New Staff Member John Whitfield

The Perfect Automation sales team expands to Victoria

John Whitfield has joined Perfect Automation Victoria, as their National Sales Manager. John Whitfield will be responsible for the sales, technical support, and project management of high-quality packaging machinery for FMCG industry.

We spoke to John about his new role and his view of the ever-evolving packaging industry.

What will you be working on over the next year with Perfect Automation?

To begin with, building upon the strong base of existing customers in the pouch and tray sealing area. In addition, I have solid working relationships with key packaging agencies which I will be setting up, to broaden the line of Perfect Automation offerings. I am already in negotiations with the agency, Ehcolo from Denmark, who specialise in palletising of bags and sacks and putting together complete lines that include bagging, wrapping and hooding.

I shall be setting up more partnerships with other agencies to strengthen our product line offerings and broaden our range of leading-edge technology and machinery in line with our customer needs.

What is your background in packaging machines?

Packaging is an exciting industry and it is so motivating to see the incredible changes over this time. I have been involved in the packaging industry in several positions for the last 30 years.

My different roles over this time, has really helped me to provide solid and commercially sound solutions to my customers. My experience is in packaging machinery, packaging consumables and food processing.

Perhaps my most valuable role has been as the General Manger of Operations for a food company. This has made me a better sales person. I have been at the coal front, I know exactly what manufacturers go through, the problems they encounter, the pressures on them and what they are trying to achieve during production. Even though their products and set ups may be different, they are all trying to be cost effective, improve their productivity and reduce breakdowns.

This is where I will be making a difference in my role at Perfect Automation. Our range of machinery and whole of line solutions, we have many options to offer our customers. It is going to be exciting to play a part in them become better manufacturers.

How has the packaging industry changed since you started?

One big change has been the reduction in the cost of the packaging machines. This has allowed manufacturers and suppliers to reduce their capital investment in machinery. The machines are also now faster and more efficient, which allows these businesses to be more productive and grow their businesses.

Packaging machines today are more reliable. Where once you had cams, gears and drives, you open a machine now and all you see is electronics and servo drives. These machines are easier to maintain, however good local technical support is still critical to a company’s successful installation.

Typically, parts are less expensive, and you can now do more with each machine.

A lot more support is needed around the application knowledge of product, materials and machinery, an area that Perfect Automation are very strong in.

What do you see as the future of packaging to be?

There will be a big push away from plastics to compostable and home compostable packaging, as we are already witnessing. Barrier films have allowed us to produce convenience foods like ready meals, portion control sizes and snack packs and to transport food further, creating export opportunities. The food industry needs the barrier film to protect the food during distribution and we need home compostable films like the PA Packaging Solutions range to perform just like plastic but not be harmful to the environment.

We are also going to see more investment and development in packaging machines; new innovations often drive great efficiency gains and lower costs and open new markets. For example, the development of multi head weighing machines, saw great increases in speeds and efficiencies, downstream had to innovate further to catch up, another good example is modified atmosphere packaging, this has led to a boom in convenience foods and will continue to be a great tool to drive down food waste.

To see how 30 years’ experience in the packaging industry can help your manufacturing business package better, faster and more efficiently, John Whitfield can be contacted by mobile on +61 412 708 519, at john@perfectautomation.com.au or our contact us form.

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