Plastics manufacturers are very content with the results of K 2016. The trade fair took off to a strong start with the producers’ stands very well attended even on the first day of the trade fair and on Thursday. Friday also saw pleasantly high attendance and after the traditionally somewhat quieter weekend the second week of K continued with many high-quality conversations on Monday. Nearly all exhibitors agreed they saw throngs of visitors at their stands already briefly after the trade fair had opened and that most of them came very well prepared. They also agreed on the high level of expertise and decision-making powers while English was the dominating language spoken at many stands. “A successful K with many interesting conversations with national and international customers and business associates lies behind us,” explained Dr. Josef Ertl, Chairman of PlasticsEurope Deutschland and went on to say: “We have seen a very innovative and forward-looking K, which continues to be the ideal platform for presenting new technologies, workflows and materials from our industry – and is therefore a must-go event for plastics manufacturers.” The topics producing the most intense discussion at producers’ stands were lightweight construction, innovation, competitiveness and Industry 4.0, Smart Factory as well as additive manufacturing. Resource efficiency with plastics and environmental friendliness were also among the issues frequently addressed.
Also very well attended was the Special Show, a project initiated by the German plastics industry under the auspices of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf. This presentation already accompanied the ranges exhibited at K for the 9th time now. Under the heading “Plastics shape the future” functionality, aesthetics and the sustainability of plastics were centre stage here; the innovative stand design reflected the theme and aroused visitors’ curiosity. Experts from science, industry and political spheres provided information on these themes, and discussed economic, social and ecological challenges and approaches over seven theme days – thereby addressing the sector’s core issues and tomorrow’s themes. Films and slide shows pictured the challenges as well as the responses the plastics industry has already developed for them or is currently working on.
Another highlight of the Special Show were the robotics teams of the CJD college in Königswinter, that gave proof of their skills and that of their robots in the disciplines “Rescue” and “Soccer”. The youngest “exhibitors” at the K trade fair carried visitors away with their enthusiasm, all the more as the issue of young talents and education is also gaining more and more ground among plastics manufacturers. Accordingly, a Youth Day was again organised that attracted plenty of attention and gave young multipliers the unique opportunity to meet decision-makers from the industry. The venture of offering specifically theme days for the first time paid off for the Special Show: And valuable aspects such as marine litter were not spared either. At the same time, the Special Show organisers set accents with such topics as resource efficiency - in particular, with a lecture by Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker - and other exciting plastics subjects such as lightweight construction, new materials, Plastics Industry 4.0 and designing with plastics.