From 19 to 26 October in Düsseldorf returns K, the international trade fair for the transformation of plastics and rubber. At the center of the exhibition are all the major issues that influence the development of markets and technologies in the sector, under the common umbrella of sustainability. Converting magazine will be at the exhibition with its latest issue to cover all the novelties and the technological innovations.

Every three years, and this coming autumn again, the world of plastics meets in Düsseldorf: from October 19 to 26, 2022, the world’s leading trade fair K presents new products and innovations from all sectors of the industry – from production to processing, to mechanical engineering. Once again, the central point of contact for the critical exchange of information, thoughts, and opinions is represented by the Special Show “Plastics shape the future” in hall 6. The focus of the special show under the auspices of Plastics Europe Deutschland (PED), the plastics producers’ association, and Messe Düsseldorf will be on the three ground-breaking hot topics of K 2022: climate protection, circular economy, and digitalisation.

Progress starts in Düsseldorf

In entertaining formats, high-level guests from the world of politics, science, and the industry, as well as NGOs will share information about and discuss economic, social, and environmental challenges and solutions around the leading themes of K 2022 – thus connecting the trade fair presentations of the companies with the societal agenda of K. Ingemar Bühler, Managing Director of PED, puts it in a nutshell: “These are really exciting times: in this year’s K special show, we make it clear where our industry shifts into the turbo mode in terms of greenhouse gas neutrality and circularity. But we also listen carefully to what critical experts tell us and which solutions be proposed to us. It is undisputed that there is still a lot to catch up on the path towards decarbonisation in our industry, e.g. in terms of raw material supply or recycling. Here, we want to improve – and the K 2022 fair is the right place to come up with fresh ideas and to drive – together with you – many innovative solutions of tomorrow that are allegedly considered to be still unthinkable today”.

No ducking away – listening!

The centrepiece of “Plastics shape the future” is provided by the theme days with speeches, keynotes, and panel discussions on the three K hot topics climate protection, circular economy, and digitalisation. At the start of the trade fair on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, key topics and challenges of the industry will be directly addressed on the K-Forum. As an example, it will focus on the implementation of the results of the “Reshaping Plastics” report presented by the European think-tank SystemIQ in April 2022. The report outlines several scenarios that are supposed to improve the circularity of plastics and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. The following theme days also focus on the plastics industry’s concrete paths towards greenhouse gas neutrality, or on plastics as enablers of the clean energy transition. This will make sure that the special exhibition will enrich the extensive and socially highly relevant exhibition offering of K 2022.

Circular Economy Forum

Once again VDMA (German Engineering Federation) organises, in cooperation with 13 of its member companies, the Circular Economy Forum. Between Halls 10 and 16, the Forum demonstrates how plastic waste is converted into high-quality regranulates or how recyclates are processed into attractive, highly functional and recyclable products by means of various processing methods. Arburg, Coperion, Engel, Erema, Kurtz-Ersa, Lindner, R-Cycle, Vecoplan are taking part with own pavilions while Battenfeld Cincinnati, Leonhard Kurz, Plasmatreat, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and Wittmann Battenfeld will exhibit at the joint stand of the Forum.

The Circular Economy Forum area at K 2022

The Circular Economy Forum picks up on all three guiding topics of K 2022 – Circular Economy – Climate Protection – Digitalisation. Because high tech is also required to optimise manufacturing processes and make them ever more efficient – as another measure besides the recycling of plastic products to save CO2. Both approaches are not conceivable without digitalisation. It is, for instance, the enabler for digital product passports and globally applicable traceability standards. The linking of all components in the production line is considered the prerequisite for optimising processes. On the topic of data exchange between machines the VDMA has initiated a showcase that makes the live data of integrated machines visible on the basis of OPC UA, at the VDMA Dome and also retrievable by smartphone.

The VDMA Dome at the centre of the Forum will once again this time serve as an information point and meeting place. But it will also provide an overview of important technology-relevant process steps in the plastic circular economy. By means of “The Machine” installation nearly 40 companies with over 50 submissions will present their technology highlights for the Circular Economy. Technologies range from sorting, shredding, washing and regranulating, or material handling to the most important converting processes (injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding, foaming and additive manufacturing) not forgetting downstream process steps such as ultrasonic welding, surface treatment or thermoforming.

photo: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann