Home>Plant, Process & Control>Events>Counting down to PPMA Show 2015

Counting down to PPMA Show 2015

21 September 2015

Returning to the NEC, Birmingham, the PPMA Show 215 will run over three days (29th September to 1st October) and will be opened by Lord Digby Jones, former Director General of the CBI and Trade and Investment Minister

Grant Collier, head of marketing for the PPMA Group, comments: "The event has always benefited from the community atmosphere associated with British manufacturing and provides an ideal meeting place for decision makers from across a range of industries to network with key manufacturers and distributions, all set against a back drop of innovation and industry expertise.”

Potential for automation

New features to the 2015 exhibition include a Robotics and Industrial Vision zone which will showcase the latest inventive and quirky uses of robotic technology including robots that can dance, pour drinks and even play snooker. Highlighting just how robotics and automation has come since the first industrial robotic arms were integrated into production lines, Rich Walker, MD for the Shadow Robot company will demonstrate the ‘Moley robotic kitchen’ – capable of  cooking chef quality meals using a normal kitchen. Walker will also speak as part of this year’s seminar line-up to reveal what robotics could hold for the future of food manufacturing. 

"Robots are smarter than ever, easier to configure and versatile. They will be able to cope with a wider range of tasks and will be easier to modify to undertake new tasks,” explained Walker. "The use of robotics could be cost effective on short run production lines that have as little as a six month payback period, because a versatile robot allows a manufacturer to redeploy the robot to multiple successive production lines. Robots will no longer be seen as instruments for speciality tasks – easily adapted, robots will be universally used across the food industry. I’m hoping to have some really profitable conversations with industry professionals and finding out how they feel robotics can benefit their business as well as identifying potential solutions to any problems they may have.”

Seminar theatre

A leading figure in the FMCG and Grocery retailing sectors, Justin King CBE is set to headline this year’s PPMA Show seminar theatre. King will discuss the future for multiple retailers, how the growing market shares of discount retailers will affect the supply chain and how the continued emergence of supermarket convenience outlets is shaping the market. Also confirmed for the 2015 exhibition; Keith Thornhill, business manager for food & beverage at Siemens, will present the case for technology and data analytics for the digital factory of the future; Peter Evans, compliance engineer at the CE Marking Association will help visitors understand the CE mark; Rhys Herbert, senior economist at Lloyds Banking Group will explore what’s in store for the manufacturing sector including its ambitions, opportunities and challenges.

Also appearing at the show, Mike Crosby, finance director for Burts Potato Chips will examine how sales targets and profitability have soared thanks to continued factory investment and new technology.

Skills gap

The topic of the current manufacturing skills gap will be addressed in more detail in the seminar theatre following the launch of the PPMA BEST initiative, a new charitable trust aimed at recruiting more young people in the industry. The new division will highlight and promote the benefits of apprenticeships throughout the industry, highlighting how the skills shortage can be resolved through improved engagement between the industry and the UK’s academia. 

Addressing the ingredients for success and highlighting the opportunities for an engineering future in food and drink, Sam Kelly, electrical engineering apprentice for PepsiCo and Hannah Whall, graduate project engineer for Nestle, will provide an up-to-date insight into some of the opportunities in engineering. Representing two of the routes open to young people, including apprenticeships and graduate schemes, Sam and Hannah will share their personal stories as their build a career in the UK’s food and drink manufacturing industries. 

In an effort to further encourage young engineers into the sector, the PPMA Show will also welcome the return of the Ones to Watch Awards which recognises the contributions of processing and packaging professionals under the age of 35. Sponsored by Festo, the awards are chosen by a select group of industry specialists from the PPMA Group Industry awards judging panel, with colleagues being urged to nominate outstanding candidates to the PPMA Show press office.

Future trends

Show attendees can also find out more about the latest trends and innovations taking the industry by storm. "Since the PPMA show last year, the term ‘Industry 4.0’ has worked its way through the entire supply chain,” said Dan Rossek, marketing manager for Omron. "We are anticipating that the increased demand for ‘big data’ integration between the factory shop floor and top floor will draw more food and pharmaceutical manufacturers to the show this year.”

For more information on the PPMA Show 2015, please visit www.ppmashow.co.uk.