Innovation, automation and skills gap at the forefront of PPMA Show 2015 Seminar Programme

The PPMA Show 2015 will play host to an extensive seminar programme at this year’s show with visitors invited to join the likes of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Nestle, PepsiCo and Siemens who will speak about the latest industry trends and hottest issues impacting processing and packaging professionals.

Headlining the 2015 seminar programme, former Sainsbury’s CEO and leading figure in the FMCG and Grocery retailing sectors, Justin King CBE will discuss the future of multiple retailers, how the growing market shares of discount retailers will impact the supply chain and how the continued emergence of supermarket convenience outlets is shaping the market.

Demonstrating the future trends in manufacturing

Reflecting one of the key themes of the 2015 exhibition, Rich Walker, Managing Director for Shadow Robot Company, will take to the stage to highlight future uses of robotics including the innovative ‘Moley robotic kitchen’ – capable of cooking chef quality meals in a normal kitchen.

Speaking about the future of robotics in the manufacturing industry, Rich Walker said:

“The influence that robotics could have on the industry could potentially rip up way in which the supply chain currently operates and totally rebuild it. We have all of the tricks and toys necessary to offer an increased level of automation across the industry. By speaking at the PPMA, I’m looking forward to speaking with industry professionals about how robotics can benefit their businesses and offer solutions to problems they’re currently experiencing on their production lines.”

Mike Crosby, Finance Director for Burts Potato Chips also joins the line-up to discuss how food manufacturers can increase profitability through technological investment. Speaking about his appearance, Mike said, “At Burts Chips, we recognise that continued investment in new technology and the factory is essential to continue the path of growth and enable us to innovate the competitive snacks sector. We look forward to sharing our insight and experience with visitors at the show.”

Additional speakers confirmed for the 2015 exhibition include Keith Thornhill, Business Manager for Food & Beverage at Siemens who will present the case for technology and data analytics for the digital factory of the future. Keith will be joined by Peter Evans, Compliance Engineer at the CE Marking Association who will discuss the CE mark while Chris Hurst, Head of Compliance & Operational Engineering at GlaxoSmithKline will explore overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Also set to speak at the show, Andrew Manly, Communications Director for the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) will reveal the industry’s latest packaging technologies.

Manufacturing skills gap under the spotlight

In addition to the latest technological innovations, the seminar sessions will offer insight into the opportunities for a successful career in engineering. Leading the discussion, Sam Kelly, Electrical Engineering Apprentice for PepsiCo and Hannah Whall, Graduate Project Engineer for Nestlé will share their thoughts on what the industry can do to inspire a new generation of engineers.

Speaking about the importance of combating the skills gap, Hannah Whall said ‘I’m looking forward to speaking at the PPMA Show to help raise awareness of the opportunities that the FMCG sector has for young and prospective engineers. I hope to be able to answer questions and offer advice to those thinking about starting a career in the manufacturing industry.”

For visitors at the NEC in September, the seminar programme will also explore the current economic climate in the UK with Rhys Herbert, Senior Economist at Lloyds Banking Group revealing what’s in store for the manufacturing sector and how the UK economy is shaping up against its competitors. Lloyds Banking Group will also be returning as the headline sponsor for the 2015 show, highlighting the company’s confidence in UK manufacturing and in particular, Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking about the seminar line-up, Grant Collier, head of marketing for the PPMA Group, said: “This year’s seminar programme really is an exciting line-up, with a diverse array of high calibre speakers, which we believe visitors and exhibitors alike will find of great interest. We can’t wait to return to the NEC and welcome our members and non-members to join us and discover the latest industry trends all under one roof.”

Completing the bumper seminar line-up at the 2015 show, Winani Chiwowa of Trade Kings based in Zambia and Mike Davies of Iceland Manufacturing will compare and contrast the adoption of disruptive technologies in Africa and the UK to improve food production. Also, Andrew Jones of RG Luma Group will explore solutions to the challenges faced when integrating robots with vision systems such as assembly and product presentation.

The full seminar schedule is now available online, including speakers from Campden BRI, Be4ward Ltd and Portalis Limited. Please visit to read more about the speakers and the topics set to be discussed at the show in September.

To register your attendance at the show please visit: For more information on the PPMA Show 2015, please visit or join the conversation on twitter (@PPMAshow #PPMAShow or the PPMA Show LinkedIn group.)

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