93rd SPA Conference Review - 12th June 2017

14th June 2017

Review of 93rd Conference – Monday 12th June 2017

AGM – Tim Gray, Chairman of SPA

Tim gave a recap of the last 12 months activities and expenditure, together with a Business Plan and budget going forwards.  The accounts were approved by the SPA members.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website:  https://www.sheetplantassociation.com/latest-presentation

Become a Print Champion – Getting better print from your existing Flexo Presse - Steve Ferbrache, Pamarco Global

Steve outlined some of the issues that people have with the cleanliness of their printer and also with rubber rollers, the dual blade chamber system, doctor blade angle and blade pressure.  He went on to outline some possible solutions to these issues including drying, infrared, water based inks, UV curing, UV coatings, UV-led anilox and combination printing.

Steve then outlined high level solutions from Kodak, Mander mid printing solutions and Nyloflex Digital – all of whom base their solutions around the use of a flat topped dot.

Steve then listed a number of points to consider before you print, i.e. Anilox, ink, substrate, plate material, metering systems, curing & drying.  There was a warning that “For the future, there is a digital steam train coming towards us all with the ability to take away a lot of work from Sheet Plants – Digital Printers !  Steve’s view of the future is that there will be a hybrid printing system, Flexo printing and digital combined.”

It is the SPA’s intention to turn Flexo Printing into an initiative for the SPA – the offering will be a logical approach to checking everything on your machines – the SPA will run a course for those who will become a “Print Champion” and then be able to take that expertise back to their Sheet Plant colleagues.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

R&D Tax Relief Update - Adam Kene, Ayming UK

Ayming have now worked with 65% of SPA members.  Over £4Million of relief has been gained for members.  Adam listed a few examples where R&D Tax Relief can be applied – Engineering work on a machine to increase its speed, efficiency, capacity, capability or functionality – some areas of Packaging Design - Applying some of the Flexo process improvements could be included.  For SPA Supplier members, software, paints, glues, adhesives.conveyor systems, electrical controls, components, machinery manufacture, protective material can all be considered.  Other opportunities also exist through Ayming in the areas of research and development allowances, patent box, EU funding grant.  Questions from the floor touched on the impact of Brexit, domestic incentive scheme, standalone economy, end of austerity, a global view.  Ayming work on a finders fee, with a special consultancy rates for SPA members having been agreed.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

Later Stage Ambition, Ian Grimley, Roxburgh Milkins

This presentation focussed on help with buying and selling your company.  Roxburgh Milkins help people prepare plans to sell their business, plan how to exit in next 5-10 years. Retirement planning advice, corporate finance, business planning, remuneration and non exec directors.  There will be a workshop at next conference, slightly off line from the main conference, possibly on Tuesday morning.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

Tim Gray then read out a personal email he had sent to all Sheet Plants not booked to attend the SPA and reiterated that the Committee continues to work very hard to get more converter members at conference.  This led on to a brief update from Neil Osment of NOA regarding the recent Member Conference Agenda Survey which was sent to all SPA members.  The highlights were:

•    40% of members try to make it to 3 meetings each year
•    Main topics of interest to people for future agendas were:  Srategy, Printing,  Automation, Mentoring and Coaching, Operational Leadership. 
•    Survey respondents were very keen to do a joint trade show with FESPA.
•    Conference location - 80% want a conference at a sheet plant, secondly at a supplier site. Other suggestions included The House of Commons, a brand owner site
•    Respondents asked for a sheet feeder and also an integrated plant to come and speak to the Association

Supplier Spotlight - Gordian Strapping. Strap it, Wrap it, Hood it

Gordian Strapping supply Strappers, Stretch Wrappers, Stretch / Shrink Hooders and Case Erectors and Closers.  To celebrate the company’s 80th birthday, there is a special SPA member offer – see the presentation for details.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

Supplier of the Year Award

And the winner is … Board 24

Post Election UK Economic Prospects – Dan Aylward, Vivid Economics

Dan’s presentation focussed on the economic backdrop for the UK, complications of being outside the EU, significance of the election result.  Interesting questions handled from the floor included the topics of fracking, 3rd runway, HS2, services exported to Europe, UK stock exchange and banking services, Trump and US, salvation for Teresa May, Brexit negotiations.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

Corrugated Industry Update, Neil Osment, NOA

Neil’s presentation focussed on International corrugated scene, UK corrugated market, Retail Trends / Innovation and Prospects fro corrugated in the UK.  Neil concluded that the drive and increase of ecommerce has had an amazing effect on corrugated industry in U.K.  Also, Shelf Ready Packaging for processed foods has been great for the marketplace.  Corrugated has fared better than other industries and NOA hear that sheet feeding production is up 5% since the start of the year. Commentary including US, Europe and U.K. Elements affecting corrugated packaging output.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

Employment Law Update - Luke Menzies, Menzies Law

Luke is an owner of his own business, so has a deep understanding of hiring, firing and all employment issues and opportunities that sheet plants will come up against.  Employment law is always developing, so please do take a look at and use the new employment law documentation on the SPA website. The overriding message regarding Brexit and your workers is do nothing differently to how you have been in order to avoid tribunals and prejudice claims based on workers nationality.  Lot of information regarding self-employed working, equal pay within your organisation, enhanced maternity pay vs shared parental leave - 30000 women a year are sacked within 3 months of announcing pregnancy.  There are many more female employment lawyers and employment tribunal judges in the last few years.  Post termination restrictions, have you got them tied down / watertight ? Use the SPA hotline for free advice on any of these topics.  The full presentation is available for viewing on the SPA website here.

Luke’s presentation ended the formal conference agenda and was followed by a drinks reception sponsored by The Crown Plaza Hotel and then a sunny cruise down the river Avon and dinner.