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PPMA celebrates exhibition

01 August 2013

The PPMA 2012 exhibition has maintained its position as the UK’s processing and packaging machinery event with its 24th successful show at Birmingham’s NEC. The three-day event, which ran over the 25 – 27 September 2012, had a total attendance number of 6,757 (subject to ABC audit).

Focusing on the themes Automation, Innovation, Efficiency and Technology, the show welcomed more than 320 world-class suppliers, each offering the best insight into products and services that maximise the productivity, consistency and quality of products in the processing and packaging industries.

Continuing to improve the quality of visitors from last year’s event, exhibitors reported a sustained increase in decision makers from leading brands within the industry. Speaking about the exhibition, John Walsh, UK Sales Manager for Codeology Ltd, commented: "The show has been superb so far. We’ve generated a number of great, high quality leads. I've been doing the show since the 90's, although this is the first year with Codeology and it’s been one of the best shows in the last decade."

Stephen Healey of Stevens Belting Ltd, a visitor at the show, commented, "We’ve been coming to the PPMA show for a few years. It’s always a great opportunity to meet new suppliers and keep up to date on industry developments. It’s always interesting to see what new products are on display and it gives us time to catch up with business contacts, new and old.”

The show was also the stage for a number of exhibitor success stories, with many suppliers reporting high levels of good quality sales leads. One exhibitor in particular, GIC Ltd, is celebrating its success at this year’s exhibition thanks to a £75,000 contract signed with Fenmarc Produce, one of the leading fresh produce suppliers in the UK.

Andy Beal, Managing Director of GIC Ltd commented: "We have been exhibiting at the PPMA show since 2000 and this year secured our first order on the stand. We’re confident that our success is, in part, a result of our continued presence at the exhibition. It is a great opportunity to meet with new and existing customers, and for networking and lead generation – we believe the PPMA show is an essential part of our sales efforts.”

Alongside the exhibition, a number of additional features and events ensured visitors and exhibitors were kept up to date on the latest industry developments and trends.

Returning for the second time following last year’s success, the Ones to Watch competition, sponsored by Festo Training & Consulting, recognised promising under 35-year-olds who have made an impact on the processing and packaging industries. Mark Flintoft, 26, a Technical Manager at Quasar Automation, was named winner at the award ceremony, with Alex Hofmann from Schubert UK and Marcel Darroch-Davies from Axelent Ltd collecting Silver and Bronze Awards respectively.

All three finalists were presented with a free place on Festo Training & Consulting’s management training course, ‘Don’t just feed me chicken’, a unique programme that uses birds of prey to demonstrate how to encourage employee engagement. Mark also received a free training course for him and his Quasar employees and 50% off a stand at the Total Processing & Packaging Exhibition, 4-6 June 2013. Another feature returning to the show this year was the Manufacturing Forum. The 2012 Forum featured three daily debates, hosted by the Editors of Packaging News, Process Engineering and Machinery Update.

Taking place on the PPMA show stand, the 30-minute sessions presented an opportunity for attendees to gain an insight into the biggest issues facing manufacturers in the processing and packaging industries, including sustainability, flexibility and training.

The daily sessions were kicked-off by Josh Brooks, Editor and Brand Director of Packaging News in a debate titled ‘Pack innovation and the packaging line: an uneasy alliance?’ Further sessions were hosted by Gail Hunt, Editor of Machinery Update magazine who discussed the challenges of sustainability in manufacturing and Patrick Raleigh, Editor of Process Engineering who explored the barriers to training. Martin Bailey, UK Operations Manager for Markem-Imaje, who participated in the manufacturing sustainability debate, commented: "It’s excellent to see the environmental agenda discussed in this way at PPMA. Sustainability will only become more important for our industry in the years ahead – it is up to us to make sure sustainable machinery is affordable and offers value for money as well as improved environmental performance.”

Graham Earl, the show’s exhibition manager, commented: "This year’s PPMA Show has certainly lived up to expectations with more decision-makers and leading industry figures attending the show. There was a real buzz on the show floor and it has been wonderful to hear the feedback from so many exhibitors who have enjoyed another successful year. While the show was 10% smaller, which is typical for a PPMA show in the year before the Total Processing & Packaging exhibition, feedback continues to show an increased number of key decision makers attended and exhibitors are recognising the benefits of quality over quantity.”

The 2013 instalment of PPMA will take place at the Total Processing & Packaging Exhibition, 4–6 June 2013 at the NEC, Birmingham.