Plastics and rubber industry demonstrates its full scope and innovative power at K 2013

Resource conservation and energy efficiency as central topics

Plastics and rubber are prime examples of efficiency. Insulating materials made of polymers protect against cold and heat. Their use saves a great deal more oil than is required to make them. Replacing metal with plastics makes cars and aircraft lighter. Lightweight construction saves fuel and conserves resources. Tyres made of advanced rubber blends reduce the rolling resistance and fuel consumption. For more than one hundred years, plastics and rubber have stood for endless new applications with the power to inspire and fascinate. Just a few decades ago, the innovative highlights were packaging film, cable sheaths and single-use syringes. Today they are micromouldings for heart catheters or prosthetics produced by 3D printing. In addition, the materials play a key role in expanding renewable energy sources.

The plastics and rubber industry will be presenting its full scope and innovative power at its leading global trade fair, K 2013 from 16 to 23 October in Düsseldorf. As Ulrich Reifenhäuser, chairman of the Exhibitors Council of K 2013, emphasised at the press conference before the trade fair: “For months, machine builders, raw materials producers and processors around the globe have been preparing intensively for the biggest event on the industry’s calendar. Development departments have been working flat out to be sure they will convince trade visitors with new features and innovations that will meet the demands for resource conservation and energy efficiency in materials, machinery, technologies and applications.”

Düsseldorf exhibition centre filled to capacity
More than 3,200 exhibitors will be presenting their latest developments for all sectors of the industry at K 2013. The net exhibition space covers some 171,000 square meters, and the Düsseldorf exhibition centre with all its 19 halls is filled to capacity.

The spectrum of suppliers ranges from large global players to small start-ups, and the array of products from commodities through to tailor-made tools or microparts. Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO, Messe Düsseldorf: “Nowhere else in the world can one experience the breadth of raw materials, processing and application technologies as completely as at K in Düsseldorf. This is where all the premium providers show their groundbreaking innovations, because this is where they expect to meet a highly international audience of experts. I am confident that there will again be more than 200,000 trade visitors from all over the world who will not miss this opportunity to be at K 2013 to experience today's trends, developments for tomorrow, and visions for the far future.”

3,200 exhibitors from 59 countries
The exhibitors at K 2013 come from 59 countries. They include suppliers from Europe, with especially large numbers from Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France. What is remarkable is that South European countries that were hard hit by the Euro crisis – such as Italy, Spain and even Greece – have the same or even a larger presence at K 2013 than in 2010.

The German plastics and rubber industry is presenting itself on almost 40 per cent, that is 66,497 square metres, of the total space. At the same time, changes in the world market are clearly reflected at K: The number of companies from Asia and the presentation space booked by them have strongly increased since the 2010 event. The net exhibition space of the five largest Asian exhibitor nations China, Taiwan, India, Japan and South Korea is almost one third larger (just under 18,800 sqm in 2010, almost 25,000 sqm in 2013).

Special show “Plastics move the world”
The exhibitors’ own diverse ranges of products and services will be supplemented by a comprehensive supporting programme. The now traditional special show in hall 6, this year entitled “Plastics move the world”, deserves a special mention. It makes clear which contributions plastics can make to a “life on the move”. The term “move” covers a very broad range here. It includes not only the direct contributions that plastics make to the different facets of mobility but also the ways in which they can “move” in the emotional sense, for example in art and design, or as inspiration for forward-looking solutions to the big challenges of population growth, energy demand and climate change.

A series of talks by prominent speakers will also explore the theme of the special show from different angles. On the stand opening day, 16 October, former German minister of foreign affairs Joschka Fischer will be speaking about sustainability. He will be followed on 17 October by Bertrand Piccard, the first person to fly across the USA from San Francisco to New York in a solar aircraft, his “Solar Impulse,” without using a drop of fuel. A highlight from the world of sport will be provided on 18 October with the appearance of the Olympians and World Champions of the world’s most successful canoeing association, the German “Team Kunststoff”.
Strong encouragement for the younger generation
K 2013 also puts a strong focus on encouraging young people to enter the profession. Once again there will be a programme by kai, the plastics education initiative. In panel discussions, shows with live experiments, and at the research stands, apprentices, school and university students will have opportunities to experience what working with plastics involves. In addition, the German Association of Engineers VDI will be staging its VDI Students Forum on Sunday, 20 October. And in the special show “Plastics moves the world” there will also be sessions on Sunday, 20 October entitled “Youth talking with...” to outline to young people what kinds of jobs are available in the plastics industry and to discuss environmental aspects and future topics with them.

Further highlights in the supporting programme are the premiere of the Science Campus, in which universities and research institutes are grouped together in one area for the first time to present future-oriented topics, and the DesignChain@K conference. Also being staged for the first time, the latter addresses designers and developers from different branches of industry, offering the opportunity to learn about plastics and their design possibilities. Another first is the conference “Printed Electronics – Chances for the Plastics Industry” and the PEPSO Pavilion (Printed Electronics Products and Solutions) with information on the status quo and perspectives of the innovation theme of printed electronics.
K 2013 Düsseldorf will be open from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily from Wednesday, 16 October, to Wednesday, 23 October.

10 October 2013

Press Office K 2013
Eva Rugenstein/Kristian Schütt
Tel.: +49-211-4560 240
Fax.: +49-211-4560 8548

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