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To automate is to innovate

14 February 2024

BARA chair George Thompson on the the PPMA Group of Associations rebrand to AutomateUK

FROM 1 December 2023 I am pleased to announce that the PPMA Group of Associations has rebranded to AutomateUK. Don’t worry, PPMA, BARA and UKIVA will continue to be important divisions of the new AutomateUK. Each Association will be represented, BARA and UKIVA by their committees, and PPMA by a newly formed innovation panel, providing sector specific insight to our group leadership.

PPMA (Processing and Packaging Machinery Association) was established in 1987 as the UK’s trade association for suppliers of processing and packaging machinery to both the domestic and overseas markets. BARA (British Automation & Robot Association) and UKIVA (UK Industrial Vision Association) joined forces with PPMA in 2009.

For those who aren’t aware, UKIVA promotes the use of image processing technology throughout UK industry. In a nutshell, they help Automation to be able to see. Each of us play an essential role in representing our members and providing essential information to those who are looking to start their journeys within those respective fields. 

Expertise overlap

The trouble is, there are huge areas of overlap between the three organisations’ areas of expertise. There are times when end users will need advice from within each organisation, so where do you start. I am biased, and always suggest that BARA would be a good starting point, which of course would be highly contested by both PPMA and UKIVA. As a group of associations, we have recognised this issue and, well, we had a plan…

This plan has enabled us to take direct action and change to AutomateUK, simply put, Automation is at the heart of everything that we do, and at the heart of everything that our members do as well. That is why we have put Automation front and centre of our new branding.

The PPMA Show will continue at the NEC on 24 – 26 September 2024, just with a bit of a facelift. The new branding of AutomateUK instead of PPMA being the obvious change.  AutomationUK and the Machine Vision Conference, which are co-located events at the Coventry Building Society Arena in Coventry on 18 - 19 June 2024 will also continue; however, they will be reflecting the updated branding of BARA and UKIVA respectively.

So, what else will be changing I hear you ask?  Well, we are busy working on our new website and improving our Social Media presence to help end users find the information they need faster, and easier as well as directing them towards solutions that will help them solve the issues they are facing. We will also be lobbying and discussing issues that affect our industry with policymakers and influencers; highlighting the challenges that face our members and end users. We’ll advise on strategies that government and other regulatory bodies can utilise to help overcome these challenges. Helping to guide regulatory and technical issues for the benefit of everyone.

Defining voice

We will make our voice louder by using our existing channels, having a greater presence throughout traditional media platforms as well as social media and through new innovations such as the UK Automation Forum. Rest assured that AutomateUK will continue to be a defining voice, not only for our members, but for the automation and manufacturing industries as a whole.

If you would like to start your automation journey, but don’t know where to start – I would highly recommend visiting the AutomateUK website which will be able to guide you and give some initial information. Whilst you are there, why not register for our next webinar. You could also watch some of our previous webinars again as there is likely to be just the information you have been searching for contained within the discussions. Remember, to automate is to innovate.