Innovative products are the most important asset in a competitive environment

Automation & RoboticsInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2016

Innovative products are the most important asset in a competitive environment

Petra Cullmann,
Global Portfolio Director Plastics & Rubber, Messe Dusseldorf, for South-East European Industrial Market magazine

K 2016 will be held from 19 to 26 October 2016. With just a few months left, how is the preparation going?
Very well, K 2016 has been booked out for months. Some 3,100 exhibitors will be taking part and showing their products and services on more than 170,000 square metres of net exhibition space. K 2016 in Dusseldorf will again be by far the biggest event for the industry and the starting point for momentous decisions for products and processes.

Nowhere in the world can one experience the full breadth of raw materials, processing and application equipment as completely as at K in Dusseldorf. This is the premier platform for the global plastics and rubber industry.

The exhibition space for the fair is already fully booked. What is the balance between German and foreign exhibitors for this year’s event?
About two thirds of the exhibiting companies are not from Germany, they have their origin in nearly 60 different countries around the globe. Again, the strongest contingent of exhibitors comes from Europe, besides Germany especially from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and Turkey, but there is also an impressive number of participants from the USA.

At the same time, K is a clear indicator of changes in the global market: over the past years, the number of Asian companies and the exhibition space booked by them has been rising steadily, and this year, particularly China, Taiwan, India, Japan and South Korea will be impressing visitors with their strong presence.

K has established itself as the world’s biggest fair for the plastics and rubber industry. What are the factors that guarantee that participating in K 2016 will be beneficial to both exhibitors and visitors?
The CEO of one of our exhibitors once summarized it with the words: the heart of our industry beats in the rhythm of K Dusseldorf! Since months now, companies throughout the industry are working hard to make sure they present themselves in the best light, when the date comes around in October 2016. And "in the best light" stands for "with interesting innovations".

Because innovative products are the most important asset in a competitive environment. Only those, who can offer new or improved technologies that bring real benefits to their customers, will be able to face the strong worldwide competition.

What is special among the largest group of exhibitors, the international machinery and equipment manufacturers: they’ll present live demonstrations of complex production units what makes K the largest plastics factory in the world.

Another unique feature of K is its high degree of internationalism, both on the exhibitor and on the visitor side. This guarantees that trade visitors will find world-class products and services in every area covered. And it gives the exhibitors the opportunity to meet industry experts from over 100 countries and establish contacts with potential customers that they might not have been able to reach in other ways.

Besides the presentations at the exhibitors’ stands, also the extensive supporting programme of K 2016 is of great value to exhibitors and visitors alike. To mention just a few:
The special presentation with the title "Plastics shape the future" aims to show how polymer materials have shaped and will shape the appearance of modern settings and solve tomorrow’s challenges.

Not just in functional terms, but also in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. Topics like resource efficiency, lightweight construction, new materials and Industry 4.0, and even the controversial marine litter, will be addressed in panel discussions and presented in multiple media.

While the special show is directed at industry decision-makers and also reaches the general public through multipliers and the media, the Science Campus is the meeting place for the scientific community.

This is where institutions, universities and other establishments present their latest research results in the complex field of plastics and rubber and dialogue with industrial users.
I just mention briefly the topics of other highlights in the accompanying events - 3D printing technology, bioplastics and design are some of the keywords.

The plastics and rubber markets show a high annual growth percentage. How will K 2016 reflect the development in both industries?
We see that, besides the plastics processors from all parts of the world, more and more experts from the user industries of plastics and rubber visit K in Dusseldorf. That means, experts from the automotive industry, packaging, E+E and communication, construction, medical engineering and the aerospace industry come and learn about new and visionary areas of application for plastics and rubber materials.

The concept of circular economy is gaining more and more popularity. Do you intend to include exhibitors of solutions for recycling and recovery of plastics and rubber at future editions of the fair?
These exhibitors are part of K in Dusseldorf since long. And besides the many companies that offer multiple solutions for recycling, recovering and reprocessing, the topic is highlighted e.g. in the special exhibition and in the Science Campus. Which means, a lot of practical solutions are presented, already available on the market, but also new ideas and new scientific knowledge are published and discussed.