Posted on 24 October 2016.
The UK’s latest innovations in processing and packaging machinery, materials, containers and packaging design solutions were on show at the PPMA Total Show 2016, which returned to the Birmingham NEC from the 27–29 September. The triannual PPMA Total Show welcomed 1200 leading packaging and processing machinery manufacturers to showcase the latest technological innovations and discuss key business opportunities with more than 7,300 visitors.
With the outcome of June’s referendum looming large, the Rt. Hon Lord Francis Maude, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment opened the 2016 exhibition and delivered the opening address on both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Lord Maude, who drew a substantial crowd, addressed the future of the UK processing and packaging sector, discussed the potential aftermath of Brexit negotiations and future plans for the government’s ‘Exporting is Great’ campaign.
Presenting an optimistic outlook on the future, Lord Maude said: “Britain is bigger; its pattern of trade and investment is much more closely intermingled with the EU; and we should aim for and I hope achieve something much more bespoke than Norway, Canada, Switzerland or even Albania.
“When we leave the EU Britain will be able to negotiate its own free trade agreements with what are today third world countries. Yes, we have less clout on our own to negotiate with India, the US, Japan, China and so on. But we have several advantages. First, we unequivocally want Free Trade Agreements. Second, we can focus on what is of interest to us and us alone. And, third we don’t need to aim for perfection.
“I’m not going to pretend that the road ahead will always be smooth and straight. It won’t be. There will be twists and turns and bumps along the way. But I have no doubt that there are huge opportunities as well; and that British manufacturing companies are incredibly well-placed to exploit them.”
Expertise on Display
Visitors to the PPMA Total Show 2016 were privy to not only headline speaker the Rt. Hon Lord Francis Maude, but a range of industry experts who tackled the most pressing issues such as hygiene compliance, food and packaging waste and the skills gap.
Adding to growing national debate on food and packaging waste, Claire Shrewsbury, Packaging Programme Manager for WRAP, educated visitors on the number of government programmes that promote both environmental improvements and the cost benefits to industry, including current projects with GlassRite Wine, and the benefits of developing recycled food grade PP processes.
In addition, Emma McLeod, Principal Engineer for Process Solutions Global Chocolate R&D Team at Mondelez International, gave aspiring engineers insight into the engineering opportunities in the largest industry in the UK on the final day of the show. Emma discussed her own career as well as how Mondelez are responding to the skills gap, mentoring young engineers from the beginning of their career to build their skills quickly to become chartered professional engineers.
Commenting on the seminar programme, PPMA Total Show visitor Tim Bednall, Business Development Manager, Lorein Engineering Solutions said: “Having attended a number of the seminar sessions, I must say they were great. It is nice to hear real industry experts addressing the problems of the industry as a whole. By coming to a show like this, I am able to listen to a range of expert opinions all under one roof.”
Latest Innovations in Manufacturing
The food and packaging waste debate was not restricted to the seminar stage with debut exhibitors such as TIPA Sustainable Packaging revealing its flexible food packaging that behaves just like an orange peel to the UK market.
TIPA, a developer and manufacturer of breakthrough bio-based, fully compostable, flexible packaging, also announced its partnership with UK social enterprise, Snact, who make snacks from surplus product.
Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO and co-founder of TIPA, says, “Our partnership with Snact marks a first step in the UK market. We’re currently trialling our products with a number of UK brands within the grocery retail sector and hope to see further partnerships announced as brands recognise the benefits of our technology.”
“Working with such an eco-conscious brand like Snact was a natural fit for us and we’re excited to see the roll out of our fully compostable, flexible packaging in support of such a worthy brand in the fight against food waste.”
Attendees to Hall 5 at the NEC also witnessed a number of new product launches. Fortress Technology unveiled the latest version of its Halo automatic test technology. Building on Emma De-Alwis’s seminar session on hygiene and contamination, the solution is designed to automatically check that a metal detector is identifying ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel contaminants as well as testing the reject system. For food suppliers, it offers a more robust, objective and auditable testing procedure, satisfying the most demanding retailer Codes of Practice.
Speaking about the 2016 exhibition, Phil Brown, Sales Director, Fortress Technology said: “There was a good mix of visitors to the show and we welcomed a number of customers to the stand, both well-acquainted and new. We took a number of orders on the stand and achieved a great deal of interest on our new Halo automatic testing technology that we unveiled and demonstrated at the show, particularly from the pharmaceutical industry.”
Discussing the success of the 2016 show, David Harrison, PPMA Group Exhibition Manager said: “The PPMA Total Show 2016 has been extremely successful and the expanded show format was well received by visitors and exhibitors alike. The show was busy and there was a real buzz on the show floor particularly on the second and third day.”
“Over 150 exhibitors have already booked stands at the PPMA Show 2017, which is a testament to how good the event was. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to exhibit or visit the show and made it a success.”
Celebrating Industry Excellence
Celebrating manufacturing success, over 400 industry leaders, government representatives and press came together on the first night of the PPMA Total Show to see the winners of the PPMA Group Industry Awards 2016 revealed.
Awards were presented in 14 hotly contested categories, covering every facet of the industry from processing and packaging to the environment, vision and automation. Among the winners, Festo & Siemens bagged two awards on the night including Most Innovative Automation System and Partnership of the Year while DC Norris took the Processing & Packaging Machinery Manufacturer of the Year and HepcoMotion walked away with the PPMA BEST (business, education, skills and training) accolade for their apprenticeship programme
Commenting on their success at the PPMA Awards, Peter Jones, HepcoMotion Marketing Manager said: “The PPMA Group Awards were a great event, honouring the latest innovation in the industry. The skills gap is a hot topic at the moment, and we’re very proud to be acknowledged for work we do in training young engineers.”
The PPMA Group CEO, Dr. Andrew Mint said: “The PPMA Group Industry Awards was a fantastic evening, celebrating the best that the British processing and packaging industry has to offer. The sheer volume of entries we received this year gave the judging panel an extremely tough task and we’d like to congratulate all those who were shortlisted and those who were successful on the night!”
The PPMA Show returns to the NEC, Birmingham, 26 – 28 September 2017. For information on exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities please email PPMA Exhibition Sales Manager firstname.lastname@example.org.