Plastics Processing in Digitalization Mode

The plastics industry is becoming more and more digital, which is not least of all made apparent by great demand for Industry 4.0-capable equipment and systems. (Source: P. E. Schall)

From 16 to 20 October, experts from the plastics world gathered for the 26th time at the Fakuma – International Trade Fair for Plastics Processing – which was once again fully booked. The international exhibitors, as well as private trade fair promoters P. E. Schall, were pleased once more this year with the great demand for this pioneering event in the field of plastics technology: 1933 market and technology leaders from forty countries presented their companies to 47,650 expert visitors from all over the world.

The proactive technology transformation appears to be succeeding in the field of plastics processing: new materials, more efficient manufacturing processes, 3D and 4D printing alternatives, digitalized and automated production solutions, reduced energy consumption for machines and systems – these are just a few of the regulating screws that need to be tweaked by today’s plastics processors.

The topic of sustainability with its aspects of plastics recycling, material savings and bio-materials was also discussed more than ever at the Fakuma. The requirements of plastics customers such as the automotive industry and consumer goods and packaging manufacturers are becoming increasingly complex. Fakuma 2018 demonstrated that the “plastics experts” are well equipped to meet the new challenges and that the most modern tools are available in all facets to work in a way that conserves materials and resources as well as being economical!

The production of affordable, and at the same time rugged lightweight design structures was presented at the event to just as great an extent as a broad-based portfolio of new materials. New machines, adapted tooling, integrated quality assurance, controllable hydraulic, and to an ever greater extent electric drives, and networkable and thus communicative controllers complete with software – the plastics industry is becoming more and more digital, which is not least of all made apparent by great demand for Industry 4.0-capable equipment and systems.

The compact Friedrichshafen Exhibition Center on Lake Constance was once again fully booked out. Manufacturers and distributors from outside of Germany now account for more than 42 % of the total number. Internationalism has been growing for years. Not least of all the publicity surrounding 3D/4D printing technology and additive manufacturing is causing more and more new and established suppliers from all over the world to appear on the scene, who supplement the portfolio with highly interesting solutions at Fakuma as a globally leading trade fair for plastics processing.

With 47,650 visitors from 126 countries, Fakuma plays an important role amongst the experts. The exhibitors all agree: The visitors demonstrate high levels of expertise and the technical discussions are of “high quality”. Consequently, the exhibiting companies were more than satisfied and their comments were entirely positive. Clear-cut positioning as a trade fair for plastics processing – and not as a multi-technology event for plastics issues – makes an essential contribution to Fakuma’s excellent reputation as a technical industry meet. It’s strictly practice-oriented alignment to the process sequence for plastics processing is a further important success factor for the industry event.

Economic growth of the plastics processing industry is only being impeded by the lack of qualified personnel. As a result, expert meeting places like Fakuma are being used to an ever greater extent for recruiting purposes. The objectively oriented supplementary program is an ideal opportunity for technical further training, and at the same time for meeting interesting people. This year’s series of events with 69 technical presentations was the ideal setting for expert visitors and exhibiting companies to gather comprehensive information about a great variety of issues.

The next Fakuma will take place from 13. to 17. October 2020 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. (Source: P. E. Schall)

Link: Fachmesse für Kunststoffverarbeitung Fakuma, Friedrichshafen, Germany by P. E. Schall, Frickenhausen, Germany

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