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K 2019: Shaping the future of plastics

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:12/23/2019 09:12:08 PM

Part 1 of the post-show report on K 2019 features the exhibition's highlights plus interviews with FIMIC, Maag Group and Davis-Standard LLC
K, the leading global trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, has drawn to a close in Düsseldorf on 23 October. The 3,330 exhibitors from 63 nations proved impressively: plastics continue to be an innovative, indispensable, future-oriented material. But they also unanimously underscored the necessity of having operational circular economies along the complete material chain and to this end already presented concrete solutions that will shape the future of plastic production. Companies struck a nerve with people with this focus because the approximately 225,000 visitors from 165 countries took great interest especially in recycling systems, sustainable raw materials, resource-saving processes. 
 
Furthermore, K 2019 was characterised by a high propensity to invest as before. The intention among the international trade audience to get perfectly geared up for the future with the latest technologies was clearly perceivable. “K 2019 came at precisely the right point in time. Its enormous importance for the sector is underpinned by its high acceptance levels all over the world. There is no other place the industry is represented so internationally and completely as here in Düsseldorf every three years,” says Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. He further explained: “Especially in times of great challenges, a platform like the K is indispensable. It provides guidance and perspectives, sets sustainable economic impulses, shows forward-looking trends and concrete approaches. The industry and its professional associations enjoyed the unique opportunity here to present sector-specific solutions and debate questions of socio-political relevance on a global scale. And they have capitalised on this opportunity outstandingly well.”
 
K 2019
 
Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Exhibitor Advisory Board at K 2019, was happy with the  K 2019 results: “The plastics and rubber industry succeeded in proving once again that plastics are not only very valuable materials with outstanding properties but also that this industry assumes responsibility along the entire value chain. The buzzwords at K 2019 “Reflect. Re-Think. Think Laterally. Think Afresh.” were mirrored 1:1 by exhibitors’ stands. Never before has the industry addressed an issue so unanimously and worked on solutions so consistently as is the case now in the fields of environmental compatibility, saving resources and avoiding waste. There is a spirit of new departures prevailing in the industry and current dynamics are overwhelming.”
 
And the positive mood prevailing at K 2019 was also echoed by concrete demand at exhibition stands: “It became clear that global demand for innovative machinery and raw materials is particularly high right now, despite the current tensions in world trade or the business climate in some consumer sectors. This year’s K has by far exceeded our expectations and was able to generate key impetus for sustainable governance and new business models,” said Mr.  Reifenhäuser. The countries especially well represented on the part of visitors after Germany were Italy, the Netherlands, India, Turkey and China, followed by the USA. Furthermore, a marked increase in the number of trade visitors from the Russian Federation, Japan and Brazil was registered. The number of executives among K visitors rose again to the tune of 68% who represent top or middle management. With over 90%, visitor satisfaction was again at a top level. While for German trade visitors increased efficiency ranked first as the currently most important issue, the expansion of product and service portfolios was in the foreground for European and non-European trade fair guests.
 
Trend-setting products and applications 
Once again, K was able to score points as a premiere platform where many trend-setting products and applications were presented to the world public for the first time. The innovations were not only admired, but also many concrete negotiations were conducted and contracts signed.  
 
Flexible materials – rubbers and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) – also proved a fixture at K again. Although the elastomer segment has traditionally been smaller than the plastics range at K, there was a surprisingly high number of companies presenting elastomer-specific products and services – be it raw materials, additives and compounds or special machines and equipment for reclamation and converting.
 
The extensive supporting programme at K 2019 boasting keynotes and high-calibre discussions such as on renewable energies, material efficiency or zero-waste production met with avid interest among the international audience, especially the Special Show K 2019 “Plastics shape the Future”. This year the innovative power of the material and the industry in terms of resource-saving processes, digitalisation, functionality, renewable energies, circularity and sustainability were centrestage. At the Science Campus both exhibitors and visitors to K 2019 were given a condensed overview of scientific activities and results in the plastics and rubber sector. Numerous universities, institutes and funding agencies provided opportunities for direct dialogue. 
 
The next K Düsseldorf will be held from 19 to 26 October 2022. 
 
This issue contains the first part of the post-exhibition report that contains the feedback from exhibitors as gathered by the editorial team of International Plastics News for Asia.  
 
Recycling trends bring opportunities 
 
The MAAG Group (www.maag.com) presented three new strand pelletisers at K 2019. With the PRIMO 100E, the MAAG Group AUTOMATIK completes its product portfolio in the field of single-sided strand pelletisers for the compounding market and now also offers the possibility of efficiently processing highly filled products in lower throughput ranges. Another model, the PRIMO PLUS Flex,  is the link between proven PRIMO Plus  technology and the cutting rotors of the Scheer product group.   
 
According to Paul Merich, Vice President of MAAG APAC, “K is a special venue for MAAG Group to showcase our range of products. For K, we showed our new strand pelletisers and explained to our customers their benefits.” For MAAG, the past few years has been important especially for its Asian operations. “Asia is our biggest growth area and for the last three years, we have grown in Asia and we still see substantial growth in the number of projects – such as those in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries. But China is a strong growth region and in China we have some local products that we update every two years,” Mr. Merich explained.
 
MAAG Group
                      Mr. Paul Merich, Vice President, MAAG APAC
 
The strand pelletiser models introduced at K include the little brother of the PRIMO 200E, which completes the Group’s product portfolio with a robust, one-sided dry-cut strand pelletiser for lower throughput ranges.   The PRIMO 100E is particularly suitable for compounding thermoplastics, functional or additive masterbatch production and the production of colour concentrates up to a line throughput of 1,000 kg per hour.  In the Flex version the PRIMO Plus is now available for the first time in combination with the 200mm cutting rotors known from the Scheer portfolio. With the PRIMO PLUS Flex, MAAG customers receive all advantages of a solid strand pelletiser which has been continuously developed since the market launch, with the full option package from Automatik Pelletizing Systems. This means granulation at the highest level, maximum flexibility and compatibility with the core component portfolio.  
 
FIMIC’s response to the trends in the global plastics that lean towards recycling is its latest range of filters aimed at enhancing plastics recycling. With K 2019’s focus on recycling and circular economy, FIMIC (www.fimic.it) sees a lot of opportunities for its new filtrations systems, not only in Europe but also worldwide.  Ms. Erica Canaia, Sales Director at FIMIC, explained that the company has been supporting its customers in their bid to enhance their operations by offering the most adequate filters that meet their specific applications and materials to be processed. “FIMIC now offers five different models in response to the growing recycling trends as the plastics industry moves forward in achieving a circular economy,” Ms. Canaia said.   
 
FIMIC
                                            Ms. Erica Canaia, Sales Director, FIMIC Srl  
 
FIMIC is currently well known worldwide for its RAS filtration model. The RAS system is a scraping filter known for its flexibility and strength. With the use of two blades, the model is able to scrape very high contaminations (for example up to 15% of paper) and also contaminations blocked by a laser or punched mesh. The company retains the record for the lowest operations costs compared to all other filters in the market today. “While we produce our filters in Italy, the filter can be installed in every single extruder anywhere in the world. We adapt the filter to the machine of our customers and we work closely with them to achieve the best results they desire,” Ms. Canaia stressed.  
 
At K 2019, the world of recycling has been further emphasized – and current trends require automatic and productive machines that can achieve higher product quality at lower material waste and minimum operating costs. With FIMIC, this goal is possible through its filtration solutions highlighted during the exhibition. “We are very optimistic now given the large number of inquiries we’ve been receiving from interested visitors,” according to Ms. Canaia.  FIMIC has been exploring other markets outside Europe, and with recycling taken as an immediate solution to alleviate plastic waste, the demand for FIMIC products is expected to rise in dynamic regions such as Asia.  
 
For Davis-Standard LLC (www.davis-standard.com), K 2019 provided an opportunity to show off its broad portfolio of extrusion and converting solutions for the plastics industry with the combined expertise from Brampton Engineering, Inc., Maillefer SA and Thermoforming Systems LLC (TSL) presented for the first time in a major exhibition. The range of extrusion and converting technologies promoted are geared to support the plastics industry’s move towards a  circular economy, where sustainable processing technologies and techniques are designed to reduce plastic waste and promote recycling through the utilisation of recycled materials. 
 
According to Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President Business Development - Asia Pacific at Davis-Standard: “There is much enthusiasm now for technologies in the areas of Industry 4.0 and circular economy and Davis-Standard have products that can meet these market trends. In fact, despite the global economy facing many challenges which affect the plastics industry, I am slightly surprised by the positive response and optimism. The first few days of the show have been good, especially for Asia Pacific.”  
 
Davis-Standard
                                   Mr. Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President Business Development - Asia Pacific, Davis-Standard LLC
 
As Mr. Murugaiah explained, Davis-Standard has been responding to current industry trends. For instance, in the Internet of Things (IoT), Davis-Standard has products and services that can perform predictive real-time monitoring of variables that affect the quality and performance of the components of the machine to reduce downtime.  To meet the sustainability challenge, according to Mr. Murugaiah: “Davis-Standard offers equipment that enable our customers to achieve less material usage, faster cycle time and operate more efficiently. The sustainability goal is not an end by itself as we see that this is more of a journey for all those involved in the plastics industry.”  
Davis-Standard promoted its full menu of global aftermarket and technical services, aimed at providing convenience and improved performance for customers. This includes options for increasing productivity, reducing waste and strengthening product quality. Equipment upgrades, replacement parts, global field services, custom engineering, research and technical services, 
and a 24/7 customer service hotline (844-MYDAVIS) have enabled Davis-Standard to support customer needs in a cost-effective and timely manner. 

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