Our commercial team took a trip to Friedrichshafen, Germany for the Fakuma Trade Fair, held Oct. 13-17 at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre. Show officials announced before Fakuma’s start that all available exhibition space had been sold out starting in February of this year. The show is held twice every three years and takes a break in years that the K show is held. Perhaps the heavy visitor traffic could be attributed in part to the fact that K show will be held in October of 2016, meaning Fakuma will take a year off.
The exhibitors were of every shape and size as it relates to the plastics industry. We visited with resin producers, equipment companies, 3D printer firms and even some color suppliers. The halls were humming with plastics production equipment and the aisles stayed busy throughout our 2 day stay. It depended who you talked to as to the stream of visitors to their booths, but the majority of exhibitors were well pleased with the attendance.
As you might expect, there was quite a bit of buzz about the K show happening next year although it contrasts with Fakuma in several respects. Friedrichshafen is far from any urban area while K is held in the much more metropolitan Dusseldorf with its population of 11 million people. Though most will attend K, many said that, despite its size, Fakuma feels more like a family production, which makes sense as the Schall family has produced Fakuma for many years.
Many of the new products we saw were for the automotive industry, where lightweighting and emission reduction is of the utmost importance. Some lightweighting is achieved through specialty plastics compounds. Since plastic is lighter than metal, the focus is around trying to get plastic as close as you can in physical properties to metals. This will continue to benefit the companies that can produce products that work in this industry. Regarding emissions, manufacturers are even concerned with the interior atmosphere of the car in addition to external emissions.
We had many good meetings with our customers and, as we discovered last year, there are many industries present that could benefit from Americhem products and technologies. We’ll look forward to 2017 with the optimism shared by most in this important industry event.
Key Account Manager, Americhem Inc.
VP and Managing Director EMEA, Americhem Inc.