AUGUST 20, 2009--Directors of the Processing and Packaging Machinery Industry (PPMA) and UK Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA; www.ukiva.org) directors recently signed a memorandum of understanding about the amalgamation of UKIVA into PPMA as a special sub-group. This follows a similar amalgamation of the British Automation & Robotics Association (BARA) earlier this year. PPMA CEO Chris Buxton says of the proposed amalgamation, "...it was combining and consolidating the strengths of all three parties." The decision to pursue this amalgamation was agreed unanimously by UKIVA members at their AGM in March, and it is anticipated that it will be ratified at an EGM on Sept. 15, 2009.
"This is a real opportunity to strengthen both UKIVA and PPMA. The combination is much more than the sum of the parts," says UKIVA chairman Mark Williamson of the alliance. "Vision technology is taking a more important role in many applications served by PPMA and BARA members. Combined, UKIVA, BARA, and PPMA members now have a wider network of resources (people, financial and knowledge), background and profile to be able to make a real difference to UK industry."
"The initiative will be of great benefit to both parties," explains Buxton. "With ever-increasing pressure to respond to the global market and the inexorable growth of the low overhead economies, the need for UK machinery suppliers to innovate and differentiate themselves from what is now worldwide competition has evolved from being a preferred option to one that has become essential."
Any new or existing PPMA member may become a part of the UKIVA-led vision and imaging subgroup free of charge. They will have their own council of representatives and there will be a new PPMA: UKIVA board director with a portfolio for vision and imaging.
The amalgamation is going full circle because the UKIVA was administered by PPMA from its formation in 1992 to the end of 1994, though as a totally separate entity, and the UKIVA memorandum and articles of association were based, with full agreement, on those of the PPMA. From 1995 to the present the UKIVA has been administered by one of its founding members, Don Braggins, who will continue to provide technical advice as an accredited consultant to PPMA.
A benefit of this initiative is the incorporation of the UKIVA Academic members, who are leading university departments or other not-for-profit organizations, within their sector and who have a particular interest in the industry. PPMA will continue to accommodate the academic members.
"Whether they are simply interested in exploring the world of automation for the first time or are well-established users of this technology, existing PPMA and UKIVA members will find a warm welcome from their new colleagues. This is both a market- and member-driven initiative which will do much to further the interests of the industry and will significantly enhance the benefits of PPMA membership," concludes Buxton.
-- Posted by Carrie Meadows, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com