The Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing will celebrate its 25th birthday “as befits its social status” in the fall of 2017! “As befits its social status” above all because the exhibition centre in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance will once again be fully booked out for the 2017 edition of the world’s second ranking event for industrial plastics technology and plastics processing. Previously unused floor space reserves will even be occupied this year in the two foyers at the east and west entrances, in order to meet the floor space requirements of established as well as various new exhibitors, and to significantly reduce the waiting list of hopeful aspirants. But also “as befits its social status” because the more than 915,000 square feet of overall exhibition floor space will be occupied this year by roughly 1700 exhibitors from 35 countries (including Germany) - and the proportion of manufacturers and distributors from outside of Germany lies within a range of greater than 35%, thus resulting once more in growing internationalism!
The plastics industry is having to reinvent itself to a given extent!
The lasting trend towards participation at Fakuma, which is held in the technology region on Lake Constance where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet, can also be explained by the fact that large segments of the plastics processing industry are changing – or are being forced to change - through the use of new materials, technologies and processes. 3D/4D printing technologies, as well as techniques and solutions for highly efficient processing of hybrid, composite and sandwich materials can be mentioned here as examples – above all and especially because the automobile industry and its suppliers are also making use of the opportunities offered by a broad-ranging portfolio of chemical solutions to a greater extent than ever before due to multifaceted requirements for affordable lightweight structures. The process sequence for material and resource-conserving processing of these new or alternative materials is based in turn on elementary building blocks such as new machines, adapted moulds and mould standards, integrated quality assurance systems and controllable hydraulic/pneumo-hydraulic/electric drives, as well as network-compatible and thus communication-capable controllers plus software - keyword: Industry 4.0!
Knowledge and technology transfer in theory and in practice
In actual practice, plastics processing at Fakuma includes injection moulding, extruding, thermoforming and 3D printing, as well as further processing right on up to integrated module assembly and sterile packaging under cleanroom conditions, for example of technical medical components ands assemblies. But plastics processing at Fakuma also includes beneficial theory in the form of presentations held at the highly popular, time-tested exhibitor forum which is booked out every year. Top experts present new technologies, enhanced processes, product innovations and new solutions for improved economic efficiency in the production of plastic parts at the forum in brief talks, and then place themselves at the disposal of their audience for an in-depth exchange of views. And thus by being a convincing, living example of its anniversary maxim, namely “Plastics Meets Business”, and by presenting it in a practically oriented fashion, the Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing sees itself as an innovation engine for the plastics industry once again on the occasion of the 25th edition of its successful existence.