I had heard all the superlatives before departing for Dusseldorf its like the Olympics, its a trade show on steroids, its the greatest show on earth, and so on. With SPIs NPE 2012 show as my only plastics industry trade show guidepost, I set off for K (K=Kunststoffe=made of synthetic material/ substance) to see if the show lived up to its hypeand now I can honestly say that it did! Heres a high level overview of what I experienced.
K was Konceptual
Numerous product innovations, concepts and prototypes were unveiled at K. One of my favourites included BASFs concept bicycle called Concept 1865 Rethinking Materials, an e-bike that utilizes more than 20 different BASF plastics. BASF also exhibited the prototypes of three winning concepts from the first global "sit down. move." design competition for automobile seats.
K was Kool
Cool interactive touchscreen tables showcased the latest developments from a number of exhibitors including Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and The Dow Chemical Company. Under the motto Sharing Dreams, Sharing Value Be Part Of It, some 80 developments at the BMS booth illustrated how material solutions can help make dreams come true. The Dow Chemical Company promoting Solutionism at K 2013 encouraged attendees to explore how plastics benefit agriculture, packaging, the Olympics and more. The Deutsches Kunststoffe Museum had an amazing exhibit of plastic products throughout the ages including a small hand lever injection molding machine (on loan from Arburg) and models of the old Battenfeld injection molding machines. And it was very cool to go behind the curtain and see the unveiling of Windmller & Hlschers new extrusion line, then referred to by the code name E-24, now known as the Varex II blown film system.
K was Kinetic
Styrolution had a kinetic installation called granule shower where Novodur ABS resin pellets precoloured Styrolution blue were sucked from an open hopper at the bottom and sent to the top of a tall wall where they cascaded down, spelling out numbers and words. The Wittmann Battenfeld robots playing a fast-paced game of basketball were another crowd favourite.
K was Kars
Tonness of concept cars were on display for automobilophiles, like KraussMaffeis Roding Rodster carbon fibre lightweight sports car, and a Trabant car (produced by former East German auto maker VEB Sachsenring) on display from the aforementioned Kunststoffe Museum. A special show called Plastics Move the World illustrated the many improvements attributed to plastic products today and their potential to contribute to future challenges. The show took a literal (mobility) and figurative (emotion) approach to the meaning of the word to move.
K was Kanadian
Even though only there were only 21 Canadian exhibitors at the show, it seemed like Canadians were everywhere! From CPIAs Canada Night at K Show Reception, to my hotels frustuck (breakfast) room; from the streets and restaurants of Dusseldorf's famous Ald-Stadt (old city) to the SBahn and & U-Bahn (trains); in every show hall and across the show grounds, I ran into Canadians everywhere.
K was Kavernous & Krowded
Cavernous due to the seventeen halls (19 if you take into account halls 7a, 7b, 8a and 8b), chock-a-block with some 3,200 exhibitors from 60 countries showcasing machinery and equipment, raw materials, semi-finished products, technical parts, and reinforced plastics; and crowded if you take into account some 218,000 trade visitors from 120 nations in attendance.
K was Killer!
In short, K was everything that plastic products and the plastics industry are today crucial, creative, colourful, clever, confident - and I cant wait for K 2016!