Manufacturing trends are under the spotlight at the PPMA Show 2017, taking place from 26-28 September at the NEC, Birmingham.
From educating and informing to entertaining, the PPMA Show 2017 will be looking to build on its reputation as a best-in-class UK exhibition.
Organisers will be planning an event that offers visitors a seamless, userfriendly experience from the point of registration and delivers on demonstrating a wealth of innovation.
Valerio Del Vecchio, head of marketing at the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA) Group of Associations, believes the show is well placed to help manufacturers find new inspiration, ideas and solutions, as well as expand business opportunities.
“Confidence in the UK’s manufacturing industry peaked in the first quarter of 2017, according to latest figures, which reveal the fastest domestic sales growth noted since the third quarter of 2015, while export sales have grown at the quickest pace since the first quarter of the previous year,” she comments.
The findings, which formed part of a report issued by the British Chamber of Commerce, highlighted how the UK’s economy has defied predictions of decline and performed much better than expected following the Brexit referendum, also helped by a weaker pound, says PPMA.
However, while short-term predictions demonstrate the industry’s resilience, the long-term outlook highlights a state of uncertainty amid fears of rising costs.
These topics were top of the agenda at last year’s PPMA Show when peer and former trade minister Francis Maude [pictured above] delivered the opening address on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for UK industry.
He presented an optimistic outlook, citing the potential benefits presented to Britain as it looked to “negotiate its own free trade agreements”.
Acknowledging that there would be “twists, turns and bumps along the way”, he added that there would be big opportunities that “British manufacturing companies were well-placed to exploit”.
Looking ahead to September, PPMA is encouraging manufacturing professionals to once again come together to discuss current issues facing the industry, as well as the trends that will impact the processing, packaging and manufacturing sectors over the next 12 months and beyond.
From the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 to how industrial vision technology and robots are changing modern manufacturing processes, exhibitors will reveal the ways in which they are embracing innovation and reaping the benefits.
The skills shortage and other issues will also return to the PPMA Show agenda as the industry addresses the challenges still in place, the steps required to address the current gaps in the market, and ways to ensure tomorrow’s diverse workforce is in place to protect the UK’s manufacturing legacy.
The manufacturing industries have long struggled to recruit in the numbers required to safeguard the industry’s next generation of engineers, says PPMA.
Manufacturers’ association the EEF released an industry report that suggested three-quarters of companies have faced difficulties finding the right workers in the last three years.
It warned that the skills shortage would put productivity growth at risk and increase pressure on manufacturers as they face a range of challenges both at home and abroad.
By expanding the focus of the new Learning Hub, the PPMA hopes to inspire visitors by providing a fresh perspective on relevant trends and issues
At the show the PPMA Group will aim to demonstrate the ways in which it is encouraging young as well as mature talent to enter and develop a career in engineering within the processing, packaging, robotics, automation and industrial vision industries through its PPMA BEST (business education, skills and training) charity.
This was created in 2014 to help tackle the skills shortage affecting the processing and packaging industry, and offers various programmes to a variety of age groups to encourage a career in engineering, ranging from financial grants to match funded bursaries.
In terms of learning opportunities at the show, the new and improved Learning Hub will also provide visitors and exhibitors with insights from leading industry experts as well as opinion leaders from the wider business world.
A full speaker programme will be announced in the coming months but early confirmations include TED speaker and chartered engineer Peter Anderton.
A former product manager at United Biscuits, Anderton is known for his inspirational talks and is set to give his two-rule approach to great leadership to show attendees.
By expanding the focus of the new Learning Hub, the PPMA hopes to inspire visitors by providing a fresh perspective on relevant trends and issues, as well as skills applicable across all industries.
As well as learning about leadership skills and strategies, organisers will also be looking to entertain attendees with some lighthearted competition in the form of the World’s Best Goalie – the RoboKeeper.
The computer-controlled goalkeeper has already taken on the likes of footballers Lionel Messi and Neymar, and will challenge visitors and exhibitors to try and score a goal live at the show.
“The RoboKeeper uses cutting-edge robotics and vision technology, reacting within fractions of a second, making it almost impossible to score. We look forward to seeing which of our exhibitors or visitors can take on the challenge and win a prize,” say organisers.
Buyers and suppliers
Over the past 30 years, the show has brought together buyers and suppliers. In 2016, the PPMA Total Show saw more than 1,000 leading packaging and processing machinery manufacturers represented at the NEC across three days, with more than 7,500 visitors. More than 270 exhibitors are currently confirmed to appear at this year’s event.
Each year the PPMA Show brings together all corners of the industry under one roof to share expertise, insights and discuss the future of both UK and global manufacturing industries.
It is an environment in which companies can showcase new technologies, build new relationships and, importantly, confirm a book full of new orders.
- For more information on the PPMA Show 2017 or to register for your free pass, visit www.ppmashow.co.uk