.  On a laboratory scale, lab blenders are often those used in the food processing industries.

Rheology, the study of deformation and flow, plays a vital role in ceramics but equally so in food processing.   In order to be profitable, food processing relies on very tight controls of visco-elastic behaviour of large volumes of material.  In fact, much of the rheology we use in ceramics has been acquired from food processing.  A study of the most learned text books on the subject and the publications of the British Society of Rheology will demonstrate this point.