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New BPF seminar to explore AI and the plastics industry

The inaugural British Plastics Federation ‘Plastics and AI’ event is taking place on 16 November 2023. This half day, online event will provide an in-depth exploration how developments in artificial intelligence will influence the plastics industry in a variety of ways, from improving manufacturing through to waste management. The event is being chaired by BPF president Nigel Flowers, who is also the managing director of Sumitomo Demag.

The initial presentation will feature Thomas Hutterer, head of smart service at Engel. He will examine the AI embedded in the company’s control systems and how it is using AI to pinpoint maintenance requirements and directing engineers to where the problems are. He will be followed by Ryan Gaffikin, associate at Dentons Global Advisers, who will discuss the UK and EU regulatory landscape in relation to AI.

The next speaker is VDMA managing director, machine information interoperability Andreas Faath, who will explore the challenge of creating a real time model of the shop floor, as well as the challenge of material variation (specifically recycled materials) and how reliable the modelling is. The final speaker of the morning will be Iain Smith, managing director at Fisher Smith, who will provide a case study about how his company uses AI and the practicalities of working with the technology.

The event will recommence with a presentation from Stephen Butler, co-founder and CCO at ChAI, who will show how the company is using AI to predict polymer prices. Sarah Foster, chief revenue officer at Greyparrot, will then explain how the company is using an AI powered waste analytics system. Christophe Parrot, head of sales at Recycleye will follow, explaining its sorting technology and how it can benefit the plastics industry.

The final session will feature Dr James Doherty, co-founder of Plastic-i, who will provide a presentation about how his company uses AI to understand fugitive plastic waste and its future plans.

BPF president Nigel Flowers stated, ‘There is no doubt that AI is going to have a positive impact on the plastics industry as the technology further evolves over the next decade. It provides many opportunities for manufacturers, waste management companies and recyclers to optimise their processes, increasing efficiency and profitability while providing invaluable data and reducing waste.

‘This event examines innovations across the entire lifecycle of plastic products, from the point of manufacture to cutting-edge waste management and understanding fugitive waste – so provides a fantastic overview of what AI can offer the plastics industry.’

The BPF Plastics and AI seminar will run from 13.00 to 16.55 on 16 November. It is aimed at those working in the plastics industry, as well as those involved in plastics recycling or waste management.

Full details of this online seminar can be found at


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