The PPMA Group of Associations annual awards recognise innovation, smart manufacturing, entrepreneurship and collaboration in the processing and packaging machinery industry. The event at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham was hosted by stand-up comedian Stewart Francis and Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen.

Last year, more than 400 people from the manufacturing industry gathered to hear who would be crowned the winners by an independent panel of 10 esteemed industry experts, and who would be recognised as highly commended in each of the 11 categories, including Innovative Robotic Machinery, Partnership of the Year and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award.
Celebrating 30 years and encouraging innovation.


Opening the awards, Mark Williamson, Chairman of the PPMA Group of Associations spoke about the association’s 30th anniversary and the ongoing developments to provide ‘further advances for all its 500 plus member companies in the coming twelve months.’ Williamson added: “No one can deny that change is happening in the world, and we are developing the PPMA to reflect this changing business environment. Whether it is Brexit, Industry 4.0, cyber security or the growth of digital platforms, we are developing plans for roll-out in 2018. We will be modernising the way we do things to stay relevant in today’s business world.”

Williamson also announced the return of the UKIVA Machine Vision Conference, to be held at the MK Arena in Milton Keynes on 16 May 2018. He was joined by PPMA Group of Associations CEO, Dr. Andrew Mint who recognised the changing tides of the PPMA returning to an association that is run by its members, for its members and the efforts of its charity, PPMA BEST to attract new people to the industry.

“We all know that attracting new people to our industry is a challenge,” said Mint. “BEST is the PPMA’s charity which is designed to help you in this endeavour, by offering financial as well as practical support. One of our first events is a STEM day at the Museum of Science in Manchester this November. Nearly 150 school pupils are already confirmed to attend and we look forward to inspiring them to see how exciting our sector really is.”

Andrew encouraged attendees to find out more by visiting the PPMA BEST stand (B01) at the PPMA Show – the UK’s unmissable, free-to-attend processing and packaging machinery exhibition. “Once again, the PPMA Show 2017 will bring all corners of the industry together under one roof to network, discuss and explore technologies that can advance the production process across a wide range of sectors,” he added. “It presents an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their latest technologies to an audience of thousands plus benefit from unparalleled networking opportunities. We look forward to two more days of knowledge-sharing and innovation showcases at what is set to be our biggest show in 12 years.”

Recognising excellence: 2017 PPMA Award winners

The big winners of the night included Pacepacker Services and Russell Finex who both took home two awards each. Packpacker scooped the Innovative Packaging Machinery and Innovative Ancillary Equipment awards, while Russell Finex was recognised as Exporter of the Year and was the first company to be honoured in PPMA’s brand-new category, Environmental Initiative of the Year, for its adoption of green measures.

Russell Finex was selected for its Lean Manufacturing programme which includes a ‘paperless initiative, eco-friendly power sources and appliances such as solar panels, a wood pellet boiler, eco-certified air conditioning systems and LED lights. These measures have helped the business reduce energy consumption by 8% in the last 12 months, with solar energy alone expected to save the business in excess of £1 million over the next 20 years.

Commenting on its second win of the night, Ray Singh, Managing Director of Russell Finex said: “As we grow year on year we’re using more energy so it’s crucial that we are environmentally responsible. We also have plans to make this a global initiative, rolling it out across our locations in the USA, Belgium, India and China.
“We’re a proud member of the PPMA Group and so are over the moon to have won two awards. This is the second year in a row we’ve come away with Exporter of the Year, which is an area we have been focusing on in order to better service customers and reach new markets.”

Other notable winners included Jake Martin of Yorkshire Packaging Systems who scooped the Apprentice of the Year title for his ‘eager, committed, hard-working and excellent working attitude’. Individual accolades were also recognised in the Lifetime Achievement Award, identifying one manufacturing professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry. The recipient, David Norris of DC Norris, was honoured for his commitment and passion for the industry and quality manufacturing, helping to grow his company from ‘humble beginnings to the multi-million-pound global enterprise it is today.’

Speaking about his Lifetime Achievement Award, David Norris, said: “I’m lost for words; it’s unbelievable to have won this prestigious award after a lifetime in food processing machinery. But it also feels like the beginning for DC Norris – we still have more to conquer. And none of it would be possible without our fantastic team.”
A full list of the PPMA Group Industry Award winners and high commended businesses can be seen below:

Innovative Packaging Machinery – sponsored by Omron
-   Finalists:  Bradman Lake; Brillopak Ltd; Pacepacker Services; PFM Packaging Machinery; Tna Solutions; Linx Printing Technologies; Gebo Cermex and ULMA Packaging Ltd
-   Highly commended: PFM Packaging Machinery and Tna Solutions
-   Winner: Pacepacker Services.

Innovative Processing System – sponsored by Tna Solutions
-    Finalists: DC Norris & Company; Ishida; Loma Systems; Tapflo UK Ltd and Ytron-Quadro (UK) Ltd
-    Highly commended: Tapflo UK Ltd
-    Winner: Ishida Europe

Innovative Robotics Solution
-    Finalists: Brillopak Ltd; Ishida Europe; OAL and Tekpak
-    Highly commended: Brillopak
-    Winner: OAL

Innovative Vision Solution
-    Finalists: Acrovision; Altec GmbH\ FOBA Laser Marking + Engraving; ClearView Imaging; Industrial Vision Systems Ltd and Tekpak
-    Highly commended: Tekpak
-    Winner: Industrial Vision Systems

Innovative Ancillary Equipment
-  Finalists: SICK (UK) Ltd; Flexco; Simmatic Automation and Pacepacker Services
-  Highly commended: Flexco
-  Winner: Pacepacker Services

Exporter of the Year
-  Finalists: Endoline and Russell Finex
-  Highly commended: Endoline
-  Winner: Russell Finex

Exceptional Sales Performance
-   Finalists: Fortress Technology; Gordian Strapping Ltd; Grunwald UK; Riggs Autopack Ltd and ADSOL
-   Highly commended: Gordian Strapping Ltd
-   Winner: Riggs Autopack

Partnership of the Year
-   Finalists: Evolution BPS & MBF; ICS Cool Energy & LINPAC Packaging; Tekpak & Ilapak and Dimaco Ltd. & Starflex Packaging Europe Ltd.
-   Highly commended: Tekpak & Ilapak
-   Winner: Dimaco Ltd. & Starflex Packaging Europe Ltd.

Environmental Initiative of the Year – sponsored by Sutton Winson
-   Finalists: Dimaco; ICS Cool Energy; Trescal and Russell Finex
-   Highly commended: ICS Cool Energy
-   Winner: Russell Finex

Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by FESTO AG
-   Finalists: Gripple Automation Ltd- Joe Goldthorpe; Premier Labellers- Jordan Hynes; ADSOL UK- Matthew Johnson; Scorpion Vision Ltd- Josh; HepcoMotion- Tobias Cowan; Trescal UK - Sam Dilly and Yorkshire Packaging Systems Ltd - Jake Martin
-   Highly commended: Tobias Cowan of Hepco Motion
-   Winner: Jake Martin of Yorkshire Packaging Systems Ltd

Lifetime Achievement Award
-    David Norris of DC Norris


About the PPMA Group of Associations

The PPMA Group of Associations is the UK’s leading non-profit trade association comprising the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA), British Automation & Robot Association (BARA) and UK Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA). Its mission is to actively help its 500+ members through services, tools and initiatives to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Its PPMA Show and PPMA Total Show exhibitions are hailed as the UK’s unmissable, free-to-attend, processing and packaging machinery events and in 2017 it launched the first UKIVA Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition.
About the PPMA Show

The PPMA Show is the UK’s unmissable trade show for processing and packaging machinery. Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from 26-28 September 2017, the exhibition showcases the latest product innovations, attended by thousands of manufacturers of food, pharmaceuticals, toiletries and FMCG as well as contract packers and more.