The processing and packaging machinery industry was showing no sign of slowing down as the UK’s premier machinery exhibition, now in its 24th year, celebrated another success. 11,072* was the total attendance number over the three-days – in line with the 2009 edition. Exhibitors also reported an increase in the quality of visitors and key players from the industry coming through the doors.
Running from 27 – 29 September at Birmingham’s NEC, the show welcomed over 320 world-class suppliers, each dedicated to helping visitors improve their manufacturing productivity and efficiency in the food, drink, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors. As the biggest industrial gathering to focus exclusively on these sectors, the show welcomed visitors from across the globe looking to source the latest processing and packaging machinery.
Neil Fowell, Managing Director of Yamato Scale Dataweigh, an exhibitor at the event, commented: "We had an extremely successful three days at the PPMA Show this year. The visitors were of a high quality and spot on in terms of target for us – plus there was a constant stream of them to our stand which is always encouraging. All in all, an impressive show."
The show also recruited a number of new exhibitors this year who were keen to showcase their range of products to the high-calibre of visitors attending. Anna Edwards, Marketing Manger of KDH Projects commented: "This is the first time we have exhibited at the PPMA Show and we’ve generated a lot of leads which is promising. We build and refurbish factories rather than supplying the equipment for them and this unique selling point has gone down very well with visitors – there’s no doubt that some of these customers will come back to us in the future."
Alongside the exhibition there were a number of new attractions to ensure both visitors and exhibitors were kept up-to-date with the latest industry developments and trends.
To celebrate the return of the exhibition this year, the organisers created the Ones to Watch Awards. The new competition recognised promising under 35 year olds who have made a real impression on the processing and packaging machinery industry. Nicola Swann from Videojet Technologies was named winner at the award ceremony on the opening night, with Sabine Fiehl from Busch UK and Greg Austin from Endoline Machinery Ltd also collecting Silver and Bronze Awards respectively.
As part of the prizes, the five shortlisted candidates were also 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.
The addition of the Manufacturing Forum to this year’s visitor programme also proved successful. The Forum consisted of seminars presented by some of the industry’s most influential packaging, processing, vision and robotics experts followed by lively and engaging debates on some of the hottest engineering and production topics affecting the sector. Organisations such as Marks and Spencer, The Packaging Society and sponsors B&R Industrial Automation Ltd were on hand to fully update machinery professionals on latest topics such as automating chilled ready meals to energy efficiency in motion control.
Bob Squirrel, Chairman from The Profibus Group and visitor to the Manufacturing Forum said: "I was impressed with Mike Wilson’s comments at the Manufacturing Forum on automation and vision technology. Overall, It’s been a thoroughly informative morning."
Drawing on the show’s success, Archana Sharma, Marketing Manager, said: "This year’s show has certainly lived up to expectations with a high volume of quality visitors coming through the doors of the NEC. As always, there was a real buzz on the show floor and it was wonderful to see the networking that was taking place between visitors and exhibitors. The addition of the Manufacturing Forum and Ones to Watch Awards this year proved successful and helped add a new edge to what is already a leading trade show."