HOTSEAT – Jem Hudson, IoT Product Manager Summit Vision

Summit Systems has been an industry-leading supplier of ancillary equipment and machinery to the UK plastics market for almost 30 years. Earlier this year, the company launched its new Internet of Things (IoT) division, Summit Vision, headed by Jeremy (Jem) Hudson as IoT Product Manager.

He strives to bring greater efficiency and reduced waste to manufacturers, by cutting through the jargon and giving customers a tangible understanding of how data monitoring can bring them cost savings. Jem is next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Summit Vision respond?

There are many trends impacting UK plastics, depending on where you are in the industry. However, across the whole industry, the need to waste less and be more energy efficient will intensify as we all strive to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

The most effective way to meet these needs is to become better at analysing the data we have at our fingertips – and to find easier ways to capture and analyse data that has been previously difficult to get hold of. By doing this, we can make better decisions.

When we read all the spiel and the analyst’s publications on The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Analytics trends, we certainly get the impression that these trends could shape the future of the plastics industry. But I’m asked over and over, what does this really mean to the plastics manufacturer?

The broad answer to start, is that by applying IoT based technologies, we can rapidly collect data from almost anything on the factory floor, and use basic data analytics to good effect.

Summit Vision is at the forefront of IoT based data capture and management technologies across the plastics manufacturing process with particular focus on condition monitoring to eliminate waste from unscheduled downtime and power use analysis to sweat existing assets and capture the actual returns on new energy-saving investment.

How has Summit Vision developed during your tenure?

At the start of my tenure, Summit Vision was focussed on our software solution for managing material handling– known to our customers as the Supervisor. Alongside the continued development of the Supervisor, Summit Vision has been expanded into key areas of data capture and management across the manufacturing site irrespective of equipment or machine manufacturer.

Summit Vision is now able to extract data from existing PLC’s for analysis, deploy leading-edge sensor technologies to troubleshoot conditions (process water, vacuum, air, drying, motor vibration and temperatures etc) where data is simply not available, and bring this information into contemporary dashboards via a secure , independent, wireless infrastructure for analysis in support of better decision making.

What do you credit as the key to your success?

I firmly believe that in the face of the Internet of Things world, we need to “keep it simple” and learn from every step we take on this journey. From day one at Summit Vision, I’ve encouraged our customers to think big, start small, learn fast and minimise time-to-value. This is the key to current success and will continue to be the foundation of my strategy moving forward.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

This may be a bit of a diversion from audience expectations, but I’ve had 25 years in the Information Technology arena, from software development to datacentre services and IT security, so I may bring some new ideas to UK Plastics!

About 15 years ago I was taught a great deal about ‘value modelling’ by a couple of specialists in this area who have since retired, they taught me that in industry, value = net profit, and nothing else.

They taught me to identify the Value Drivers (what causes an improvement in net profit) for the solutions I’m involved in, then work with the customer to capture the Value Impacts (the amount of net profit the customer believes will be released) for the identified Value Drivers of the solution. This value modelling methodology is compelling, and following this approach, investment priorities become very apparent. It’s simply a fantastic way to do business and shows you when to walk away from solutions that won’t fly.

My greatest challenge since then, at times, has been keeping to the principles of this methodology.

What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?

I wish Mike Jordan told me to pack a high viz jacket and safety boots on my first customer visit!

Seriously, apprentice’s getting into this industry have the most fantastic opportunity to become skilful contributors in the backbone of UK manufacturing and positively influence the future success of this dynamic industry. My advice would be to appreciate this, work hard and strive to make a difference.

What hidden talents do you have?

My absolute favourite sport is windsurfing – I’ve been at it since I was a teenager and get out there in all conditions.

I actually hold the record crossing time for a bi-Athlon event combining windsurfing and mountain biking across Scotland from Fort William on the West Coast, to Inverness on the East Coast; tackling the lengths of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness in gale-force winds and some monster MTB riding in between. I’m not sure this is talent – it’s more like sheer determination, but it was great fun at the time!

SUMMIT SYSTEMS HIRE EXPERIENCED DUO

Plastics ancillary equipment experts, Summit Systems, have bolstered their engineering and sales teams with two new appointments. Steve Takle joins the company as an Industrial Refrigeration Engineer, and a familiar face returns as Dave Middleton becomes Technical Sales Director.

Summit Systems are pleased to announce the addition of two highly experienced engineers to their team. These appointments come at a key time for the company, as they continue to grow their core ancillary equipment business, while also diversifying into other sectors.

Earlier this year, Summit announced the launch of Summit Vision, an Internet of Things (IoT) division focusing on data and condition monitoring driving efficiency improvements for manufacturers. This followed news from late-2018, when the company purchased Total Process Cooling Ltd, to further expand its temperature control department.

Steve Takle (pictured, left) has joined Summit’s process cooling division, Summit TPC, working alongside sales engineer Rob Pritchard as an Industrial Refrigeration Engineer. Steve brings with him years of engineering experience, much earned in the Royal Navy. Summit Systems hope to continue the expansion of their cooling division by the end of next year, especially their engineering teams, so Steve’s appointment may be the first of many to come.

Steve commented: “I have worked in engineering since leaving school, eight years of which were spent maintaining helicopters for the Royal Navy. After leaving the forces, I started a new career in refrigeration with 12 years of experience working on a variety of different systems and applications.

“I am excited to come and work for Summit TPC starting up the cooling division and drive it forward to be customer-focused, offering effective preventative maintenance and repairs to minimise downtime.”

Dave Middleton (pictured, right) is returning to Summit after an 11-year absence, joining their team of six technical sales engineers as Technical Sales Director. Dave is a familiar face to many in the industry, with over 30 years working in the ancillary equipment market.

“Having been within the plastics ancillary equipment market throughout my 30 years in the plastics manufacturing industry I have a well-developed experience, a keen sense of adventure and an unresolved drive,” said Dave.

“I aim to help simplify difficult processes while being able to always offer the best solution, whatever this may be. My goal is to help our customers maintain their processing advantages by supplying the latest technologies as they become available, and by being a point of contact for them when they need advice or assistance.”

“Being a part of Summit Systems allows me the opportunity to deliver all of the above, which helps makes our industry stronger and more self-sustaining. With all of this being said, it comes down to being happy at work and being allowed to develop, which is what Summit is all about!”

ANGLESEY SEA ZOO TURN THE TIDE ON PLASTIC WASTE

Faced with the undeniable effects of the disastrous tide of plastic pollution, Anglesey Sea Zoo has recently received a donation from Summit Systems of a new plastics granulator.

Anglesey Sea Zoo has collaborated with a leader in recycling equipment, Summit Systems, who supply specialist machinery for recycling to the UK plastics industry. They are also advising them on the best course of action to take with regards to capturing and collecting waste plastic on and around Anglesey.

Dan Jordan, Materials Manager at Summit, says “It’s my mission to make sure that the UK recycles more plastic packaging. This saves the huge transport costs of shipping materials for recycling abroad, and also makes the recycled material available to processors in the UK.”

The granulation unit will size reduce redundant waste plastic into flakes, allowing the material to enter the recycling system for reuse rather than landfill or incineration and Anglesey Sea Zoo will be putting it into action over the summer.

Anglesey Sea Zoo has drawn up new plans to phase-out single-use plastics. Our mission is to capture and collect waste plastic materials, size reduce them and send the flakes to UK manufactures to add to their material input to achieve a circular economy while keeping it out of the ocean. We have introduced more recycled plastic in our packaging by working with suppliers. Let’s get Schools involved and encourage our community to get involved in Green activities through Beach Cleans, Plastic Granulation and Separation as well as Environmental Talks.

Frankie Hobro, Owner and Director of Anglesey Sea Zoo “As a business that uses plastic packaging, we have a pivotal role in changing our unsustainable dynamic and continue to invest in our environmental values within our business model. We are also conscious of the larger picture of carbon footprint reduction; something plastics has played a key role in reducing. Understanding plastic packaging and how to stop the pollution of it is a huge motivation in our quest.”

Sarah Meakin, Aquarium Manager, adds “Marine litter is a global issue, but we shouldn’t let that discourage us from doing our bit. Everyone can make small changes such as using reusable bags and refillable cups which, although they may seem insignificant on the individual level when added together will make a massive difference. As a professional in the marine environment, it is our duty to educate our children on what to do and how they can help towards a sustainable future.”

Anglesey Sea Zoo believes in leading by example, and communities have always been encouraged to get involved in green activities through our regular community beach cleans.

Louisa Lawrence, Marketing and Communications Manager “We may not be the largest attraction in North Wales, but we have an impact, so it’s important that we keep collaborating with experts and keep pushing together to make the biggest difference possible. It’s a big task and a big ask, but we can all do our bit to help. We will continue to work with other significant Ambassadors, Green Key, SAS and Keep Wales Tidy on our journey by sharing facts, posting key data and busting the media myths.”

To get involved in Anglesey Beach Cleans and Plastic Grinding, join Anglesey Sea Zoo’s Facebook Page.

We’re hiring – Technical Supervisor

Summit Systems, leaders of the plastics industry, is in search of an ambitious Technical Supervisor.

Under the direction of the Technical Manager, the Technical Supervisor is required to directly engage, oversee, guide and fulfil the day to day needs of the department ensuring the current resource within the team is fully utilised. The candidate must be City & Guilds mechanical & electro-mechanical engineering qualified (or equivalent) and they should have a good PLC, automation & pneumatics understanding. Crucially they require a methodical approach to problem solving and an ability to multitask under pressure.

The Key tasks of the role and department include:

– Sales support on complex systems, products or concepts

– Supplier and customer liaison

– Confirm technical specification

– Prepare detailed scope of supply for quotations

– Mechanical calculations to be added to all quotations

– Produce BOM for your design and build project

– CAD support for all departments

– Write detailed reports to communicate site or supplier issues and potential improvements

– Maintain strong customer relationships, visits to sites for project support with or without sales engineers

Eligibility Criteria:

– A high level of relevant technical knowledge. Experience within the plastics industry is preferred but not essential

– Self-sufficient, passionate and driven with innovative ideas

– Overarching desire to continually improve, both personally but also the team around you

– Ability to understand and install Technical governance within the department where required to improve and standardise process but also maintain the flexibility required in the market Summit work within

– Strong communication and inter-personnel skills – the ability to communicate technical information (often to people who are not familiar with engineering terms).

– Technical report writing (structured clear communication of problems, solutions and improvements)

– CAD Experience

– Sense of humour and plenty of character!

If you are keen on joining this exciting, forward thinking company and taking the next step in your career, please email a covering letter and CV to meghan.jordan@summitsystems.co.uk

We’re hiring – Industrial Refrigeration Engineer

Industry leaders SUMMIT-TPC are in search of an ambitious Industrial Refrigeration Technical Service Engineer who can support the UK sales team.

You would be part of a team that delivers the high level of technical support expected by Summit Systems across all industries. The company asks that you are honest, hardworking and independent in your drive to succeed and contribute to a vision which delivers advanced solutions cost effectively with a great attitude. Take this exciting opportunity to join a close team who enjoy the challenges of staying at the front end of innovation and customer service in this established company. A sense of humour is obligatory!

Eligibility Criteria:

– Category 1 “F Gas” qualified

– Preferred location: Midlands

– Have experience in the Process Cooling & Chiller industry

– Knowledge of water pumps and fluid dynamics

– Fully conversant with 3-phase Electrical Systems (Additional Electrical qualifications advantageous)

A wide Industrial Process Knowledge would be highly advantageous, but we may consider suitable applicants with commercial or A/C backgrounds, with more limited experience who are looking to broaden their knowledge.

A genuinely great opportunity for a dynamic, career minded engineer looking for a career advancement.

Competitive salary package up to £40K with overtime benefits, company vehicle, pension and healthcare package.

If you are keen on joining this exciting, forward thinking company and taking the next step in your career, please email a covering letter and CV to meghan.jordan@summitsystems.co.uk

Please note, this position has now been filled.

New products from Frigel in stock!

Do you need Mould Tool Water Temperature control up to 120°C ? Do you need the best reliability? Do you need something immediately?

If the answer is yes to any or all of the above then get in touch, we have units IN STOCK NOW! First come, first served basis.

The latest technology developed by Frigel in Partnership with Matsui. TBX8 and the TDK88.

Contact us today: info@summitsystems.co.uk or call us on 01827 265800.


Introducing Summit Vision: IoT

Multi award winning Summit Systems, a UK distributor of plastics industry ancillary equipment and solutions based in Tamworth, is proud to announce a significant new division focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions including sensors for monitoring energy, conditions and fixed assets managed by long distance Wireless Radio Frequency transmitters, control tools and dashboards.

For almost 30 years Summit System’s strategic goal has been to provide solutions to the Plastics Manufacturing sector that drive greater efficiencies and less wasteful production. Combining their extensive plastics industry knowledge with market leading IoT technology aligns firmly against their strategic goal. By offering IoT solutions specifically tailored for plastics manufacturers, they are empowering customers to take a step change in how they can collect and anlayse data to support the universal quest to reduce costs and improve productivity.

Jem Hudson, newly appointed Head of all things IoT at Summit Systems said: “IoT has a wide and varied scope, from the smart home to smart car and smart city. But we need to ask what does IoT really mean to plastics manufactures facing global competition, tighter regulation and increasing energy costs?” Jem continues to explain that, “IoT in plastics manufacturing really comes into play when the manufacturer is asking questions that begin with ‘I’d really like to know when or if or what …’ capturing and utilising data that isn’t readily accessible is the key to providing the answers to help improve production processes, identify issues and pre-emp failures that cause unscheduled downtime”

Summit Systems’ customers have two recurring areas of focus with their first phase IoT deployments:

1.Developing a detailed understanding of power consumption at a machine, ancillary equipment, or production line level

At this level of granularity of power monitoring the customer can:
• get an immediate view on the ongoing power cost per cycle/per shot of a production process.
• compare energy efficiencies of a mixed estate of production systems.
• use detailed historical data to support new energy saving investment decisions.

2.Condition Monitoring and Alerting

Using a variety of sensors feeding data to central dashboards Summit is able to:
• Alert maintenance teams when a motor exceeds pre-set vibration levels.
• Provide alerts when water pressures move out of normal operating parameters, eg on heat exchangers and water filtration units.
• Identify amp levels that exceed normal operating levels for preventive maintenance. e.g. vacuum pumps working harder than normal can indicate vacuum issues to investigate before system failures. Or a granulator with an upward curve on its amp readings suggest blade health issues.

These examples are starting points. Summit have sensors to measure just about anything in the plastics factory from temperatures, pressures, vibrations, and power consumption through to buildings management, asset tracking, weather stations, legionella control and even people monitoring.

For further information, please contact our IoT product manager Jem Hudson: jem.hudson@summitsystems.co.uk

Summit Systems celebrates 30 years!

FROM STARTING IN A PORTACABIN TO BECOMING ONE OF THE UK’S LEADING SUPPLIERS
OF PLASTICS ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT, THE LAST 30 YEARS HAVE ‘CHARTED’ A SUCCESS STORY FOR SUMMIT SYSTEMS.

Take a closer look at our journey below!

1989

Where many of his peers might’ve been using empty garages to practice becoming the next Spandau Ballet, Mike Jordan chose to use one to start up a business selling plastics ancillary equipment. After breaking away from his family business in injection moulding at Midlands-based Peerless Foam Moulding, Jordan joined a small company in Telford. After four years, he saw an opportunity to combine the best innovations with quality service and Summit Systems was incorporated.

“Funded by good faith and a small loan, we lined up MB conveyors, Moretto loading and drying equipment and the unique Maguire blender, which was something like the industry had never seen, and so with that we were off” explained Jordan. Accompanied by colleague Chris Bailey, the first employee on the payroll and who still works with Summit 30 years later, the company started selling.

1990

After deciding to exhibit for the first time at UK plastics trade show, Interplas, the Chairman of the UK’s biggest packaging company requested a trial of the Maguire blenders on display, leading to the sale of hundreds of units.

Later that year, after the installation of its first central material handling systems the garage workspace was “starting to burst at the seams,” according to Jordan, who decided to upgrade to bigger premises.

1993

The premises of choice for Summit’s growing business was an oil-contaminated factory, which, with the help of his local rugby club mates, was fully refurbished before the firm occupied the space as its new home.

1994

As the business grew, so did its portfolio of blue-chip customers. Recognising the need to increase the service provision for such high-profile businesses needing the security of full cover, Summit implemented a 24/7 service offering.“We were the first company of our type to introduce a genuine guaranteed service,” continued Jordan. “It’s something we’ve continued ever since.”

1997

Following further expansion, the company began to run out of space, leading to the building of a new warehouse, resulting in 50% increased capacity.

1999

Despite the increase in warehouse space, continued growth saw Summit move for a third time. However, this time the company took up residence in a new, 2,700 sq. ft. factory in Tame Park, Tamworth – opened by the Chairman of the UK’s biggest packaging company. Combined with Maguire Europe, the premises gave plenty of room for growth and is still where the company is based today.

2002

When the Plastics Awards introduced its first ‘Ancillary’ category, Summit entered and subsequently triumphed as ‘Supplier of the Year’. The trophy gave the firm a taste for awards success, becoming the first in a long line of accolades. Winning the ‘Supplier of the Year’ award for ancillaries.

2006

In a busy year for Summit, the company faced a hurdle when one of their major suppliers, Moretto, proposed an agreement that they couldn’t agree to. “Moretto were a great supplier but were keen to have us supply exclusively at the expense of our independence,” explained Jordan. “As a result, we welcomed a new supplier, Plastic Systems, who, along with our design team, manufactured a loading system, Matrix, with great success.” In addition to the new supplier partnership with Plastic Systems, Summit also added Tecnomagnete products to its range, which offered customers reduced tool-change times and improved productivity, as well as products from Movacolor. “As the world leader in gravimetric dosing machines, once we added Movaolor’s products to our offering we experienced phenomenal growth compared to volumetric counterparts,” recalled Jordan.

2007

In order to give better control and prices for all integration products, bins and bespoke items, the company established Summit Fabrications, adding yet another arm to the growing business.

2008

Always on the lookout for new products to add to Summit’s portfolio, 2008 marked the year where a pioneering Jordan was persuaded to test a Vismec dryer – a decision that turned out to be hugely beneficial for the company. “Vismec’s owner asked me to test this new ‘revolutionary rotary dryer,” explained Jordan. “After some persuasion we agreed, and I am so glad we did! The product was incredibly well received and became the best-selling dehumidifying dryer on the market.” Other new products added included items from Zerma’s size reduction range. “This became an important addition, especially considering recycling was so ‘en vogue’,” Jordan continued.

2010

After years of being asked for automatic bag splitting devices due to spot purchasing, Summit started supplying the Laborsave fully automated system.

2011-2015

Whilst Zerma helped grow the company’s offering in recycling machinery, Summit added both Moditec, for no-dust specialist applications, as well as teaming up with Tria to dominate the blow moulding and extrusion market for high quality production scrap reclamation. During this time, ‘Boomerang Plastics’ was set-up to understand recycling first hand. Boomerang focused on recycling contaminated plastic packaging, utilising recycling machinery provided by Summit’s recycling portfolio. However, in early 2016, the company decided to pull the plug on Boomerang after four years of operation. “We were simply ahead of our time,” said Jordan. “Boomerang would be a huge success with the new approach to recycling, it is a shame.”

2017

Summit Systems started to expand its range after some extensive research, partnering with Frigel, the Italian temperature control specialists. This partnership lead to the formation of Summit Chilled, a whole new division for the company, offering “process cooling with a difference.”

2018

In what Jordan describes as “the year of the technology”, Summit employed three new engineers focusing on Industry 4.0. The new engineers developed IoT solutions integrated with Summit Systems’ supervisory system. Towards the end of 2018 Summit acquired Total Process Cooling to form ‘SUMMIT-TPC’. “The addition of TPC complements our offering from Frigel perfectly,” explained Jordan.

2019

Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, Jordan says the focus is to keep his “eyes and ears open” for new products that provide accuracy, energy efficiency and production savings, as well as unveil “a few exciting technological advancements” that are in the making.

Rapid Response Breakdown Cover: Case Study

Summit Systems proves their market-leading breakdown service.

A Summit Systems customer reported a faulty 11kW pump at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon, needing a replacement ASAP. At 15:00, Summit Systems warehouse manager Craig loaded a new pump onto a courier and an engineer was on his way to site. Just after 16:00, both the pump and engineer arrived on site and had the customer back up and running by 18:00!

We operate a 24/7, 365 breakdown service and always aim to be onsite within four hours of the initial contact. You can call the office number and get directed to the engineer, or call our emergency breakdown number 0800 030 2122.

Summit Systems Acquires New Process Cooling Division

Summit Systems has announced the expansion of its temperature control division with the acquisition of Total Process Cooling (TPC) Ltd.

Tamworth-based Summit Systems says the purchase of TPC, a specialist in chilled water and process cooling, complements its existing temperature control offering.

We are working very successfully with leading Italian temperature control suppliers, Frigel,” explained Mike Jordan, Managing Director of Summit Systems. “By adding TPC into our portfolio we are expanding our range to suit almost any application and provide a bespoke solution.”

Based in Solihull in the West Midlands, TPC offers a full range of temperature control equipment. Established in 1991, the company has over 25 years of experience in the sector and staff have extensive knowledge of the plastics industry.

Ian Lowe, Summit Systems’ Operations Director, says that this knowledge, combined with the high-end equipment and design offered by Frigel’s range of products, will ensure the acquisition is a shrewd move for the company.

This is a really exciting development which advances us in the ‘chilled’ market and will help secure our continued growth” Lowe explained.

For TPC, the acquisition will see the company’s reach extended in new areas. Richard Smith said: “This is an exciting move for TPC giving us a broader range of cooling solutions and even greater support and service to our customers.”

Our expanded product range and infrastructure combining with Summit Systems means TPC will always have the appropriate cooler for a given water cooling application whilst maintaining quality build and competitive edge over others in the market place.”

Summit System says its focus into 2019 is to continue to build on its portfolio of products that provide accuracy, energy efficiency and production savings.

Concluding, Jordan said: “We have been patiently waiting to establish a process cooling solution with a real difference and we’re delighted that we have achieved our aim. We will look to build on our portfolio with market-leading products in the coming year.

Contact us today to hear more on our range of process cooling equipment. Email info@summitchilled.co.uk or call us on 01827 265800.