K 2016 Düsseldorf – Driving force for innovation and international business
In October, more than 3,000 businesses from the plastics and rubber industry will again present trend-setting products, processes and practical solutions.
Demographic growth, urbanisation, rising energy consumption, dwindling resources, climate change – there are a host of challenges to contend with. The global situation calls for creative minds, innovative technology and high-performance materials. From 19 until 26 October 2016, the K 2016 will welcome the international plastics and rubber industry to its exhibition centre in Düsseldorf/Germany. Exhibitors are invited to present their solutions. The most important flagship fair of the industry and all related applications, the K pools central trends and future developments in one venue. It has become established as the innovation and business platform not only for raw material producers, manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery and processors, but also for stakeholders from the most important user industries.
K 2016 has been booked out for months. More than 3,000 exhibitors from more than 50 nations will take part. As usual, the largest group of exhibitors comes from Europe, particularly from Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and Turkey, but there is also an impressive number of participants from the US. At the same time, the K trade fair is a clear indicator of changes in the global market: over the past few years, the number of Asian companies and the exhibition area that they booked has been rising steadily, and this year, particularly China, Taiwan, India, Japan and South Korea will be impressing visitors with their strong presence. As the K trade fair features a wide abundance of companies from all over the world, the spotlight is not only on the major issues that concern the industry – such as energy, resource and material efficiency – but also on niche segments.
As always, K 2016 will spread across the entire exhibition area at Düsseldorf and exhibitors will present their products and services in all of the venue’s 19 halls with a total area of almost 170,000 m2. The logical structure of halls corresponds to the industry’s core business areas:
- Machines and equipment
- Raw materials, auxiliaries
- Semi-finished products, industrial components and reinforced plastics products
Machines and equipment – World premieres
This year, international machine and equipment manufacturers, the K’s largest group of exhibitors, will present an abundance of world premieres. Occupying about two thirds of the exhibition grounds, exhibitors from this particular group will show their products in halls 1 to 4 and halls 9 to 17. Already engineers and machine manufacturers from all over the world are working hard to be able to meet the deadline in October, so that they will be able to present live demonstrations of complex production units – because K 2016 is a unique opportunity for showcasing their products to an international audience. There is no event in the world that attracts such a wide variety of international specialists.
Raw materials and auxiliaries – Materials of the future
At 2016, raw material and auxiliary specialists will present products at the leading edge of polymer science: materials with superior resource efficiency that allow a more balanced economic and ecological performance. In addition to the optimisation of standard polymers, this year’s major issues will centre on additives and fillers, biopolymers and functional polymers as well as on self-reinforcing polymers.
Semi-finished products, industrial components and reinforced plastics products – a growth market
The industry is distinguished by a high innovative force and a wide variety of products. Energy- and resource-efficient products have become more important than ever before, as they can meet the most challenging requirements. Suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished products and industrial components will be exhibiting their products and services in halls 5 to 8b.
Benchmark for the industry
K 2016 represents the industry’s complete value-added chain in unparalleled depth and width. This also includes rubber, which plays an important role, despite the fact that this segment is rather small compared to other segments of the plastics industry. Important user industries however, attach major importance to it and its highly innovative developments. Rubber Road in hall 6 is an indispensible constituent of the K exhibition and is much appreciated and cherished by visitors.
The K trade fair is the benchmark for the industry and its global market place for innovations. This is where experts from the world of plastics and rubber come to meet, demonstrate the industry’s leading edge and inform visiting experts from the automotive industry, packaging, E+E and communication, construction, medical engineering and the aerospace industry about new and visionary areas of application for plastics and rubber materials.
Polymers shape developments …
… in areas such as consumer protection, for instance. Particularly when polymers are used for food packaging, which protects the content, ensures safe hygiene conditions, provides consumers with information on their product’s ingredients and shelf life, facilitates storage and transport and shows whether the product was delivered in its original condition. About one third of the international production of plastics is attributed to packaging applications, despite the fact that the average weight of product packaging has steadily been reduced, which means that less packaging is used for more products.
Polymer materials also dominate all aspects of mobility: the proportion of polymers in cars and airplanes has been rising steadily. The physical and mechanical properties of plastics and composites are on a par with or superior to conventional materials, but they have significantly less weight. Hence, polymer materials save costs, resources and emissions.
Plastics also play a major role in the construction and lifestyle segment. In the construction industry, polymer materials have become indispensible because of their versatility and their unique properties. Polymers are used for applications such as window profiles, cable ducts, roofing, sealing sheeting, flooring or insulation material. Plastics provide protection from the cold, the heat and from noise. Modern water and sewerage pipes are mostly made from plastics because of the material’s cost-efficiency and durability. Polymer materials are also widely used for applications that generate power from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy.
The K trade fair has always had its finger on the pulse of technological development. This is borne out by the presentations at exhibitor stands, but also by the accompanying events, which provide a real bonus for visitors. Special presentations and the Science Campus, Bioplastics Business Breakfasts and the Design Chain Conference, 3D fab + print and the plastics training initiative focus on the specific aspects and central industry-related issues: the perfect opportunity to gather strategic information.
Special presentation “Plastics shape the future”
The special presentation with the title “Plastics shape the future” aims to show how polymer materials have shaped the appearance of modern settings – not just in functional terms but also in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. This event deals with economic and ecological aspects, but also addresses problems such as marine litter.
Presentations and an innovative stand design are main issues of the special event in Hall 6, featuring VIP keynotes, introductory presentations, events and discussions. Throughout the entire trade fair, school and university students will also present their ideas on shaping the future so as to provide visitors with food for thought.
For the ninth time in succession, this special presentation, a project of the German plastics industry spearheaded by PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf, will enhance the official program of the K trade fair.
Science Campus: Discourse between science and economy
The Science Campus, a forum where businesses and universities can exchange information, also provides K exhibitors and visitors with a comprehensive overview of scientific activities and results in plastics and rubber-related 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. Four central issues are at the heart of the Science Campus, as they are expected to dramatically affect the development of the industry’s markets for the next few years. These are:
- Resource efficiency
- Digitization of the value added chain / Industry 4.0
- New materials
- Lightweight engineering
as well as science education. Scientists from the innovation circle of K 2016 or teams from their institutes will process and prepare information on the central topics. In addition to their featuring at the Science Campus agenda, they will also be addressed by the exhibits, the special event “Plastics shape the future” and by the Innovation Compass.
No other technology is currently more widely discussed as 3D print. All over the world, additive production methods are keeping users on their toes as they affect the design and packaging industry, machine and line engineering, aerospace engineering, automotive engineering as well as dental and medical engineering. Naturally, K 2016 will pay special tribute to this special technology. Three years ago, Messe Düsseldorf launched the 3D fab+print brand in order to position this important issue in the market – not only at the K trade fair, but also at events such as drupa – the international flagship fair for print and crossmedia solutions, at MEDICA – World Forum for Medicine, and at COMPAMED – High-Tech Solutions for Medical Technology. Presented together with KCI Publishing BV, the www.3dfabprint.com portal presents state-of-the-art technologies as well as visions and exciting best practice cases. A special brochure will provide information on all exhibitors that present solutions from the additive production segment at K 2016.
Biopolymers: potential and opportunities
Over the past few years, biopolymers have garnered immense attention as they offer an alternative to conventional polymer materials. The critical debate about pros and cons, the future role and the market potential of biopolymers – both bio-based as well as biodegradable polymers – stimulates all pioneering businesses of this industry. At many stands, exhibitors will provide information on the potential and opportunities of biopolymers. Moreover the specialist publication “bioplastics Magazine” in cooperation with Messe Düsseldorf will host three additional events that will take a closer look at this particular topic: the “Bioplastics Business Breakfasts” will take place every morning, from 20 until 22 October. At these meetings, visitors can present and exchange topical information.
Design Chain Conference
Launched at K 2013, the Design Chain Conference was met with very positive feedback. This time, the “Design Chain@K” conference hosted by Crain Communications will again provide insights into practical and technical aspects of innovations in the design chain. The event allows designers and material producers to discuss and exchange information on the use of polymers in different product applications. The programme includes examples from the automotive and medical industry, consumer electronics and packaging.
Promotion of young professionals at K 2016
The German training and qualification initiative KAI aims at promoting the versatility and prospects of career options in the plastics industry among the younger generation. Activities ranging from exhibitions and moderated discussions through to experiments are provided to attract young professionals to the industry. The KAI initiative is co-hosted by the Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie (GKV) e.V., other associations and institutes as well as Messe Düsseldorf.
Excellent ratings from visitors
The impressive number of exhibitors and the quality of the presented products is a testament to the importance of the K and its role as the flagship fair for the entire industry, but it is the visitors who cast the ultimate vote. In October 2013, a total number 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%) came from abroad; the largest groups of international visitors came from the Netherlands, India, France, Belgium, the US, Italy and the UK. The experts’ verdict was clear: more than 90% of them were very impressed with the abundance of information, innovations and technical solutions. Excellent marks were given for the density of innovative products and the presence of market leaders. And these were not only provided by manufacturers of plastic and rubber products. The K trade fair has become known and appreciated among ultimate buyers from the industry as the event is an important source of new ideas and allows them to take new products home with them.
Smart online services
In order to provide those who wish to engage in an active dialogue with their industrial partners at the K trade fair in October with a convenient service, Messe Düsseldorf Service offers a number of options, such as the presence of K 2016 in all digital media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and last, but not least, the trade fair’s own web portal k-online.com. All of them will keep visitors up to date on events prior to, during and after the trade fair. Interesting news from the industry and helpful tips keep visitors up-to-date on all things trade fair. In March 2016, the K 2016 exhibitors will present their business portfolio in the exhibitor database. This service provides visitors with a valuable tool for tracking down companies, products and information.
Featuring personalised services such as MyOrganizer, MyCalendar for scheduling meeting on-line and MyCatalogue for compiling an individual trade fair catalogue, the K portal helps visitors organise their agenda. Travel information including accommodation and things to do in Düsseldorf – including an online hotel reservation option provide the final touch.
Extremely convenient: visitors can purchase their tickets online, simply download the corresponding code or print them out at home. Even better: eTickets cost less. Day tickets will be available online for EUR 49, compared to EUR 65 (box office price). Three-day-tickets cost EUR 108 online, and EUR 135 if purchased from the box office. The online ticket offers an additional advantage as it doubles as a public transport ticket for trips to the exhibition centre.
With the K App, visitors have mobile access to important information. A complete set of exhibitor data as well as many facts and figures is available for download to any mobile device, which makes this App the perfect companion for your visit to Düsseldorf.
Personal and always at your side
An international network of foreign representatives provides a comprehensive service. With a total of 71 offices, Messe Düsseldorf is present all over the world – much to the benefit of international visitors, exhibitors and journalists. At the local office, our team offers professional support and practical tips in the corresponding language. This includes help with travel arrangements or hotel reservations and some attractive deals.
Düsseldorf: City of short distances
After their arrival in Düsseldorf, visitors will find a perfectly organised and structured exhibition venue as well as a reliable infrastructure, from communication, traffic and accommodation right through to entertainment. An hourly shuttle service runs from Düsseldorf airport to the exhibition centre, and taxis will only take a few minutes to take visitors to the venue.
The city centre is also only a short distance away. Düsseldorf is not only a media and international business centre, the city also offers attractive entertainment options after the trade fair has closed its doors for the day. There is something for all tastes: numerous restaurants and pubs in the famous “Altstadt” (historical district), elegant and unusual shops, more than twenty museums, the opera and much more.
Looking at the future – starting on 19 October 2016
With the highest information density in the world, the K trade fair is a business and information platform that looks to the future. Thanks to its pioneering products and solutions and the high number of research institutes, this event has become a hotspot for visionary impulses and developments. Business and research are working hand in hand to provide visiting experts with an insight into future perspectives and scenarios that will shape the future of the plastics and rubber industry. Everybody who attends this event knows that this is not just an empty slogan. K 2016 is the place where good ideas turn into good business deals. On 19 October, exhibitors and visitors will again live up to this promise.