K 2016: A comprehensive framework program offers visitors from all over the world real added value in technical terms

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More than 3,200 exhibitors will be unveiling the entire value chain of this sector in all its unique broadness and depth at K 2016 from 19 to 26 October in Düsseldorf. Exhibits within the 19 trade fair halls are clearly divided into the following areas:

  • Raw materials, auxiliaries
  • Semi-finished products, technical components and reinforced plastics
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Services.

Even if the plastics sector accounts for the overwhelming majority of exhibits, rubber definitely plays a decisive role for important customer industries. The Rubber Mile in Hall 6 is a firmly established feature of the K trade fair in Düsseldorf, and 12 companies will participate in this showcase for the rubber sector. Interested visitors can obtain a comprehensive overview of all the qualified rubber and elastomer suppliers among K exhibitors in the Rubber & TPE Pocket Guide

The comprehensive technical framework program also offers visitors to K 2016 real added value. The plastics training initiative kai (Kunststoff-Ausbildungs-Initiative), the Special Show and Science Campus, 3D fab + print touchpoint, activities relating to Industry 4.0, Bioplastics Business Breakfasts, the Design Chain Conference and the meet@K cooperation forum focus on special aspects and issues in the sector and offer a chance to obtain more specific information.

kai - promoting new talent at K 2016

With a varied interactive program, kai, the plastics training initiative, seeks to attract up-and-coming talent to the sector. Under the motto “Experience plastics live”, program items are presented in a dedicated event ¬calendar which offer young people a fascinating glimpse into the world of plastics. The challenges facing anybody involved professionally with plastics are extremely varied, with engineers and chemists needed just as much as process mechanics and product designers, production and electronics technicians. The kai program on each day of K 2016 offers a guide to career seekers and contacts for questions relating to vocational education and training. Events which are especially designed to attract young people and guided tours for target groups enable visitors to experience modern technologies at first hand. As a plastics training initiative, kai (Kunststoff-Ausbildungs-Initiative) was initiated by the GKV (the association representing the German plastics converting sector) and organisations from the plastics industry and is supported by Messe Düsseldorf.

Special Show: “Plastics shape the future”

“Plastics shape the future” is a Special Show that highlights the degree to which plastics already shape the design of modern living spaces – functionally, aesthetically and sustainably. This is the ninth time it has complemented presentations in the central forum in Hall 6 of K dedicated to the exchange of information, ideas and opinions. Attention is also devoted to economic and environmental matters, and even problematical issues are not omitted. 

At the core of “Plastics shape the future” are seven topical days with presentations, keynote speeches and podium discussions:

  • Wednesday, 19.10          Plastics Industry 4.0
  • Thursday, 20.10.     New Materials
  • Friday, 21.10.            Lightweight Design
  • Saturday, 22.10.         Marine Litter
  • Sunday, 23.10.          Youth and Education
  • Monday, 24.10.           Plastics Meet Design
  • Tuesday, 25.10.         Resource Efficiency 

Each day, teams of students from the CJD school in Königswinter will demonstrate their skills and those of their robots. Exciting plastics experiments and a film addressing the issues examined in the Special Show will offer unusual insights. Sunday, 23 October will have a decidedly (but not exclusively) sporty flavour when Olympic medallists and world champions from “Team Plastics” visit the Special Show. The last day (25 October) promises to be a particularly special highlight, with Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker from the Club of Rome giving a presentation with the title “Resource Efficiency – a Challenge for this Century”.  

The Special Show is a project initiated by the German plastics industry under the aegis of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf.

Science Campus: Dialogue between research and business

The Science Campus gives exhibitors and visitors to K 2016 the opportunity to gain a concentrated overview of scientific activities and findings in the plastics and rubber sectors, while businesses and universities have the chance to exchange information and experience. Since its launch in 2013, the Science Campus has grown in size and welcomes an increasing number of participating universities, institutes and funding agencies. Four central issues which are expected to affect the development of the market in this sector in a lasting manner in the next few years are at the heart of the Science Campus. These are:

  • Plastics Industry 4.0
  • New Materials
  • Lightweight Design
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Global Change.

Added to these are Scientific Education and Plastics Meet Design.

Additive manufacturing attracts a lot of attention

Hardly any technology is attracting as much attention today as additive manufacturing, which is also known as 3D printing. K 2016 will offer comprehensive chances to obtain information on the opportunities and limitations of additive manufacturing. 

The 3D fab+print touchpoint in Hall 4 is a central information stand on this topic. It is a cooperative effort manned by personnel from Messe Düsseldorf and its partner KCI Publishing BV, a leading scientific, communications and information enterprise from the Netherlands. Visitors will be invited to attend in-depth presentations and discussions on the topic which will be held at two half-day conferences on Thursday, 20 October and Tuesday, 25 October, both from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The 3D fab+print Morning Summits focus on both material developments and different additive manufacturing processes, addressing best practices, application scenarios, market potential and costs. Contributions from leading manufacturers such as Stratasys, Arburg, Proto Labs and EnvisionTec and experts from the scientific and research communities will ensure that every aspect is discussed with the competence it deserves. The opening day of K 2016 on 19 October, a topical day dedicated to Industry 4.0, will also see a short presentation in the context of the “Plastics shape the future” Special Show on the subject of “Additive manufacturing for the individualisation of serial products”. 

The FabBus “Wolfgang” will be offering visitors the chance to view, touch and try out additive manufacturing on every trade fair day in front of Hall 3. The former Berlin double-decker bus was converted into a mobile laboratory as part of an EU sponsorship project at the GoetheLab of the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences. It brings the latest scientific findings in the area of additive manufacturing from the laboratory straight to the trade fair venue, helping visitors to understand and experience this technology directly. The lower deck of the FabBus contains a showroom with exhibits and components from all previous additive manufacturing processes. Visitors to the upper deck can design their own objects in eight workstations, each with its own CAD computer and 3D printer. These objects can then be 3-dimensionally printed and taken home. 

Last but not least, numerous exhibitors at K 2016 will be demonstrating interesting innovations relating to additive manufacturing. Messe Düsseldorf will list these providers in a special brochure.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is also an extremely topical issue in the plastics and rubber sector. Experts in the VDMA TV studio will discuss approaches to digital networking and the options and limitations involved. Trade fair visitors can follow these live discussions daily either directly on location or online. Each day of K 2016 is dedicated to a special aspect of Industry 4.0 which will be addressed in depth by the panel of experts. An introduction entitled “Industry 4.0 for plastics and rubber machinery” will also be offered every day. VDMA member firms will also demonstrate with the aid of (end) products how their Industry 4.0 technologies are used successfully in production and service.

Potential inherent in bioplastics

Bioplastics have gained a lot of attention in recent years as a supplement and sometimes alternative to conventional plastics. Anybody wishing to learn more about their potential will have numerous opportunities to do this on exhibitor stands at K 2016. In addition, bioplastics Magazine will be offering three events in cooperation with Messe Düsseldorf to allow visitors to deepen their knowledge. Every morning from 20 to 22 October, the latest information will be presented and experience exchanged in the context of the Bioplastics Business Breakfasts.

Design Chain conference

The Design Chain@K conference from Crain Communications offers an insight into the practical and technical aspects of innovations in the design chain. This event offers both designers and material companies the possibility to demonstrate the use of polymers in different product areas. Examples will be included from the automotive and medical industry, consumer electronics and the packaging sector.


The meet@K cooperation forum is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, kunststoffland NRW and the Enterprise Europe Network and aims to help companies in the targeted search for international business partners. B2B discussions will be held following prior online registration on 20 and 21 October 2016 in Hall 6.


K 2016 Press Office

Phone.: +49-211-4560 240
Fax: +49-211-4560 8548

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