Machinery aplenty

Last week I travelled to Birmingham, UK to visit the PPMA Show, the UK’s largest processing and packaging machinery exhibition. Taking place 30 September-2 October at the NEC and promising more than 300 exhibitors and in excess of 8,000 visitors, I was in for a busy few days!

The latest technology – from machinery, industrial robot and automation technology to the latest machine vision solutions were all on show, with many companies using the show to launch new products and services, such as the new linear weighing and bagging machine collaboration from Automated Packaging Systems and Cotsworld Mechanical. Visitors were the first to see the product, which retains all the core benefits of an Automated Packaging Systems bagger including increased flexibility, reduced labour requirements and significantly greater efficiency, as well as the additional benefit of accurate in-line weighing. Live on-stand demonstrations gave packers the chance to see how the new weigh and pack system can boost bagging rates and reduce give away.

End of line automation specialist Endoline Machinery also used the show to launch its latest Smart machines. Addressing the need for packing speed and flexibility, the show saw the UK debut of the 744 Fully Automatic Random Case Sealer, believed to be the fastest of its type in the world.

Packaging machinery manufacturer Kliklok International had more than one reason to celebrate at the show; not only did it launch its new Certiwrap Elite wraparound cartoning system – which is designed to handle more complex meal trays, tubs or pot shapes individually, in multi-packs or layered – but the company also revealed its new brand strategy and logo as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Other companies with something new to shout about included Loma Systems, which unveiled its CW3 Compact Combination Checkweighing and Metal Detection unit designed to offer up to 30% smaller footprint than similar machines; and automation specialist Omron, which debuted new vision and sensing products.

Other highlights included the PPMA Awards dinner on the Tuesday night – congratulations to all of the finalists and winners – and the PPMA robot which wandered the aisles making conversation with (rather surprised) people.

Thanks to everyone who visited our stand during the show and to everyone who attended the seminar hosted by Food & Drink Technology on the Wednesday afternoon – I will touch more on this in next week’s blog.

A very busy, but incredibly productive, few days indeed! Roll on PPMA 2015…

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