It’s Time to Enter the Plastics Industry Awards 2017

Deadline for entries Friday 16th June

Entries have opened for this year’s Plastics Industry Awards (PIAs), which culminate in a glamorous black tie gala evening at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday 27 October. The deadline for award entries is 16 June 2017. Interested companies and individuals can submit entries at:

Now in their 17th year, the Plastics Industry Awards are organised and produced by Crain Communications and have been shortlisted in two categories in this year’s Awards Awards: Best Overall Awards Event over 500 attendees and Best Awards Event by a Publisher.

Companies and individuals including OEM manufacturers, suppliers, plastics processors, consultants, trainees and designers from across the plastics sector in the UK and Republic of Ireland are encouraged to enter in 15 different award categories.

Design awards include separate categories for the plastic consumer and industrial products of the year.

“Winning a PIA award is recognition from our peers and is, therefore, held in high esteem amongst the sectors and businesses we work,” said Matthew Conley, senior designer, HJC Design winners of Industrial Product Design of the Year in 2016. “The awards night is a great promotion for the business, which has led to several large commissions. The event itself is a wonderful night.”

Individual awards include Young Designer of the Year, Apprentice or Trainee of the Year and an Unsung Hero Award. The Young Designer of the Year will receive a £1,000 prize, donated by Motan Colortronic. The Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Award also carries a prize of £1,000 donated by the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA). For the Unsung Hero Award, organisations are invited to nominate a staff member who goes above and beyond the call of duty in their day-to-day work life.

“This award has helped to raise my profile both within the industry and in academic circles, helping me to build and develop my networks within the industry and inspire future students from my university,” said Lucy Hickling, product supervisor, at Plastribution and winner of Apprentice or Trainee of the Year 2016.

Environmental achievements are recognised in the best environmental or energy efficiency award and the best recycled plastic product category.

“The Plastics Industry Award has been great for raising the profile of our business with existing customers and target prospects,” said Mark Brazier, sales & marketing director of Counterplas Ltd, winner of Best Recycled Plastic Product in 2016. “It has also been a very positive experience for the whole Counterplas team.”

With teamwork so important in today’s plastic product manufacturing, there are also supplier partnership awards for prime and ancillary machinery, toolmakers and material suppliers. One of the most sought-after awards is the processor of the year trophy. Categories recognising industry innovation include best business initiative, best training and development programme and best technology application. In addition, judges will choose the winner of the prestigious personal contribution award.

Table bookings for the gala dinner and awards ceremony are now available. Tickets include a champagne reception, four-course dinner, celebrity awards presentation and after-show entertainment.

Sponsors of the Plastics Industry Awards 2017 include Engel UK (Processor of the Year); RJG Technologies (Best Training and Development Programme); Hasco (Supplier Partnership – Toolmaker); Distrupol (Industrial Product Design); Motan Colortonic (Young Designer of the Year); Sumitomo (SHI) Demag (Apprentice or Trainee of the Year); Fanuc (Best Environmental or Energy Efficiency Programme) and Meusburger (Best Business Initiative). The awards also enjoy the support of industry associations including the British Plastics Federation, British Industrial Design Association, RECOUP, GTMA and PMMDA.

For more information about the Plastics Industry Awards, visit:

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Eyejusters Triumphs as Triple Winner at Plastics Industry Awards 2016

Winners of the 2016 Plastics Industry Awards (PIAs) were revealed on Friday 30th September by Sports TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith in front of a Great Gatsby-themed audience of over 650 plastics industry professionals at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Award-winning entries included self-adjusting glasses, a teenagers’ suitcase, a pocketable sharps holder for diabetics, an intelligent hand dryer and a loft stilt made from recycled plastic.


Eyejusters affordable, innovative self-adjusting glasses that offer the possibility of clear vision for the first time to millions in the developing and developed world won no less than three awards in what are known as the Oscars of the UK plastics industry. It won the Best Business Initiative of the Year, while Fanuc UK won the Supplier Partnership – Prime Machinery Award for its work with Eyejusters and Hi-Tech Automation also scooped the Supplier Partnership – Ancillary Machinery award for its contribution to the same product. Eyejusters was also a finalist in the prestigious Consumer Product of the Year.trunki_jurni

Winner of the Consumer Product of the Year was Trunki for the Jurni, a super-strong, skate-wheeled suitcase for teenagers that can also be used for locker style storage when not on the move. PIA judges were impressed by its extensive use of plastic mouldings, clever design and minimal use of metal, screws and fixings. Trunki won the same award in 2012 with the Trunki Mk V.

Industrial Product Design of the Year went to HJC Design for SA Vortex’s Eco-Curve eco-efficient and intelligent hand dryer. Judges praised it for engineering excellence, extensive use of recycled plastics and appropriately clean design.

Best Recycled Product of the Year went to Counterplas for the Loft Stilt, designed in collaboration with Birmingham Innovations. Made from 100 per cent recycled polypropylene, Loft Stilt enables home owners to raise the height of a loft floor above existing joists to achieve a maximum loft insulation thickness of 270mm.

bastionAdam Haynes won Young Designer of the Year for the Bastion portable sharps bin, a unique pen-sized case moulded from polypropylene which for the first time allows diabetics to carry a day’s supply of needles in a neat, pocketable container. Adam received a £1,000 prize donated by Motan Colortronic.

Other winners in of individual awards included Julia Moore, Chief Executive of the GTMA (Gauge and Tool Makers Association) who was given the Personal Contribution Award for her many years furthering the cause of UK plastics manufacturing. Paul Hunter of Andel Plastics won a champagne lunch for two at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, courtesy of Lawson Keys in the new category of Unsung Hero. Apprentice or Trainee of the Year went to Lucy Hickling of Plastribution, who won £1,000 donated by the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA).

Matrix Plastics scooped the revised award of Supplier Partnerships – Materials for its work with Belgian food packaging group deSter to develop new and innovative colours in plastic packaging for airline-based applications.

“This is the sixteenth time we have brought the UK plastics industry together to celebrate an outstanding year of innovation. Our winners are driving UK plastics forward and making a real difference on an individual, industry-wide and environmental level. I am delighted we are able to give them the national recognition they deserve,” said Steve Crowhurst, managing director at Crain Communications, which organises the PIAs.

Plastics Industry Awards 2016 winners:

Consumer Product Design of the Year – Trunki Jurni suitcase

Industrial Product Design of the Year – HJC Design for Eco-Curve hand dryer

Best Recycled Plastic Product – Counterplas for the Loft Stilt

Young Designer of the Year – Adam Haynes for Bastion Portable Sharps Bin

Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Lucy Hickling of Plastribution

Best Technology Application of the Year – Sumitomo Demag UK 

Best Environmental or Energy Efficiency Programme of the Year – Rutland Plastics

Best Business Initiative of the Year – Eyejusters 

Best Training and Development Programme of the Year – Corrosion Resistant Products

Unsung Hero (New Award for 2016) – Paul Hunter of Andel Plastics

Processor of the Year – Boddingtons Plastics

Supplier Partnership – Materials – Matrix Plastics – deSter

Supplier Partnership – Prime Machinery – Fanuc UK – Eyejusters 

Supplier Partnership – Ancillary Machinery – Hi-Tech Automation – Eyejusters

Supplier Partnership – Toolmaker – Faulkner Moulds – Richard Carter

Personal Contribution Award – Julia Moore

Launched in 2001, and held annually in London, the Plastics Industry Awards are dedicated to rewarding innovation and exceptional performance in an increasingly competitive market. Sixteen categories cover materials usage, product design, manufacturing, training and environmental performance, and entries are judged by a panel of industry experts*.

For more information visit

*This year’s judging panel included Steve May-Russell, Smallfry; Alex Pullman, MD, TS Design; Chris Lefteri, Materials & Design Expert, Chris Lefteri Ltd; John Whitehead, Ex-Editor, PRW; Charmaine Bowers, Past Winner of Personal Contribution to the Plastics Industry; Geoff Jones, In-Comms; Paul Shipton, Consultancy Director, Smithers Rapra; Brian Manning, independent consultant; Julia Moore, Chief Executive, GTMA; Nikki Williams, PMMDA; Dr Robin Kent, Tangram Technology; Mercia Gick, Retired from BPF; Prof Gordon Smith, Head of Polymer & Composites Material Group, University of Warwick; Phil Coates, Consultant; Peter Clarke, GR8 Engineering; George Kellie, Kellie Solutions™; Robert Tomlinson, Management Consultant, Plastics Moulding Solutions; Dr Peter Cox, Consultant; Richard Brown, RJG Technologies; John Boult, Director, Product First; Peter Woodall, Managing Partner, PRP Consulting LLP; Peter Barnes, Consultant; Darren Nock, Consultant, Siemens PLM Software; Anthony Perkin, Tech-Value; Paul Neal, Product Partners; Graeme Patterson, Brightworks; Leslie Wynn, HCL Europe and John Carr, Quality Safety & Environmental Manager, HBC Engineering.

Platinum sponsors of The Plastics Industry Awards 2016 are Engel Moulders Group and FANUC. Gold sponsors include BMB, Hasco, Distrupol, Lawson Keys, Plastech Solutions, RJG Technologies, Sumitomo Demag, Summit Systems and Motan Colortonic. They also enjoy the support of the British Plastics Federation, British Industrial Design Association, RECOUP, GTMA, PMMDA, Polymer Training Innovation Centre (PTIC) and PDM Event.


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PDM Event Moves to Manchester for 2017

Following the success of this year’s Plastics Design & Moulding Event (PDM Event) the organisers have announced that the exhibition and conference is moving to the new venue of EventCity, Manchester on 21 and 22 June 2017.

After another successful event held in Telford on 14 and 15 June this year, PDM Event 2017 will take place in Manchester alongside a new Northern edition of the Product Design + Innovation (PD+I) conference for industrial product designers.

“As organisers we are always looking at ways to evolve the PDM Event to deliver a new audience for our exhibitors and a new experience for our visitors,”, said Steve Crowhurst, managing director of organiser Crain Communications. “Our exhibitors have responded very positively to our plans and we look forward to working with them to put on our best ever event in Manchester for 2017.

DHR_8419 DHR_9030

“PDM is always a good event and delivers good quality visitors and value for money,” said Nigel Baker, Managing Director BMB Plastics Machinery immediately after this year’s show. “We do most of our business in the region around Manchester, so we had no hesitation in rebooking for 2017.”

Brian Taylor, Sales Manager of exhibitor Cytec Systems commented, “Moving PDM to Manchester next year will make the show more accessible from the North. We will see new people and it will open up new markets for us.”

“We need to be at PDM. Eighty per cent of the customers we invited have come to see us on the stand this year,” said Mark Lawson, Managing Director of technical recruitment specialist LawsonKeys. “We have booked four times the space at PDM Event 2017 in Manchester, which we will be sharing with six of our customers.”

DHR_8515Confirming PDM Event as the place to do business in the plastics industry, technical plastics compounder and exhibitor Luxus announced at this year’s event the purchase of new machinery from fellow exhibitor BOY including a BOY 90E injection moulding machine with ancillary equipment and a BOY 22A.

Manchester is at the heart of the Northern Manufacturing Powerhouse, a region synonymous with manufacturing, design and engineering and home to some of the key design and moulding companies, their supply chains and customers. Co-locating PDM Event and the PD+I conference will draw in the region’s expanding industrial design community as well as leading companies from across the plastics materials, recycling, composites, machinery, toolmaking, moulding, rapid prototyping and ancillary sectors.

EventCity is the second largest exhibition space outside London. It is easily accessible by all means of transport, has over 3,000 free car parking spaces and is located just minutes from the dynamic city centre of Manchester.

European cities on map series: Manchester Manchester will be the venue for PDM Event in 2017 PDM EVENT 2017 PLASTICS LOGO


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Best Places to Work in the UK Plastics Industry Announced at PDM Event

Best Places to Work in the UK Plastics Industry
Announced at PDM Event

15 June 2016 – Organisers of the Plastics Design & Moulding Event (PDM Event) taking place at the Telford International Centre today have announced The Best Places to Work in the UK Plastics Industry in a scheme run by PRW magazine.

Plastribution, the Ashby-de-la-Zouch-based materials distributor, has been named as the overall winner in PRW’s inaugural Best Places to Work in the UK Plastics Industry programme.

Four other winning companies were named as Knutsford-based compounder and distributor Albis UK; Cannock-based toolmaking and processing group Goodfish; Plastic Card Services, a plastic card manufacturer based in Macclesfield, and Tamworth-based ancillaries supplier Summit Systems.

The process which arrived at the winning firms was managed for PRW by Best Companies Group (BCG), a US-based independent workplace research group which specialises in identifying and recognising highly regarded employers in the UK and North America.

Eligible companies had to have at least 15 employees working in the UK and derive at least 50% of their business from plastic-related activities, including injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding, thermoforming or rotational moulding; plastics recycling, compounding or distribution; mould making, and other equipment supply services.

Firms registered for free to take part in the programme, filling out an employer questionnaire which accounted for 25% of a company’s overall evaluation.

Staff at registering companies then filled out an employee engagement and satisfaction survey, designed to evaluate their workplace experience and organisational structure.

The two sets of combined data were then used by BCG analysts to determine the strengths and opportunities in each company.

Speaking about the awards, BCG’s Andrew O’Kelly said that the survey found that “an incredible 86%” of staff working for the winning firms could be deemed ‘engaged employees’, versus an average score of 35%.

“Your workers believe in your company’s mission, they believe that their work really matters and, most importantly, they believe that they are being treated fairly and with respect. That is a pretty amazing accomplishment,” he said.

PRW editor Hamish Champ said: “We would like to congratulate the five winning firms, all of whom can take a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that their staff, who filled in the questionnaires anonymously, clearly derive a great deal of satisfaction from both their job and their working environment.

“We were also delighted to have worked with Best Companies Group to assess which firms in the UK plastics industry are deemed to be the best ones to work for.”


Media Contact:
Doug Bentall or Anna Dunbar
Iona Communications
Tel: 01892 512481
Email: or

For more information:
Yvonne Nartey

Crain Communications
Tel: 020 8253 9602

Twitter: @PDM_Event
Linked In Group:

PDM Event enjoys the support of all the major plastics and moulding associations including Composites UK, Institute of Engineering Designers (IED), Society of Plastics Engineers UK & Ireland (SPE), Rubber & Plastics Research Association (RAPRA), BPF, the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA), IOM3, Polymer Training and Innovation Centre and the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA), Polymer Society, RECOUP, LARAC and WRAP.


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70 Most Influential People in The UK Plastics Industry Unveiled at PDM Event

70 Most Influential People in The UK Plastics Industry Unveiled at PDM Event

Nine Women Break Through “Plastic Ceiling”

The 70 Most Influential People in the UK Plastics Industry were unveiled today at the Plastics Design & Moulding Event (PDM Event) taking place at the Telford International Centre today and tomorrow (14-15th June).

The list of 70 top influencers includes representatives from across the plastics industry from machinery and materials sectors and distribution through to processing, with many of those named on the list actually present at the event. It also includes high-profile national figures such as the Prime Minister, David Cameron; George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England.

David Cameron 2016
David Cameron

Of the 70, nine women have broken through the “plastic ceiling” including Jane Bickerstaffe, director of packaging industry organisation of Incpen, Julia Moore, the long-serving chief executive of the Gauge and Toolmakers Association (GTMA), Karen Drinkwater, director of JSC Rotational Moulding and Professor Marianne Gilbert, of the PVC Centre, Loughborough University.

Jane Bickersfield 2016 Julia Moore 2012  Karen Drinkwater JSC 2016
Jane Bickerstaffe, Julia Moore and Karen Drinkwater

Buyers for the large companies who use plastic in their products figure prominently including representatives of Britain’s biggest automotive manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Europe, General Motors, Honda UK, Nissan Europe and Toyota UK. Prominent product designer and entrepreneur James Dyson also makes the list.

Packaging experts from some of Britain’s biggest retailers feature including Paul Earnshaw, packaging management director at Tesco; Kevin Vyse, packaging technologist and innovation lead at Marks & Spencer and Jane Skelton, head of packaging at Sainsbury’s.

Among the many advocates of the plastics industry in the UK perhaps the most prominent is Philip Law, director-general of the British Plastics Federation. As awareness grows of the impact of plastics in the marine environment, Samantha Fanshawe, chief executive of the Marine Conservation Society is also included.

The list was drawn up using the results of a readers’ poll in PRW, trade magazine for the UK polymer industry, and the findings of a specially-convened panel of PRW staff and long-standing industry figures. It comprises individuals of UK citizenship or working in the UK and has been ordered alphabetically, not by degree of influence.

For the full list visit


Media Contact and Photos:
Doug Bentall or Anna Dunbar
Iona Communications
Tel: 01892 512481
Email: or

For more information:
Yvonne Nartey
Crain Communications
Tel: 020 8253 9602

Twitter: @PDM_Event
Linked In Group:

PDM Event enjoys the support of all the major plastics and moulding associations including Composites UK, Institute of Engineering Designers (IED), Society of Plastics Engineers UK & Ireland (SPE), Rubber & Plastics Research Association (RAPRA), BPF, the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA), IOM3, Polymer Training and Innovation Centre and the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA), Polymer Society, RECOUP, LARAC and WRAP.

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Showcase of Dynamic Plastics Industry – PDM Event Opens 14 June

Trailblazers in plastics innovation, manufacturing, and recycling will convene in Telford next week for the annual Plastics Design & Moulding Event (PDM Event). A true showcase of the UK’s dynamic plastics sector, the free-to-attend PDM Event will take place at the Telford International Centre from 14 to 15 June 2016.

Around the exhibition new energy-efficient machinery will be unveiled, ground-breaking technology such as 3D-printing will be demonstrated and leading retailers will discuss advances in plastics recycling. The results of two new industry surveys – Best Places to Work in UK Plastics and Most Influential People in the UK Plastics Industry – will be announced, and the skill and professionalism of UK plastics’ moulders will be proudly on display, as technicians compete in the Quick Mould Change Competition.


Meanwhile in the free conference sessions, expert speakers will discuss a wide range of issues facing the sector from Industry 4.0 (smart factories), patents and social media, to carrier bags, the Courtauld Commitment 2025 and plastic trends in automotive engineering. Talented designers will be lining up at the free Plastics Surgery with their plastics conundrums, and experts from the Plastics Consultancy Network will offer solutions.

Home to over 100 polymer-related companies, Telford has a world-class reputation as a centre of the plastics industry. Local companies exhibiting at the PDM Event include Proto Labs, Sprint Tool and Die and Stäubli. Visitors can also find out about the courses and training available from the Polymer Training & Innovation Centre in Telford, and talk to RAPRA (Rubber and Plastics Research Association) a non-profit membership association based at the University of Wolverhampton.

“PDM Event will showcase the sort of innovation, talent and hard work that is winning UK firms business in the international marketplace,” says Event Director, Steve Crowhurst.

PDM Event Highlights:

  • Tesco’s Head of Consumables and Waste & Recycling Procurement will reveal how the retailer has closed the plastic recycling loop by offering single-use carry bags made from its own plastic waste
  • Recycling charity Recoup will conduct an EU Brexit poll on their stand – votes will be cast on empty plastics drinks bottles
  • 3D printing technology will be demonstrated by SYS Systems
  • Elasto will present “plastic from plants” – its Dryflex Green range of bio-based TPE compounds
  • Axion Recycling will showcase its range of Axpoly recycled engineering polymers, recovered from automotive feedstocks
  • Award-winning product designs will be showcased. These include a plastic medical device expected to sell throughout the world, and described “as useful on the battlefield as it is in a Harley Street medical centre”, and a high-tech waterproof glove which will be displayed on a robotic hand.
  • Boy, Borche (supplied by Plastics Machinery Sales), Engel and Romi are the among the exhibitors who will have working machinery on their stands
  • There will be many UK debuts at PDM Event including the new Golden Electric machine on the Arburg stand, the TruMark Station 3000 for laser marking on the TRUMPF stand, a new hopper loader on the Renmar stand and the Magna T Servo injection moulding machine on the Milacron Ferromatik stand.

The PDM Event exhibition and conferences – including the Plastics Recycling conference – are free to attend. Register now at:


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Got a plastics problem? Bring it to the surgery!

The Plastics Consultancy Network (PCN) will again be attending the PDM Event as part of the “Ask the Consultant” plastics surgery service to all PDM Event visitors on stand E007.

“Ask the Consultant” provides all visitors to PDM Event with free access to the knowledge of PCN experts. The industry often forgets that many designers and users know that they want to use plastics but really don’t know where to start.

“Ask the Consultant” provides quick access to leading consultants for free no obligation information.

Here are some examples of problems brought to the surgery in past years:

Case 1:

A visitor had a viable plan to market a plastic pallet for the food industry. The Plastics Surgery was able to recommend a material (polypropylene) and provide an indicative cost for the injection mould (+/- £100,000) and the likely production costs for the product based on estimated material content. Design ideas to reduce complexity and make moulding easier were also discussed with the visitor and potential suppliers recommended for both tooling and production. The visitor was then able to update their business plan with a better knowledge of the fixed and variable costs.

Case 2:

A visitor was interested in entering the medical products market with an innovative device and surveying the possibilities. The Plastics Surgery was able to outline the quality requirements of the market, the time-scales for achieving approval and the potential materials for production. The visitor then decided to use sub-contractors rather than try to set up internal moulding capability.

Case 3:

A visitor was interested in producing a part by extrusion and needed assistance with the design. The length of the part and the market volumes meant that extrusion was not actually the best process and injection moulding was recommended. The change of process meant that the visitor could also modify the design to include more features for the end user and increase the value of the product to the market.

Case 4:

A visitor was having moulding problems with an over-moulded product (material compatibility) the Plastics Surgery was able to identify the issues with over moulding and the materials and recommend a more suitable grade of material for the base component.

Case 5:

A visitor was interested in reducing energy costs and wanted ideas of the best place to start. After a short discussion, the Plastics Surgery provided advice on the most profitable areas for investment and the likely pay-back for the investments.

Case 6:

A visitor to the Plastics Surgery was looking to recycle ink jet cartridges but did not know where to start. The Plastics Surgery gave guidance on contacts for recycling and the potential issues in recycling of cartridges.

Case 7:

A visitor to the Plastics Surgery had developed an innovative joining method for flat pack assembly of wood or other materials which involving a clip moulded from Acetal which could rigidly hold the two pieces together. The joint should withstand up to 100 times of joining and parting. There were looking for 2 things a) a more cost effective material and b) a best way to obtain a fire resistant product. The Plastics Surgery provided advice on suitable materials and the properties needed.

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