‘The web’s fantastic but it’s at the exhibition you really get a feel for the industry’


Over 300 exhibitors are gearing up for PPMA 2015. Packaging Scotland reports on what visitors can expect this year from one of the highlights of the events calendar 

ORGANISERS are hoping that the PPMA Show 2015 will be the most successful exhibition yet in the event’s 28-year history.

Held in the NEC in Birmingham from September 29th – October 1st, the exhibition showcases the best in the world of processing and packaging machinery.

With over 300 confirmed exhibitors, this year’s event is already over 20% larger than the 2014 show and features exhibitors ranging from traditional sectors such as food, pharmaceuticals and processing through to quality assurance and end of line automation.

After returning to the sole ownership and management of PPMA in 2014, the ‘machinery only’ event is now focused more on the experience of the buyers, suppliers and specifiers in attendance as well existing commercial requirements.

A change that Grant Collier, head of marketing and publishing at the PPMA Group, says visitors and exhibitors noticed from the off.

“People really picked up on the friendly atmosphere we’d created last year,” said Grant. “The interesting new features and the new feel of the event.

“It’s created a fantastic platform for us to springboard from.”

Opening this year’s PPMA Show is Lord Digby Jones, former head of CBI and once Minister of State for Trade and Investment, who will speak on UK manufacturing and the impact of late payment on the industry supply chain.

The headline speaker for the 2nd day, Justin King, former CEO of Sainsburys, will deliver a talk about the state of British retailing, looking at trends including multi-retailers versus the aggressive growth of discounters and out of town retailers versus local convenience stores and its effect on suppliers. The exhibition will also feature a host of seminars, with apprentices from Nestle and PepsiCo presenting on their experiences as young recruits within the food and drink packaging and processing sector.

After the success of last year’s technology and Robotics stands, Rich Walker from Shadow Robot will talk about the latest developments in modern Robotics.

“Exhibitions like the PPMA Show are every bit as relevant now as they’ve ever been, the fact that our show is continuing to grow is testament to that,” added Grant.

“You actually get to see the equipment and meet the people. Yes, the web’s fantastic but it’s at the exhibition that you really get a feel for the industry, what it’s all about and where it’s going.

“You can do a huge amount of legwork in one day here.

“The industry’s in good health at the moment, overall people seem to be having a good year and it’s going really well.

“One of the current challenges, and it’s a great challenge to have, is finding new staff with the requisite skills to meet the current levels of growth. More than ever companies are looking to insource and find solutions in the UK first.”