Moulding machinery MD named Plastic Industry Ambassador  

A big shout out to Nigel Flowers, President of the PMMDA and Managing Director of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, who has dedicated 40 years to the plastic industry and was recently awarded Ambassador of the Year at the 2019 Plastic Industry Awards.

Kept top secret until the night, Nigel was applauded by colleagues, customers and peers as he took to the stage to collect his trophy from host Shaun Williamson, best known for playing Eastender Barry Evans. Expressing both surprise and the honour at receiving this prestigious award, Flowers used the platform to reaffirm the importance of attracting fresh blood into the industry, plus ways in which processors can reduce the environmental impact of plastics.


In total, 16 awards were handed out across a series of categories covering product design, recycling, manufacturing, training and environmental initiatives, reflecting the industry’s shift in focus towards sustainability and the circular economy.


A plastic industry ‘lifer,’ Nigel’s career journey can inspire and motivate the incoming generation about the diverse career pathways. In the 40 years he has worked in the sector – starting as a maintenance engineer at Hozelock  – Nigel rose through the ranks as a field service engineer, service manager and technical director at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. Since being appointed managing director of the UK division in 2006, Nigel has worked tirelessly as a champion for apprentices and acted as a business mentor within the company and as President of the PMMDA.


Representing the profession a its highest levels as Chairman of the UK Shadow Committee for CEN and ISO, Nigel has instigated a number of campaigns to address workforce safety, skills and workforce development.  Referencing the positive work being undertaken by the BPF PolymerZone Project, Nigel called upon suppliers and processors to lend the campaign their support and boost the momentum. “The first step to solving any problem is recognising that there is one and then joining together to address it,” he notes.


Pressed on the environmental agenda, Nigel noted the importance of adopting a balanced viewpoint.  He explains: “We have a responsibility to the environment and future generations to continue to work to reduce the impact of plastics. This will be driven by a combination of design innovation, making recycling or disposal easier, manufacturing to reduce the amount of polymer used without compromising on performance and identifying new materials and waste saving production processes. All things our industry excels at.”


Thanking everyone for the nomination, Nigel repeated the importance of collaborating together to source solutions. “As we move into 2020, sustainability, labour, productivity, energy resources, waste and automation will be areas where we can all learn from one another.”

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