K 2016 – Innovation takes centre stage

Interview with Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

The world’s premier trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry will once again be presenting the entire range of products and services that the industry has to offer, from the latest state of the art to groundbreaking innovations to visionary developments. At K 2013, a total of 3,220 exhibitors from 59 countries showcased their capabilities, and 218,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries used this event as a business platform for information and investments. 82% of visitors at K 2013 were directly involved in investment decisions. The visitors categories at K are manufacturers of plastic and rubber products as well as developers, designers and manufacturing specialists from user industries, such as the automotive, consumer goods, electrical and electronics, aerospace and construction sectors.
K 2016 will be occupying all 19 halls of the Düsseldorf exhibition grounds. Suppliers of machinery and equipment are traditionally the largest group among the exhibitors, and their live presentations of sophisticated production units offer a globally unique experience. The producers of raw materials, semi-finished products and technical parts will be focusing on novel products and applications in addition to energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions.

K-Online talked to Werner Dornscheidt, President and CEO, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.

K-Online Mr. Dornscheidt, the registration period for participation in K 2016 closed a few weeks ago. How would you rate the response from the global plastics and rubber industry?
Werner Dornscheidt Extremely positive! The demand for exhibition space has risen once again and all of the 19 halls at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre are completely booked up. More than 3,000 exhibitors from all five continents will be taking part and presenting their innovations. The spectrum of participating companies ranges from globally operating industrial groups to start-ups and covers all segments of the world market for polymers. K 2016 will be presenting a panorama of unmatched breadth and depth.

K-Online Will all of the companies who have registered actually be able to take part?
Werner Dornscheidt We will keep our promise: all companies that registered by 31st May and whose exhibits meet the K 2016 nomenclature will be allocated a stand. In some cases, it might be necessary to compromise on the stand size, but I am confident that we will find a good solution for everyone.

K-Online What is so special about K in Düsseldorf? Other industry events have large numbers of exhibitors too.
Werner Dornscheidt K is the premiering platform for the plastics and rubber industry. No other trade fair sparks off so many new ideas. Right now, companies throughout the industry are already working hard to make sure they present themselves in the best light when the date comes around in October 2016. And “in the best light” stands for “with interesting innovations”. Because innovative products are the most important asset in a competitive environment. Only those who can offer new technologies that bring real benefits to their customers will be able to hold their own against strong competition.

Another unique feature of K is its high degree of internationalism, both on the exhibitor and on the visitor side. This guarantees that trade visitors will find world-class products and services in every area covered. And it gives the exhibitors the opportunity to meet industry experts from over 100 countries and establish contacts with potential customers that they might not have been able to reach in other ways.

K-OnlineSo innovation will take centre stage at K 2016. Will there be additional offerings providing insights into new developments and perspectives alongside what the exhibitors will be showcasing?
Werner Dornscheidt Enterprises from the industry and research institutes will be taking advantage of K 2016 to spotlight developments and future prospects in the plastics and rubber industry. This will be done not only at the exhibitors' stands but also in the extensive supporting programme which offers the trade visitors another range of interesting topics. To mention just two:
The special show in Hall 6 gives insights into how plastics can shape the future and solve tomorrow’s challenges – in functional, aesthetic and sustainable ways. Topics like resource efficiency, lightweight construction, new materials and Industry 4.0, and even the controversial marine litter, will be addressed in panel discussions and presented in multiple media. The special show is organised by the German plastics industry under the auspices of PlasticsEurope Deutschland and Messe Düsseldorf.
While the special show is directed at industry decision-makers and also reaches the general public through multipliers and the media, the Science Campus is the meeting place for the scientific community. This is where institutions, universities and other establishments present their latest research results in the complex field of plastics and rubber and dialogue with industrial users.

K-Online With such a broad array of offerings, will the trade visitors be able to find all the highlights at the trade fair?
Werner Dornscheidt Yes, of course! K 2016 offers huge variety, but at the same time it is very clearly structured. The exhibition halls are dedicated to the specific areas of
• raw materials, auxiliaries
• semi-finished products, technical parts and reinforced plastics
• machinery and equipment, and
• services

This structure ensures that each visitor can easily locate the exhibitors most likely to match his or her professional interests. An extensive range of web-based services makes planning very easy before and during visits to the trade fair. As an additional resource, the Innovation Compass is being optimised to allow even better identification of the new developments presented by exhibitors.

K-Online The global events calendar for the plastics and rubber industry has seen quite an upheaval recently regarding shifting of dates. How does this affect K 2016?
Werner Dornscheidt Thanks to its scope and the unrivalled internationality, K has a very special standing in the world. It is seen as the heart of the industry and the starting point for major decisions regarding products, processes and solutions. One of the key reasons why K is so successful is its concept, which we designed from the very beginning in consultation with manufacturers and processers and their industry associations and have continued to develop jointly with them ever since. This interaction has proved to be a winning combination and ensured that the trade fair has remained the undisputed leader for decades. And right now we are hearing that suppliers and decision-makers have a very high preference for Düsseldorf. People in the industry are rescheduling their events calendar worldwide to ensure that nothing clashes with K.

Further information
K 2016 will be open from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily from Wednesday, 19 October, to Wednesday, 26 October. All the details can be found at