Kolbus UK MD Robert Flather is new Picon chairman

Robert Flather (left) shakes hands with outgoing chairman Bob Usher
Robert Flather (left) shakes hands with outgoing chairman Bob Usher

Robert Flather, managing director of Kolbus UK, has been elected as chairman of Picon. He succeeds Bob Usher, managing irector of Apex Digital Graphics, who has completed his two-year term leading the Council of the UK association of print industry manufacturers and suppliers.

Picon is the leading industry trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers to the printing, papermaking and paper converting sectors.

It is dedicated to providing support services and business advice to its members – a diverse range of organisations, from multi-nationals to SMEs, whose products provide solutions for all segments of the printing, papermaking and related markets.

The BPMSA (British Paper Machinery Suppliers Association) is a division of Picon and these members specialise in the design and manufacture of machinery and technological processes used in the manufacture of paper and board.

Flather said his priorities as chairman include continuing the work of Bob Usher and the late Peter Morris in helping to create an authoritative voice for the printing industry through Picon’s membership of the Graphic Print & Media Alliance (GPMA).

“Lobbying for members’ interests is a primary function of a trade association,” said Flather, “and I thank Peter and Bob for their significant contributions in laying the ground for the GPMA to become a powerful voice for all sectors of the industry. We are now approaching the critical mass needed to speak with weight and authority, and I will be working hard to make this happen.”

Commenting on the industry exhibitions in the UK, Flather said Picon “will continue to back shows for which there is clear support among our members, many of whom value a stable UK exhibition scene.

“Continuing to expand the benefits for Picon members is a further goal. “Our aim should always be to provide benefits that members need, which means that the main impetus has to come from the full membership. The Council cannot do it alone.

“Bob Usher has set a great example in this, being seen at as many events as he could and, whenever possible, supporting our calendar of sector-specific focus groups with his presence.”

Flather started his working life as an engineer in the steel industry, before joining companies like Clays and Jarrolds, before joining Kolbus UK in 1997.