By Gus Bishop – Solids Handling & Processing Association
It is heartening to see that British manufacturing and processing industries are once again in good health, indeed leading the recovery as UK plc strives to balance its books again. Not only are the industries that SHAPA members serve showing solid progress, but they are at the forefront of employment development, ably assisting the necessary move from public sector to private sector employment. The Solids Handling & Processing Association exists solely for the continued well-being of member companies by providing cutting edge market intelligence backed up by sound technical knowledge, promoting good practice throughout the materials handling and processing industries. Please check out our website at www.shapa.co.uk ; if you haven’t done so previously you will be inspired by the wealth of information available – not least the product selector to locate expert companies, a must if you have an engineering challenge to meet.
A year of innovative progress
The year may be half way through, but SHAPA is a constant source of valuable information. So far this year members’ events have included the third annual “Digital Marketing Workshop” and the seminar and workshop for future leaders in our industries entitled “Engineering the Future”.
The Digital Marketing Workshop 2011 held on 26th May is the third in what, by popular demand, has become an established SHAPA event. Internet marketing making use of social media, optimisation of search engines, integrating off-line and on-line marketing techniques were amongst the truly modern methods available to enhance presence in the market place, all at minimal cost. So extensive was the guidance presented that the workshop was sub-titled “50 Ways to Market Your Business Effectively on the Internet”. Positive thinking indeed!.The workshop was aimed at experts and newcomers alike, with delegates being armed to implement changes to their own thinking and methods immediately, with immediate positive returns. Whilst presently billed as an annual event, many delegates recommended that it should now be presented at six monthly intervals to keep pace with progress This seminar alone is a compelling reason to be a part of the SHAPA family of companies.
The seminar and workshop “Engineering the Future” took place on June 14th, kindly hosted by SHAPA member Portasilo Ltd in York. Once again the third of its kind, these increasingly popular events are aimed specifically at enthusing and informing the next generation of engineering leaders in our industries. Engineering-based venues are chosen where possible to set the scene and the day is divided between instructive presentations and focused workshop sessions, involving the presenters with the delegates.
Whilst the technical and engineering presentations gave valuable insights, the conference was not restricted to “passive learning”. Key elements were the structured workshops during which groups of delegates from wide ranging industries and backgrounds concentrated on “meeting customer needs” and “reacting to future trends”. Listening to and assessing customer requirements are so vital to furnishing the client with a set of equipment that not only works, but operates reliably and with maximum energy efficiency, we regard this as a subject and skill in itself. Unfortunately it is not unknown for bulk material handling systems to disappoint in many areas so assessing customer needs – including performing suitable physical tests where appropriate – has become a mission for the Association.
Present and Future
Firstly we are very pleased to announce Rob Hudson of Spiroflow Ltd as the new Chairman of SHAPA, to succeed Eddie Spires of Dustcheck Ltd, who has served the association well for the past four years. The Council, together with the Marketing and Technical committees have all been busy constantly reviewing SHAPA activities for the benefit of the membership and once again a SHAPA Powder & Bulk Solids Industry Conference is at an advanced stage of planning. Back by popular request, but with a new more targeted title, this valuable one day event, which is open to all (not just SHAPA members!), has now become an established part of the annual calendar. This year’s event will take place on 18th October at Imago Conference Centre at Loughborough University, centrally located, easy to find and superbly equipped to make the day stress free and comfortable. There will be an opening keynote address to all by a prominent speaker with a valuable message for our industries, followed by two streams of presentations. These will be focused on solids handling technologies in one stream and regulatory and business issues in the other. As in previous Knowledge Conferences delegates will have a completely open choice of sessions to attend, with the benefit that notes from all the presentations will be included in the delegate information pack, regardles of which presentations they actually attend. A comprehensively high value day will be assured, with six concise presentations included in each stream together with guided discussion / workshop times allocated during the day. In addition to being a concentrated source of technical and business knowledge, the arrangements allow useful time for viewing suppliers’ table top displays, networking with colleagues or seeking out new partnerships. SHAPA is committed to promoting excellence among bulk solids handling manufacturers and suppliers and particularly the end user clients for whom finally the association and its members exist.
A multi-faceted association
The benefits of SHAPA membership are many and various. Whilst the dissemination of technical information and legislative developments is a major theme, the association is very keen to further the commercial aims of the membership, to offer real advantages in the marketplace. The membership covers a wide range of skills and disciplines such that some members are customers of others, enabling SHAPA to be an effective networking platform. Other members are in direct competition with each other, but the association’s mission to enhance quality throughout by presenting sound relevant information works to the benefit of all. Several member companies have been with us for very many years, demonstrating the continuing value in being a part of the SHAPA family.
Examples of the marketing and technical committees’ commercial efforts are to be found in an a number of areas. The Export Forum, which meets regularly to inform on export opportunities and how to maximise returns when entering other markets – regular UKTI news updates particularly help the up-and-coming exporter. A comprehensive UK Market Survey of users of solids handling equipment was commissioned for members, showing the areas of expected development and giving a good feel for the likely spend of target industries over the coming months and even further ahead – a valuable help in setting future business plans. The SHAPA website offers potential customers a powerful product finder tool. A short search among the categories of equipment and services offered by SHAPA members will clearly demonstrate the inclusive commitment of the association and of course should be the first port of call for any industry end user or contracting consultant.
Finally, life is not all work, so recreational activities including a “Golf Day” in September and a “Day at the Races” in November are planned. However, if combining work with pleasure is your modus operandi, then members may invite key clients to these events to cement their bonds tighter.
Produciamo una gamma completa di attrezzature per la movimentazione di solidi sfusi alla rinfusa e ingredienti in forma di polvere, granuli, pellet e scaglie, in tutto lo spettro delle industrie di processo.