82nd Conference Report

The November 2013 conference (which was held at The Belfry) was very well attended; with 104 delegates from 67 organisations. Indeed, the SPA continues to grow strongly, with the following new member organisations having joined in the run-up to this conference:

  • Item Products
  • Smart Packaging
  • Mayr-Melnhof Cartonboard Ltd
  • Pride Pak Packaging
  • Seyfert Corrugated Western Cape
  • Onesys

As ever, conference started with our First Timers’ Reception, which gave newcomers an opportunity for the following to be welcomed by and meet the Executive Council:

  • Graham Wallder, Arnd Van Heijnsbergen and Mike Houlston of Mayr-Melnhof
  • David Holt of Item Products
  • Jon Atherton of Antonine Inks, who are considering joining the SPA
  • Phil Davidson of P3 Sustainable Management Solutions, who are also considering joining the SPA
  • Carl & Angela Pender of Advanced Packaging, who have since joined the SPA
  • Steve Sullivan of Reprographic Systems, who are considering joining the SPA
  • Paul Campbell of the Flint Group, who are considering joining the SPA
  • Laurie Pottage of Onesys
  • Christopher Lawson of London Fancy Box
  • Paul Thomas of Dairi-Pak

Chairman, Tim Gray opened the conference and gave an overview of the agenda. This report gives a summary of each speaker’s contribution. Their conference presentations are available to download for members from the SPA website.

Tim then handed over to Tom Hooper of KPMG, who gave a rather optimistic economic update. The KPMG view is that the UK economy has turned a corner and is beginning to sustainably grow, albeit there are some potential headwinds that we need to be wary of.

As ever, Tom was followed by Raj Bhardwaj of Consult It All, who gave an update on the containerboard and corrugated market. With recycled containerboard inventories tight throughout Europe, the differing strategies of market players were examined. Raj also reflected on the likely impact of mooted new sheet feeding capacity in 2014.

Our Member’s Spotlight saw GWP Group give an overview of their business, which has a surprising breadth and depth. As well as a conventional corrugated sheet plant capability, GWP have divisions that offer: composite packaging; Correx; anti-static packaging and coated packaging.

Our Suppliers’ Spotlight gave an opportunity for Item Products (who design and produce components for the corrugated board and Correx industries) and Arden Software (who produce CAD software) to give an overview of their respective businesses.

Daniel Lee, Senior Economist at the CBI, shared the results of his organisation’s Industrial Trends Survey. He painted a picture of an economic recovery that is broad-based across regions and sectors. All the same, Daniel noted that business confidence remains shaky and that firms are still hesitant about investment, on the whole.

Ian Grimley of Roxburgh Milkins LLP gave an overview of the SPA’s new (somewhat shorter) Terms and Conditions of Sale. These are available to download for members on the SPA website. N.B. Members can now access a Contract Law Hotline to Roxburgh Milkins LLP for quick queries, similar to the Telephone Hotline for Employment Law and Health & Safety.

Next Neil Osment of NOA shared the results of the SPA Telephone Survey, which had three objectives:

  • 1. A recruitment drive to encourage new SPA members. This went well, with four sheet plants already signed up and a further three attending the November conference on a ‘try before you buy’ basis. A further 21 have expressed an interest in joining at some point.
  • 2. Conduct a survey of business issues for non-SPA Sheet Plants. Not surprisingly in the current climate, price of raw materials and sales were the major concerns highlighted
  • 3. Survey of existing members – how is the SPA doing? A quick snapshot - 95% of members reported that they attended at least one conference each year, with 24% attending all three. 24% of Members reported using professional advice and support and 15% of the surveyed members found the health & safety guidelines very useful. (Full Survey Results can be viewed and downloaded from the website)

The top five conference agenda items were reported as:

  • 1. The market update on the corrugated industry was reported as extremely important by 32%.
  • 2. The opportunity to network was reported as extremely valuable by 29% of survey respondents.
  • 3. The employment law update was reported as extremely valuable by 26%.
  • 4. Details of new legislation were reported as extremely valuable by 24%.
  • 5. The economic outlook was reported as extremely valuable by 20%.

Andy Barnetson then gave an update on the CPI Promotional Committee’s activities:

  • Conventional media will continue to run and proves effective across key titles.
  • Social media is also successful and opens new opportunities.
  • The Paperworks programme is up and running and the CPI urges members to make contact with your their school.
  • Packaging News features continue…and the CPI is looking for the SPA to contribute in 2014.

Andy Ely of TUV then gave his characteristically entertaining (but serious) update on Health and Safety. As ever there was a wealth of detail and members are urged to download this key presentation from the SPA website to ensure that health and safety advice is disseminated within their businesses.

Chairman, Tim Gray gave an overview of the improvements on the SPA’s website functionality:

  • An Industry news portal.
  • The ability to book onto future events online.
  • The ability to Private Message, email or skype other SPA members.
  • Members’ quick links to a wealth of information (including downloading all presentations).

Adam Kene of Alma Consulting Group gave a review of how members can benefit from and claim R&D Tax Credits. In summary, as most box plants innovate through packaging design, there is surprising scope here for mitigating corporation tax.

Raj Bhardwaj of Consult It All gave an overview of the proposed SPA Trade Show to take place on the 10th and 11th of March 2014 at St. Georges Park in Burton-on-Trent. The SPA anticipates 36 exhibitors’ booths and circa 200 delegates in attendance. As per the 2013 Trade Show, the conference will be nested into the exhibition to help ensure that delegates get optimal value from the two days. The diagram below outlines the Trade Show layout:

Alan Millar of Consult It All gave an overview of the SPA’s new Lean Manufacturing initiative, which entails:

  • An initial one-day SPA-sponsored Operational Assessment.
  • A Focus on the foundations of the Lean Temple.
  • Coaching candidates in using appropriate Lean tools and techniques, setting the infrastructure for improvement and beginning to shape a Lean culture.

Alan also gave a half-day Lean seminar on the Tuesday morning. This gave an outline of the proposed course content for the SPA Lean Programme – which is detailed in the following table:

 

SPA LEAN PROGRAMME

Training

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Total Man Days

Introductory Lean seminar at SPA Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Lean Seminars

Performance Management and OEE

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

SMED and 5S

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

1

Machine Maintenance, Analysing downtime and Micro-stops

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

Run Standards and Speeds

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

Continuous Improvement / Problem Solving Techniques and Tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

Review and embedding Lean Manufacturing into your business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

On-site Consultancy Support

 

 

1

1

1

1

1

1

6

On-site Consultancy Support (paid for by SPA)

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

TOTAL MAN DAYS

 

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

13

 

This Lean Manufacturing programme is a fixed cost SPA initiative which is subsidised by the SPA and can attract Growth Accelerator funding. Please contact the SPA Office if you wish to enrol on the programme.

The Conference was closed with a reminder to all Supplier and Converter Members to book early for the upcoming Trade Show & Conference in March as it is likely to be over subscribed...

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