Optimism reigns in the K year 2010

The global financial and economic crisis hit companies in the international plastics and rubber industry hard, resulting in an unprecedented slump in output and sales. But optimism reigns in the K year 2010, as order intake levels and turnover have taken a gratifying upturn in recent months. Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Exhibitors’ Council of K 2010: “Although it will take quite some time before we reach 2008 levels again, current trends are very encouraging for raw materials producers, machine manufacturers, and processors. Our customers are again working on new projects and are showing big interest in innovations and optimised processes and products. We are now benefiting from having built on our strengths in bad times, improved our competitiveness and developed new products.”

Against this heartening background, preparations are in full swing for the world’s largest trade fair for plastics and rubber. At the K 2010 Preview from 13 to 17 June, some 80 journalists representing plastics and rubber industry publications in more than 30 countries took the opportunity offered by Messe Düssedorf to get the latest update on how the preparations for the trade fair were progressing. The supporting organisations of K reported in Düsseldorf about current trends in the plastics and rubber markets. Nine well-known exhibitors gave presentations outlining the new developments they will be showing in Düsseldorf in October

From 27 October to 3 November some 3,000 exhibitors will be presenting their latest developments for all sectors of the industry. All 19 of the available exhibition halls are occupied. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, and his team are delighted at these good omens: “After the hard times in which many companies of the plastics and rubber industry worldwide have had to fight for survival, we share our customers’ delight in the satisfying course that the year 2010 has taken to date. We are confidently hopeful of a continuation of the positive business trend. I am sure that K 2010 will play its part in demonstrating the undiminished innovative power of the sector and help to expand international business relationships still further.”

The definitive number of companies that will be attending K 2010 is not yet known, as not all of the exhibitors at the joint stands have been named. Already (as at 10 June 2010), 2,973 exhibitors from 55 countries have registered. Some 60 per cent of the exhibitions space will be occupied by companies based outside Germany. Italy is traditionally the most strongly represented nation among the non-German exhibitors, and Italian companies alone have booked a net space of 27,000 square metres to showcase their products. Also strongly represented among the European countries are Austria (8,400 square metres), Switzerland (6,100 square metres), France (4,900 square metres) and the Netherlands (4,000 square metres). More than 100 companies from the USA will be taking part, occupying 4,000 square metres of exhibition space – a slight drop in relation to K 2007. By contrast, the contingents from China (6,800 square metres), India (4,600 square meters) and Turkey (2,700 square metres) have grown appreciably. With 5,300 square metres, Taiwan is as strongly represented as in 2007. Werner M. Dornscheidt: “The broad spectrum of suppliers at K 2010, ranging from large global players to small start-ups, and the internationality of the exhibitors is unparalleled – no other trade fair worldwide achieves a product spectrum of such breadth and depth!”

Manufacturers of machinery and equipment are traditionally the largest group of exhibitors at K, and will occupy halls 1 to 4 and 9 to 17, which account for about two thirds of the total exhibition area. Suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished products and technical parts will be exhibiting in halls 5 to 8a. Hall 8b, at the interface between the thematic exhibition zones, will house, among other things, the joint presentation by the Chinese industry.

The exhibitors’ ranges will be supplemented by future-oriented elements, which will be dealt with in the special review “Visions in Polymers”. In daily panel discussions, top academics and experienced users will address questions such as what our daily lives will look like 20 years from now, and how plastics can contribute to solving major problems. On the basis of examples from different areas of life, speakers will explain which development trends can be discerned, and which innovations the industry has in its pipelines. Special emphasis will be placed on the themes of energy efficiency and resource conservation.

The “Visions in Polymers” special review is organised by the German plastics industry under the auspices of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf.

K Düsseldorf is the world’s most important contact forum, not just for the entire plastics and rubber industry, but also for visitors from the major user segments. No other trade fair offers such opportunities for experts in the automotive, packaging, electrical engineering, electronics and communications industries, the construction sector, medical technology and aerospace to learn about the latest plastics and rubber applications and experience the technical innovations of a dynamic sector.

To make it even easier to find all of these many new developments, a tool is currently being developed that will show the direct route to all the highlights – the Innovation Compass. It offers a search matrix for innovations that can bring major improvements or even fundamental changes. A circle of experts including top-ranking academics and prominent representatives of the K Exhibitors Council has defined a series of key themes that will have a decisive impact on market trends over the next few years.

The Innovation Compass, which will be available on the Web at www.k-online.de about six weeks before the trade fair starts, enables visitors to tailor their visit to K 2010 precisely to their needs.

K 2010 will take place in the halls of the Düsseldorf exhibition grounds from Wednesday the 27th October to Wednesday the 3rd November 2010, opening daily from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.