Topic of the Month

K 2016 enters into the hot phase

In October, some 3,100 businesses from the plastics and rubber industry will again be presenting trend-setting products, processes and practical solutions. Tailored materials, efficient use of resources, zero-defect production, generative production methods and digitalisation are only some of the many technological trends featured by this year’s trade fair.

Demographic growth, urbanisation, rising energy consumption, dwindling resources and climate change – there are a host of challenges to master. The global situation calls for creative minds, innovative technology and high-performance materials. From 19 to 26 October, the international plastics and rubber industry will be meeting at K 2016 in Düsseldorf and presenting its solutions. The global flagship fair for the sector and industrial applications, K unites central industry trends and future trends at a single venue. It has become established as the innovation and business platform not only for raw materials producers, manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery, and processors, but also for stakeholders from the key user industries.

Plastics and rubber branch at a glance

K 2016 has been booked out for months. Some 3,100 exhibitors from almost 60 nations will be taking part and showing their products and services on more than 170,000 square metres of net exhibition space. Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, has no doubts: “Nowhere in the world can one experience the full breadth of raw materials, processing and application equipment as completely as at K in Düsseldorf. This is the premier platform for the global plastics and rubber industry, and each company aims to present itself here with forward-looking innovations. Another unique feature is the high internationality of exhibitors and visitors. This ensures, firstly, that trade visitors can expect an offering of world market standard across the board. And, secondly, exhibitors here have access to industry experts from over 100 countries and come together with potential customers that they would not otherwise meet.”

Background information and statements...

Plastics and rubber with excellent global growth perspectives

Again, the strongest contingent of exhibitors comes from Europe, especially from Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and Turkey, but there is also an impressive number of participants from the USA. At the same time, K is a clear indicator of changes in the global market: over the past years, the number of Asian companies and the exhibition space booked by them has been rising steadily, and this year, particularly China, Taiwan, India, Japan and South Korea will be impressing visitors with their strong presence. Since K welcomes highly diverse companies from all over the world, the spotlight is not only on the industry’s major talking points – such as energy, resource and materials efficiency – but also on niche segments.

Plastics and rubber with excellent global growth perspectives
As always, K 2016 will occupy all the exhibition space at Messe Düsseldorf, with products and services on show in all of the venue’s 19 halls. The industry’s core business areas:
  • machines and equipment,
  • raw materials and auxiliaries,
  • semi-finished products, technical parts and reinforced plastics and
  • services

have been neatly grouped in the various halls.

Machines and equipment – world premieres

This year, international machine and equipment manufacturers, K’s largest group of exhibitors, will be presenting an abundance of world premieres. Occupying about two thirds of the exhibition grounds, exhibitors from this particular group will be showing their products in halls 1 to 4 and halls 9 to 17. Engineers and machine manufacturers from all over the world are already working flat out so they can present live demonstrations of new complex production units in October. K 2016 provides a unique opportunity for drawing global attention to innovations, as no other event anywhere in the world attracts such an international and expert audience. Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the K 2016 Exhibitors Council, is very confident that the fair will give the industry a shot in the arm. “An abundance of innovations promising genuine customer benefits have already been announced in the run-up to the fair. I am particularly excited about the new developments we can expect under the heading of Industry 4.0. The possibility of supporting production with digitalisation and the interlinking of machines in the production process offer plastics processors new opportunities for accelerating production start-up and making production more flexible as well as enhancing quality assurance and maintenance. I am sure that there will be much of great interest in this area at K 2016.”

K 2016 presents unique abundance of innovative applications and complex exhibits

Raw materials and auxiliaries – materials of the future

Raw materials and auxiliaries specialists will be presenting the leading edge in polymer science: materials with superior resource efficiency that help to achieve a better balance between economic and ecological performance. In addition to the optimisation of standard polymers, this year’s major topics will centre on additives and fillers, biopolymers and functional polymers as well as on self-reinforcing polymers.

Semi-finished products, technical parts and reinforced plastics– a growth market

The industry is noted for its strong innovative powers and a broad diversity of products. There is a greater emphasis than ever on energy- and resource-efficient products, as they are capable of satisfying the most challenging requirements. Suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished products and technical parts will be exhibiting in halls 5 to 8b.

Finger on the pulse of advancing technology

K 2016 represents the industry’s complete value chain in an unparalleled breadth and depth. Rubber also plays an important role here. Though small compared to the plastics industry, it is of major importance to key user industries and is highly innovative. The Rubber Road in hall 6 is a permanent fixture at K, and 12 companies will be participating in this “shop window” of the rubber sector. For all visitors interested in elastomer technology, there will again be a Rubber & TPE Pocket Guide at K 2016.

K has always had its finger on the pulse of technological development. This is borne out not only by the presentations at exhibitor stands, but also by the supporting programme, which provides real added value for visitors. The special show, the Science Campus, Bioplastics Business Breakfasts, the Design Chain Conference, 3D fab+print and the plastics training initiative focus on specific aspects and industry-related issues: the perfect opportunity to gather strategic information.

K 2016 presents unique abundance of innovative applications and complex exhibits

Special show “Plastics shape the future”

The special show “Plastics shape the future” will spotlight how polymer materials have shaped the appearance of our modern world – not just functionally but also in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. This event deals with economic and environmental performance as well as addressing problems such as marine litter.

Presentations and an innovative stand design will be prominent features of the special show in Hall 6 that comprises VIP keynotes, introductory presentations, events and panel discussions. Throughout the entire trade fair, school and university students will also be welcome to express their ideas on shaping the future. At “Plastics shape the future”, there will be theme days for the first time, i.e. each day is assigned to a certain theme and offers a variety of talks and a central round of discussions on the theme in question:

  • Wednesday, 19.10.       Plastics Industry 4.0
  • Thursday, 20.10.           New materials
  • Friday, 21.10.                Lightweight construction
  • Saturday, 22.10.           Marine litter
  • Sunday, 23.10.             Youth and training
  • Monday, 24.10.             Plastics Meet Design
  • Tuesday, 25.10.            Resource efficiency

This special show, a project of the German plastics industry spearheaded by PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf, will be enhancing K’s exhibition offering for the 9th time in succession.

Innovation for the material of the 21st century: More informationen about the special show

Science Campus: dialogue between science and business

The Science Campus, a forum where businesses and universities can exchange information, also provides K 2016 exhibitors and visitors with a comprehensive overview of scientific activities and findings in plastics and rubber research. Since its launch in 2013, the Science Campus has gained in size and has recorded a rising number of participating universities, institutes and funding agencies. At the heart of the upcoming Science Campus will be four central issues that are expected to dramatically affect the development of the industry’s markets for the next few years. These are:

  • resource efficiency,
  • digitalisation of the value chain / Industry 4.0,
  • new materials, and
  • lightweight construction
  • as well as science education. Scientists from the K 2016 Innovation Circle and teams from their institutes will prepare and present information on the central topics. Beyond the Science Campus, these topics will also be reflected elsewhere at the trade fair in the exhibits at exhibitors’ stands, the special show “Plastics shape the future”, and in the Innovation Compass.

3D fab+print

Few technologies are giving rise to as much discussion as 3D printing. All over the world, additive manufacturing methods are inspiring users in the design and packaging industry, aerospace and automotive engineering, dental and medical technology, and machine and plant manufacture. Naturally, K 2016 will also be shedding light on this special technology. Three years ago, Messe Düsseldorf launched the 3D fab+print brand in order to spotlight this important subject – not only at K, but also, for example, at drupa – no. 1 for print and crossmedia solutions; at MEDICA – World Forum for Medicine; and at COMPAMED – High Tech Solutions for Medical Technology. In cooperation with KCI Publishing BV, the www.3dfabprint.com portal presents state-of-the-art technologies as well as visions and exciting best practices. At K 2016, all exhibitors showing solutions from the additive manufacturing segment will be presented in a dedicated brochure.

Bioplastics: potential and opportunities

Over the past few years, bioplastics have garnered immense attention as a complement and as an alternative to conventional plastics. Looking ahead, the industry is currently debating the pros and cons, and the future role and market potential of bioplastics – both bio-based and biodegradable plastics. Anyone wanting to find out more about the potentials and possibilities will have plenty of opportunities to do so at the stands of exhibitors at K 2016. Moreover, “bioplastics Magazine” in cooperation with Messe Düsseldorf will be hosting three events to take a closer look at this particular topic: every morning from 20 to 22 October, the latest information will be presented and experience shared at the Bioplastics Business Breakfasts

Design Chain Conference

Launched at K 2013, the Design Chain Conference met with very positive feedback. This time, the Design Chain@K conference hosted by Crain Communications will again provide insight into practical and technical aspects of innovations in the design chain. The event gives designers and materials producers a chance to show how polymers are used in different product applications. The programme includes examples from the automotive and medical industries, consumer electronics and packaging.

Top marks from visitors

Just how important K is for the industry is demonstrated not only by the number of exhibitors and the quality of the offering, but also and especially by the trade visitors. In October 2013, a total of 218,000 visitors from more than 100 countries came to Düsseldorf, and organisers of K 2016 expect similar numbers this year. More than half (59 per cent) came from abroad, with the largest groups of international visitors coming from the Netherlands, India, France, Belgium, the US, Italy and the UK. The experts’ verdict was clear: more than 90 per cent of them were very impressed with the abundance of information, innovations and technical solutions. Visitors awarded top marks for the density of innovative products and the presence of market leaders. And this applies not only to manufacturers of plastic and rubber products. K is well known and appreciated among ultimate buyers from the various user industries who regard the event as an important source of new ideas for their sector and their products.

Plastics and rubber with excellent global growth perspectives

Smarte online services

The web portal www.k-online.com, in particular, will be keeping everyone up-to-date before, during and after the fair. K 2016 exhibitors are already presenting themselves and their portfolios in the exhibitor database. This service provides visitors with a valuable tool for searching for companies, products and information.

Extremely convenient is the opportunity for visitors to purchase their tickets online, download the associated codes or print them out at home. The main benefit of eTickets is that they cost less. Day tickets will be available online for EUR 49, compared to EUR 65 (at the gate). Three-day tickets cost EUR 108 online, and EUR 135 at the gate. For travel to the exhibition centre, the online ticket also doubles as a local public transport ticket.

With the K app, visitors on the move also have access to important information.

Looking at the future – as of 19 October 2016

With the highest information density in the world, K is a business and information platform that looks to the future. Business and research are working hand in hand to provide visiting experts with an insight into the perspectives and scenarios that will shape the future of the plastics and rubber industry.

All of this awaits you as of 19 October.

See you there...!


By the way: Are you interessted in to know what peaple say about K preview an K 2016? We made some interviews with journalists and representives of Messe Düsseldorf and the plastics and rubber branch...

Interviews