Image Reports talks to Peter Kiddel

Added by Sharon Mordey on January, 3, 2019

Image Reports Fespa UK i4 Conference

Well first off let me say this is an extremely interesting and important topic. And talking about it is all the more crucial when you consider the Widthwise survey figures and people’s understanding and potential use or adoption of i4.0 techniques and technologies - the numbers are disastrously low. But I really don’t think we can blame the print service providers [PSPs] for that, because I don’t think that - at this stage - they see the relevance.

We made it clear that this is a conference for top people, because if junior members attend the message just won’t get through.

Given that the print sector prides itself on using cutting edge digital technology, do you find it odd that it seems slower than many other industries in jumping into i4.0? 

Yes, and as a member association it’s important that we flag up to them what we see as important developments - and i4.0 is certainly that. The more we talk to the real exponents of i4.0 the clearer it becomes that it is something that can’t be ignored. 

So who is on your speaker panel for the conference, and why have you chosen them? Do you think they are best placed to tell PSPs how they should be futureproofing their businesses via i4.0?

It would have been very easy to go out and say to the MTC, ‘we want people to tell us about i4.0’, but we have deliberately brought in as speakers people who are long-term suppliers to the print sector to talk about automation as part of i4.0. We have also made sure we have some very forward looking people speaking who are printers, and of course we’ve taken the opportunity of having people from the MTC speak too.

For instance, we have Nigel Knapp from the MTC, who runs a group that works with SME’s to help them improve their production techniques and digital communications so they are ready for i4.0. One of our members has already been working with him and that member [and president of Fespa UK] - Tony Moscrop of Dufaylite - who will speak too.

Anyway, Nigel will kick off explaining what i4.0 is all about, then we have Steve Richardson of Optimus which, as you know, is into MIS and other forms of digital process guidance and he’s going to be talking about how existing structures fit in the i4.0 package and how things are likely to change.

At this point, let’s be clear - none of the speakers will be delivering a sales pitch - it’s not about that at all. If they start doing so they’ll be shut down! It’s about delivering education on the topic - that’s what we’re after.

Following on from Steve will be two very interesting guys - David Atchinson and Russell Weller from Esko. Russell will talk about where Esko sees i4.0 going and David has been in print nearly as long as me, with his own business and working at various outfits so he’s very experienced, and he has done a lot of work automating systems. He knows what a printer needs and he’s done it!  

I’ve already mentioned Tony Moscrop, and he’s an engineer. His business has been very successful but he couldn’t keep up with the volume being demanded by the market, so the MTC have looked at his facility and enabled him to drive it forward using new technologies. I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s looking at completely changing the way he manufactures and supplies his product to the market – so that will be a very interesting insight.

Then we come to Dr Lina Huertas, a chief technologist for digital manufacturing at the MTC and a lady who really understands where we are going with i4.0 technologies. I’m sure she’s not going to pull any punches and will be telling some of the people in the room that unless they do x and y they could be in difficulty.

And we’ll end with Tomas Novais, a technology transformation advisor at the MTC. So it will be interesting to see if they all share similar visions.

For the full article courtesy of Image Reports' Lesley Simpson click on the link below



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