We've just returned from K 2016 Dusseldorf, the World's largest Plastics & Rubber Trade Fair. The Fitbit says we walked over 40km in 3 days but it was well worth the blisters and heaven knows we need the exercise!
We went to research new ideas & innovations and discovered a whole range of new products from stunning special effects masterbatches through to sustainable and biodegradable polymers which we can't wait to share with our customers.
With over 200,000 visitors and nearly 250,000 square meters of exhibition space, the size and scope of K is quite hard to describe. Three days doesn't really allow you to do it justice and we spent three full days talking to existing customers and suppliers as well as making new contacts and exploring the latest innovations in all things plastic.
With exhibitors from every part of the world, this was truly a global event, with large contingents from China and India, as well as from Europe and North America. We spoke with suppliers and manufacturers from Canada to Korea and Malaysia to Iran. In the engineering halls, fully operational turnkey production lines - some of which had taken over three months to build - churned out everything from plant pots to transparent plastic food cans, with the film blowing lines being especially impressive.
Of course our interest was mainly in polymers, colour masterbatch, effects and additives, and K really didn't disappoint. As well as managing to strengthen our relationships with a number of key polymer suppliers from the UK and in Europe, we were also able to look at the latest applications of polymer technology from producers such as LG, Sabic and DuPont.
On the masterbatch front there was a strong presence from UK and European manufacturers, as well as from Turkey, India and China, enabling us to get a really good feel for the latest developments in this important area. We saw some fantastic developments in the effects market, many stemming from the automotive industry but with potential application across a much wider customer base.
A big focus at K was on sustainability and we were especially keen to learn more about the rapidly growing areas of biopolymers and biodegradable polymers and additives which are increasingly important to our customers. It is fair to say that, after three days, our brains hurt as much as our feet, but we've come back more enthusiastic than ever and are really looking forward to sharing what we've learnt.
If you've a challenge with product development, moulding or colour that you think we can help you with, just get in touch. We'd love to talk.