Finally, a real trade show with real people!
We visited PPMA at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK on Sep 29th, 2021 and were pleasantly surprised by the many visitors.
Next to the bag checking people, there were now also a few people checking our vaccination status. This was expected and had been communicated by the show organisers.
PPMA (Processing & Packaging Machinery) primarily targets the food sector with plenty of companies providing bulk food and pallet packaging machinery.
Note that STIQ's focus is on mobile robots and retail tech so plenty of the food packaging machinery is not covered here. Visit PPMA's website for more information on exhibitors https://www.ppmashow.co.uk/
Quite a lot of visitors.
An interesting development that we have also seen in AI stores ("Amazon Go", etc.) has now been adapted for use in industrial applications. Mettler Toledo had developed a pick-to-light shelf solution that weighs the totes to ensure inventory accuracy and that pickers actually take the right products.
This type of cross fertilization of ideas is something STIQ thinks there should be more of in the world.
There were a few pallet handling solutions on the show.
Robotize (Denmark) have been busy partnering with various companies and had the only AMR on show.
Since Soft Robotics (US) stormed the market with their soft picking implement, a number of other companies have also released similar products. However, a company like piab (Sweden) have been active in soft implements for a long time already so the question might be which company was first with what.
And of course, our vaccination status was confirmed.