9 FOOT HUMANOID ROBOTS, 24c GOLD PLATED SKULLS & MICHAEL PORTILO!!!
I knew that would get your attention – I didn’t think it would be that easy to make the Process and Packaging Machinery Show 2014 sound exciting but I think I’ve cracked it!
Held every year at the NEC since, it would seem, Da Vinci was inventing the robot (he really did, see here), the PPMA Show brings together manufacturers and suppliers from all over the world to hawk their wares.
Walking around the vast halls at the NEC, it becomes clear that there is little we use in everyday life that hasn’t been through/on/in/under some of these amazing, mesmerising machines. Exhibited at the show were machines involved in the actual production and manufacturing process for the food industry, through to intelligent picking and packing machines – many of which incorporated some form of robotic arm operating at a precision and speed that no human could ever reach (and almost exclusively supplied by either Fanuc or Kuka, the 2 giants of the robotics industry)
Many of these companies operate globally and it seems the real wizards are based in Germany and Italy – 2 nations that have a long history in quality machinery manufacturing. One thing every single exhibitor had in common – they all either directly or indirectly use translation. With such a global client base, quality translation is a must – websites, technical manuals and even the software used to programme the equipment have to be localised into multiple languages before anyone can even find out where the ‘GO’ button is.
The show is extremely well respected in the industry and always well attended. Most of the people that I spoke to were on their 9th or 10th year and see it as an absolute must every time. One particular Yorkshire firm told me that their sales enquiries actually dry up the month before as their customers fully expect to be seeing them at PPMA, and when they are done, they work round the clock straight through to Christmas just to get through the leads picked up at the show – a very nice problem to have I’m sure you’ll agree.
The whole show was covered by TV’s very own Michael Portilo, whose exhibitor interviews were fed live to screens all over the building to add a bit of glam to the proceedings.
For me, it was a great chance to catch up with some existing clients face to face, and make a few new and interesting contacts along the way. PPMA spared no expense with the show and I’m looking forward to what new technologies next year’s show will bring!