Friedrichshafen, Germany, which shares idyllic Lake Constance with Austria and Switzerland, would seem an unlikely location for an international plastics processing event. Of course, like any town of consequence in Germany, Friedrichshafen has a fairground (or messe, in local parlance), but one might expect to find shows for model railroad enthusiasts or, given the maritime location, pleasure boats rather than Fakuma, which attracts international giants of molding, extrusion, and other plastics processing technologies; materials; auxiliary equipment; and associated processing services. Yet, the show continues and, in fact, thrives.
Exhibition space for the 23rd incarnation of Fakuma has been sold out since April 2014, trumpets show organizer P.E. Schall GmbH & KG, with 1288 exhibitors from 32 countries having signed on the dotted line. Germany leads the pack, with 675 exhibitors, followed at some distance by Italy and Switzerland with 72 and 66 exhibitors, respectively.
The event, which happens annually except for every third year when Fakuma goes dark in deference to the K in Düsseldorf, Germany, will showcase a number of trends in the plastics industry, notes P.E. Schall, including reduced energy consumption, expanded use of composite materials, developments in precision injection molding, and, last but not least, 3D printing.