Over 150 companies and organisations will showcase the best of UK plastics manufacturing when the Plastics Design & Moulding exhibition returns to its spiritual home of Telford (aka plastics valley) next week. Taking place at the Telford International Centre on 16 and 17 June, PDM will be co-located with the new Plastics Packaging Show and the second Plastics Recycling Expo.
Polymer distributors, contract moulders, recycling specialists and packaging producers will be exhibiting alongside prototyping and design firms at the three shows. With more exhibition stands and conference sessions than ever before, this year’s event is set to be the most exciting in PDM’s 10-year history.
Among PDM’s long-established exhibitor base are many reporting signs of a shift back to moulding in the UK. “The biggest change in the last 10 years has been the reduction in the number of moulders in the UK,” says Stuart Lovett, marketing manager of Rutland Plastics. “This has been the result of the recession and a large number of OEM’s choosing to have their parts manufactured in China. However that has now turned full circle with OEM’s now looking to source in the UK again.”
The UK’s role in Europe will be one of several topics discussed in the free conference sessions at PDM, with a keynote address entitled EU: In or Out? delivered by Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF (the manufacturers’ organisation). Training and apprenticeships will also be discussed in the light of the industry skills shortage.
Meanwhile in the PRE conference, the future of plastics recycling will be top of the agenda. With the downturn in oil prices lowering the cost of virgin material, plastics recyclers are operating in very challenging market conditions. Delegates can attend sessions on how markets can be developed for recycled plastics and find out about the Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan which is due to be launched on the opening day of PRE. Speakers include sustainability experts working for major retail names including IKEA, Unilever and Marks & Spencer.
Designing for the circular economy will be a key theme in the PPS Conference. Speakers will cover sustainability, packaging trends and the competing demands of aesthetics and functionality in packaging design.
Event director Steve Crowhurst says: “PDM is a true showcase of the innovation, investment, talent and hard work that is winning UK firms business in the international marketplace. It’s where some of the biggest opportunities and challenges facing our industry are debated and provides a unique space for exhibitors and visitors to do business, network and build on their knowledge and expertise. With the addition of both PRE and PPS this year, 2015 is set to be the most diverse and exciting event in our 10-year history.”