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05 September 2012

The PPMA Show allows food manufacturers to source new suppliers, view live machinery demonstrations, evaluate and purchase the latest technology, talk directly to technical experts, find solutions to packaging and processing challenges and learn about the latest industry developments.

If you're involved in the buying, financing or maintaining of machinery, the PPMA Show says it will meet your needs, whether you're looking for equipment to process food, pharmaceuticals or chemicals processing equipment, packaging or filling equipment or other components. The PPMA Show caters to the major UK industry areas including food and drink, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, household products and chemicals.

The annual exhibition attracts more than 8,500 attendees and 350 exhibitors and offers visitors from food and drink, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics businesses an opportunity to view and purchase new and innovative equipment as well as talk to suppliers about the latest technologies in the industry. There will also be live machinery demonstrations at the event where visitors can see, touch and discuss the latest developments in industrial equipment.

The exhibition says nowhere else is it possible for buyers to meet so many new suppliers from areas such as packaging and processing machinery, FMCG equipment and support services and evaluate the latest innovations. The PPMA Show says it provides the opportunity for UK manufacturing business in all sectors to greatly improve their productivity and profitability.

"The PPMA Show represents a wonderful opportunity for visitors to discover the most up to date technology and solutions," says Graham Earl, the show's exhibition manager. "In addition, it provides insight into the latest educational trends and developments in the sector, whilst also offering unrivalled opportunities to do business and consolidate connections."

Visitor to the 2011 show, Michael Silvery, design engineer at Calava Process Solutions said: "I decided to attend the show in 2011 for research purposes as I had just joined Calava Process Solutions. The machinery displays on the stands were very impressive. It's always great to see the products in action, that's what I love about trade shows."

"We've exhibited at various shows but I knew if we improved our stand, we could do well at the PPMA Show last year," said Colin Griffiths, chairman of Golden Valley Pallet Wrap Specialists and an exhibitor from last year's event added. "On the first day alone we generated more than 100 good leads. The 2011 exhibition was the best we've experienced as a company and we're looking forward to this year's show."

Apart from the obvious attraction of the exhibits, there are many features to the show, including The Ones to Watch awards which are intended to identify the processing and packaging machinery's next generation of stars. They celebrate promising young professionals who have an exciting future ahead of them, and this year the talent has been narrowed down to three young professionals who have already made an impression on the industry.

The finalists include Marcel Darroch-Davies, MD of Axelent; Mark Flintoft, who is responsible for product design at Quasar Automation; and Alex Hofmann of Schubert UK.

Then there's the Manufacturing Forum, which is returning to the PPMA Show with various topics on the processing and packaging industry. There's an opportunity here for visitors to participate in lunchtime debates and discussions hosted by editors of Packaging News, Process Engineering and Machinery Update.

The PPMA Awards takes place on the evening of the first day - 25 September - in front of 400 industry leaders, press and government figures. Awards will be presented in each of the Association sectors of PPMA, BARA, PMMDA and UKIVA.

The evening consists of a drinks reception, four-course dinner including wine and coffee, awards ceremony, after-dinner entertainment and networking. It will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum adjacent to the NEC in Birmingham, and will be hosted by comedian Bobby Davro and Skye and BBC presenter Amy Garcia.

So what are the innovations that make PPMA such an attractive proposition for visitors? Here are some pen pictures of the exhibitors, and the highlights of their stands:

Logopak, Stand F63
A barcode clinic - equipped with new verification equipment - is being sponsored by three barcode technology organisations to give visitors a free health check on their own barcoding quality, avoiding risk of financial penalties from retailers. GS1 UK, the independent supply chain standards and solutions organisation, and verification specialist Axicon are joining forces with print-apply labelling machine manufacturer Logopak, and inviting visitors to bring examples of their own barcodes to the Logopak stand for a check. Logopak is also demonstrating its latest labelling security software, I-Validate. This checks product, case and pallet labels against original works documentation, eliminating risk of human error and goods with incorrect or illegible labelling entering the supply chain. "Just because a barcode scans correctly on the production line doesn't mean it will necessarily read correctly at every point in the supply chain," says sales director Howard Jagger. "Only proper verification to ISO standards will ensure the code will perform in different supply chain conditions."

Logitrans, Stand F55
Danish manufacturer of material handling equipment, Logitrans A/S, will present a selection of the Logitrans products. Logitrans has a large dealer network in the UK, dealing with enquiries and orders from UK customers. The company says it offers solutions for all imaginable transport jobs and all handling needs of pallets, reels, drums, boxes etc. Erling Pedersen, president at Logitrans, invites visitors to stand F55, which Logitrans shares with Packline Materials Handling. On the stand visionary handling solutions and creative innovation will be highlighted - and Pedersen promises visitors will leave the stand with new ideas and options: "We want to show our visitors that we have the answers and solutions for even the most special handling situation".

Lafert, Stand A43
Hose-down tolerant, smooth-bodied stainless-steel motors will be exhibited by Lafert. The company's 'Marlin' AC stainless motors are IP66 rated and are suitable for hygiene sensitive applications; proof of these qualities will be demonstrated by a continuous hose-down demonstration on the stand. Exhibits will also feature examples of Lafert's high performance servomotors, single/three phase motors and brake motors, plus various custom-engineered motors. Lafert says its Marlin stainless-steel AC motors are IEC-dimensioned, smooth bodied machines that can be supplied with compatible stainless-steel gearboxes. Applications cover those that require motors in hygiene-sensitive processes and finishes can be to 0.5RA.

Chronos BTH, Stand D70
Chronos BTH, which says it's known for its customised and innovative weighing, bagging, baling, palletising and load securing solutions, offers manual, semi-automatic, fully automated or turnkey solutions for bagging bulk materials in the food industry. It says its bagging portfolio includes open-mouth bagging systems, horizontal and vertical FFS systems and filling systems for flexible and rigid containers. The Chronos BTH stand will feature graphic and video displays to illustrate its product portfolio and this will include: bagging, process and bulk weighers, open-mouth and FFS bagging lines, robot, gantry, compact and high speed palletisers, and stretch hood load securing technology. Members of the company's Customer Care team will be on hand to discuss maintenance and spare parts requirements.

ABB, Stand C62
ABB will exhibit its latest processing and packaging equipment, including motion control solutions for product labelling. The stand will feature various live demonstrations of ABB equipment, including its smallest-ever multipurpose robot, the compact and lightweight, six-axis, IRB 120. Suitable for pick-and-place applications, the IRB 120 is available as an ISO 5 (Class 100) cleanroom version. ABB's new small robot ''offers the functionality and expertise of the ABB range in a much smaller package,'' the company says, helping reduce the footprint of robotic cells. Its size, combined with its lightweight design makes the IRB 120 a cost-effective and reliable choice for generating high production outputs in return for a minimal investment. The stand will also feature live demonstrations of ABB's motion control solutions for product labelling. Visitors can discover how labels are automatically affixed to a product using ABB's MINT programming language.

AutoCoding Systems, Stand C62
AutoCoding Systems, specialist systems integrator, will demonstrate its range of packaging line automation solutions. Visit its stand to see how the AutoCoding system sets up and controls various packaging line devices, irrespective of manufacturer, including coding and labelling equipment, barcode scanners, checkweighing and metal detection equipment and vision solutions. Incorrectly coded or packaging goods can result in not only financial losses, but product and packaging waste, as well as the less tangible damage it may cause to a company's reputation. The AutoCoding system is said to reduce downtime across packaging lines and eliminate risk of human error, and it combines proactive systems to maximise the opportunity to get things "right first time" by managing the deployment of coding data and the checking of packaging issued to the line before its use. 

SICK UK, Stand A50
Difficult shapes, flat or transparent objects previously defied reliable detection but can now be seen clearly with sensing solutions launched by Sick UK at the show. Sick has developed the MultiLine sensor to ensure a stable and continuous detection signal from the leading to the trailing edge of a product, even when surfaces are glossy, flat, or contoured. The MultiLine's twin light-beam technology detects low profile, uneven or glossy product surfaces for example, vacuum foil coffee packs, wrapped chocolate bars or soup sachets. The sensor's design reduces the risk of machine downtime by eliminating false signals, leading to improved productivity. In a show special, visitors to the stand are being offered a free Inspector vision sensor, or a free first annual support contract for any new SICK Inspector SystemsPlus installation and support package initiated at the show. Sick's Commercial Goods team will be on the stand to demonstrate solutions for packaging quality control using the Inspector for code and cap detection and the JEF 1D and 2D laser measurement device for box complete verification. Sick's advanced labelling technology solutions will also be showcased, including the slim WFS fork sensor for detecting label presence, the KT3 for compact and precise mark detection and the ML20 markless sensor which eliminates the need for a registration mark to be printed on packaging. 

Advanced Dynamics, Stand D31
A full range of 'Pack Leader Labelling' machines will be on display, ranging from the Table top ELF50 and ELF20 side wrap and top wrap systems to the high speed PPRO 625 suitable for front and back and side wrap applications for glass, plastic and complex shaped bottles and tubs. To compliment this range, the company will exhibit the Matrix high specification applicator used for exacting applications and owing to its small size is suitable for mounting onto flow-wrap machines to apply labels onto the film rather than onto the pack where this isn't possible. Köra-Packmat leaflet and booklet feeders will also be on show including the entry level EasyFeeder and the high specification AdvancedFeeder.

AMS, Stand H50
AMS supplies desktop colour label printers, offering solutions from manufacturers. Although primarily specialising in mailing equipment, AMS has expanded into the label and packaging market since it introduced its first desktop, short-run digital colour label printer in 2011, the latest of which will be launched at the show. Colour label printing has become an integral part of many businesses' in-house packaging production process and with new technology such as large colour touchscreen interfaces and Memjet print heads, customers and dealers alike can't recommend AMS enough. The company's range of packaging equipment also includes shrink-wrapping and poly bagging for lower volume users. 

CPA Engineered Solutions, Stand G31
CPA Engineered Solutions manufactures Enershield energy saving air barriers which use an accurate flow of high volume, high speed air to create up to a 90% seal over an opening, creating a "virtual doorway" that people and vehicles can still pass through. By creating an environmental separation, the new technology keeps warm air in and cold air out (or vice-versa) and prevents the transfer of dust, fumes, insects, smoke, and odours. Steril-Aire high power, high efficiency UVC germicidal emitters are installed in HVAC systems killing nearly all mould, bacteria and viruses which grow on cooling coils and drip trays.

Kecol Pumping Systems, Stand E41
Kecol Pumping Systems designs and manufactures piston pumps and pumping systems for the transfer of high viscosity products from 200 litre drums, IBC's, process vessels, planetary mixing vessels and similar containers. The company has two new items on display at this year's show. Visitors will able to take a close look at the new "One Shot" system - piston pumps which provide a measured volume of material. Kecol can now offer a system to deliver an accurate dose for filling, batching and other application where a predetermined volume is required. In addition, the Spring Free Air Motor is a new design, featuring improved reciprocating air motors to provide a smoother change of direction. By removing the springs that reset the pilot valves, Kecol has improved the reliability of the mechanical linkage used to achieve this.

RA Rodriguez UK, Stand D72
The RA Rodriguez IEF Werner linear motion programme provides the basis for various applications in the processing and packaging sectors. All elements are designed to be freely combined enabling single or multi-axis systems to be created simply and quickly. Also at the show will be the Universal Robot robotic arm; as well as a new model. Both Universal Robot arms are suitable where traditional robots are considered to be too large, expensive, noisy or not sufficiently flexible. Both are entry level automation devices that provide six axes of movement and operate from a standard 240V supply. A graphical user interface guides the user through the set up process.

Systech Illinois, Stand F50
Systech Illinois exhibits its range of permeation analysers and headspace gas analysers at the show. The company manufactures a range of permeation analysers and headspace analysers for the packaging industry. Systech's oxygen permeation and water vapour permeation analysers are suitable for testing packaging film, finished package and PET bottles. Its oxygen and carbon dioxide headspace analysers offer gas analysis of gas flushed food packages and headspace analysis; these analysers can be used effectively with packages of all sizes with portable and waterproof versions available.

Festo, Stand B72
Festo will display what it describes as exciting development concepts in handling and positioning at the show. In addition, Festo Training & Consulting will sponsor the show's 'The Ones to Watch' awards and visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to meet Festo food and beverage specialists, who will be on hand to discuss automation challenges in the food and packaging industry. Each year Festo invests more than 8.5% of turnover in R&D and the company is working with leading research and educational establishments looking to nature for inspiration on improving productivity in automation. The company's new advanced handing and kinematic robot systems are suitable for the food and beverage sector.
Nature shows in various ways how maximum performance can be achieved with minimum energy consumption. By transferring these principles to the development of new technological methods and innovation processes, engineers can better understand how automation systems can be more efficient. 

Open Date Equipment, Stand A45
The centrepiece of the Open Date Equipment stand at this year's show will be the latest version of its Thermocode iQ thermal transfer printer, which includes several added features as standard. Launched in 2010, the iQ has been under continuous development. Gary Cowlard, CEO of Open Date comments, "There has been a great deal of interest in the iQ and now our own Editor software package has been added to provide even more features for the customer without extra cost." Also featured will be the company's established Thermocode series of continuous and intermittent thermal printers, as well as the AutoPilot high resolution inkjet printing system, from Squid Ink Manufacturing of Minnesota. Full details of Open Date's extensive range of hot foil coding equipment will be available, in particular the E-Coder, suited to overprint batch and lot numbers, expiry dates, use by dates and prices onto flexible materials - including films, labels and cartons.

Lock Inspection Systems, Stand A53
Throughout the show, Lock will run regular free educational presentations from its stand to help food manufacturers and retailers better understand the new BRC 6 requirements relating to foreign body control and accountability. Lock will launch two metal detection systems to help manufacturers achieve greater product integrity throughout the production process. The first, its new Insight PH Gravity Fall metal detection system, aims to empower manufacturers seeking to achieve greater product integrity during the process. The second is Lock's BottleChek metal detection system, which, with its software for quick product set-ups and higher traceability levels, inspects bottles of tablets and capsules at the end of the packaging line for unwanted metallic particles. It is said to be the only system on the market to incorporate Lock's OPTIX detector management software and signature DDS (Direct Digital Signal) vector image display.

Endoline Machinery, Stand D30
This year's show will see the launch of a new generation of Tray Erector by these end-of-line machinery specialists. Driven by the increasing demand for end of line machines built to a smaller footprint the erector is up to 30% more compact than the company's current tray erector - with an output speed of up to 1,800 trays per hour. To meet the growing footprint constraints faced by manufacturers Endoline has engineered the erector into a vertical format, which allows for the simple loading of an extended hopper. Suitable for retail ready packaging applications, the erector can be integrated into an automatic line with tray loader/shrink wrapper, for a shelf-ready transit pack or it can be used as a standalone unit for manual tray packing.

Pacepacker Services, Stand C70
Pacepacker will showcase a range of its new tray packing, bagging and palletising solutions at the PPMA. The FlexaPac system - a patented tray and crate packing solution for delicate netted fruits, vegetables and other foods which achieves throughput in excess of 60 packs per minute and eliminates waste - will demonstrate how this solution has overcome the traditionally labour intensive and waste prone process of packing netted delicate products into shelf-ready cartons, trays and crates. Another highlight of the Pacepacker stand will be the compact FANUC M-710iC six axis palletising robot with multi-purpose end effector. This palletiser is suitable for manufacturers with limited space and those looking to stack numerous product types, including trays, sacks and crates, without part changeover. Pacepacker's Sack Placer and Total Bag Control (TBC) system will conclude this year's line-up, which accurately seals difficult to handle sacks of bulk products and offers various optional mobility kits that allow the TBC system to work across multiple production lines.

Spiroflow Powder Handling & Processing Systems, Stand G16
Spiroflow is exhibiting its tubular drag conveyors, its tilting mobile flexible screw conveyor with adjustable height outlet, a bulk bag discharger and a bulk bag filler. The company designs, manufactures, installs and commissions conveying, weighing, blending, bulk bag (FIBC) filling and discharge equipment and systems for dry bulk solids, ingredients and additives.

Schubert, Stand C50
Schubert will display its new high-tech tube filling and closing machine; the line will demonstrate how tubes are automatically unpacked from the shipping cartons and moved onto a trans-module transport section, in a mass flow. The tubes are simultaneously aligned according to their printing marks, and transferred from the mass flow to a single row trans-module transport section. The tubes will be filled and closed using ultrasound. An eight position volumetric dosing station performs the filling. The TLM tube filling and closing line has an output of 200 tubes per minute, and at various configuration levels, up to 800 tubes can be filled and closed per minute. 

PFM Packaging, Stand C31
A continuous motion vertical form-fill-seal machine developed to give higher output for stand-up bags, increasingly used for direct on-shelf display of a range of food products, is being launched by Italian manufacturer PFM Packaging Machinery. "Growing interest in Europe in display bags to replace rigid packaging, so reducing packaging weight and pack footprint, has driven demand for faster and more productive machinery," says PFM sales and operations director Chris Bolton. "PFM's response has been to develop the new PFM Solaris, to give output 50-100 per cent higher than existing machinery." Capable of producing 120 block bottom bags or 120 PFM Steelo four-side-seal packs a minute, the new Solaris is equipped with a new design of lightweight, long dwell box motion sealing jaw able to reciprocate at elevated speeds without risk of vibration."

Matcon, Stand D40
Matcon says it will be on hand to help revolutionise its clients' powder processes and packing operations by applying lean solutions. The company is also delighted to support the first collaborative conference between Campden BRI and the PPMA, on 18 October 2012 at the Campden BRI. The main topic of the conference is "Improving efficiency in food manufacturing", bringing together equipment manufacturers and suppliers with the food industry to address the growing demand of the industry and its customers. A pre-conference informal evening reception will be held at Matcon's new global headquarters on 17 October 2012. Delegates will have the opportunity to network with industry colleagues and view demonstrations of Matcon's powder handling equipment in their pilot production and test facility.
For more information on this event including full programme, presenters and registration details, visit

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