Fakuma 2021 was a great success for Engel. "The positive trade fair experience underlines the economic upward trend and is driving investment in new technologies," as Dr. Christoph Steger, CSO of the Engel Group, emphasises at the conclusion of the industry event in Friedrichshafen. "Our customers grasped the opportunity to finally exchange ideas in person again and experience innovations in real and live terms."
The industry's first major live event after the automotive crisis and Corona pandemic took place at exactly the right time. "The automotive industry has come back with a bang, and the investment backlog has cleared," says Steger. "Even if the Corona pandemic is still preventing some travel, Engel's stand was well attended. We had some excellent talks, concluded numerous projects and got new ones underway." Visitors came from all industries. Besides the automotive industry, the medical technologies, packaging and technical moulding sectors were strongly represented.
Leveraging the full potential of the machines
In particular, innovative solutions for more sustainability in injection moulding and further digitalisation of production processes met with great interest. The two topics are closely linked. "Digitalisation is an important precursor to the circular economy", said Steger. "Smart assistance systems and interconnected systems help us to leverage the full potential of injection moulding machines, for more efficient production while reducing the CO2 footprint." Engel's trade fair stand made this vividly clear. Compared to the last Fakuma, Engel's stand has become larger. The additional space was used to present digital products and solutions.
The machine exhibits also demonstrated the new opportunities for the circular economy. Engel presented a closed process chain for polypropylene involving the production of mono-material food packaging using IML thin-wall technology and the production of protective covers from label offcuts. At the same time, the Engel e-speed 420 injection moulding machine celebrated its world premiere. "Hybrid and all-electric injection moulding machines are seeing deployment in an increasing number of applications," says Steger, emphasising another trend that was reflected at Engel's stand. Demanding precision applications gave insights into the performance of the various hybrid and all-electric machine series by Engel during the five days of the trade fair.
Machine exhibits still in the virtual showroom
Personal contacts and face-to-face events always have been and will continue to be important, as Fakuma 2021 once again confirmed. Even though the pandemic has shown that digital formats work very well, and even offer advantages in certain areas. "The future will be hybrid," as Christoph Steger announces. Two machine exhibits that Engel presented on site in Friedrichshafen – the production of pipette tips on an all-electric e-mac and the manufacture of microcomponents from LSR on an all-electric and tie-bar-less e-motion TL – will also be available in Engel's virtual showroom after Fakuma. The virtual platform offers more than 20 machine exhibits in total, as well as technical presentations, business talks and plant tours – unaffected by travel restrictions and time zones.