The 28th Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing was held successfully from the 17th through the 21st of October, 2023. With 1636 exhibitors (10% more than at the last Fakuma in 2021) in twelve exhibition halls and several foyer areas, the trade fair was booked out as a plastics celebration that sparked off a great barrage of fireworks. A full house, satisfied exhibitors, 39,343 enthusiastic expert visitors and forward-looking topics – the overall results are quite impressive.
The trade fair promoters promised a plastics celebration – and that’s exactly what Fakuma 2023 was! 1636 exhibitors showcased a wealth of innovations on 85,000 square metres of exhibition floor space and, above all, presented a promising outlook for the future in terms of plastics degradability and recyclability. All in all, trade fair subject matter was based on thematic focuses including digitalisation, automation, flexibility, energy-efficiency and sustainability. The establishment of closed-loop material flows, product optimisation targeted at recycling and the processing of recyclates for high-end applications were often at the top of the agenda. On the whole, the new technologies are pursuing the current challenges of resource conservation and net-zero emissions.
High levels of internationalism, satisfied exhibitors
44% of the exhibitors journeyed to Friedrichshafen from outside of Germany: 134 companies from Italy, 120 from China, 79 from Switzerland, 70 from Austria, 58 from Turkey and 55 from France. Enthusiastic, affirmative voices prevailed throughout. Dr. Micaela Lorenzi, CEO of Green Chemicals, sees Fakuma as “a fantastic trade fair”. She and her team exhibited in Friedrichshafen for the first time this year - after two years, the Italian company finally got off the waiting list and into the exhibition hall. Green Chemicals presented environmentally friendly solutions for polymers and their recycling, and intends to participate again next year. “Because this is where the industry meets” - this is the concise, hard-hitting argument in favour of participation put forward by Daniel Römhild, General Manager of WIS Kunststoffe. “For us, Fakuma is an ideal platform for exchanging ideas with customers and highlighting the advantages of collaboration,” emphasised Rüdiger Dzuban, head of marketing at ONI in Lindlar, Germany.
Always close to the customer at Fakuma
Jörg Stierand, sales manager for automotive products at Leonhard Kurz, regards Fakuma as “a great platform” for demonstrating products and machinery solutions, and for developing new fields of business with existing and potential customers. For Thomas Rätzsch, managing director of Aurora Kunststoffe, “Fakuma is the ideal setting for speaking with all of the partners we need in order to implement new, sustainable plastics solutions”. Bernd Schäfer, managing shareholder of Deifel Buntfarbenfabrik, described Fakuma as “the trade fair par excellence! It’s an outstanding platform for connecting with customers and expanding our network. We’re always close to the customer at Fakuma.”
Injection moulding machines as crowd-puller
Traditionally, large injection moulding machines have always been fascinating eye-catchers and genuine crowd-pullers. New products in this area included systems with all-electric drives, which make the machines flexible and powerful. Lots of sustainable concepts were also presented for packaging, recycling compounds and metal substitution solutions. Amongst other things, machines for grinding and shredding were showcased at the trade fair, as well as modern cooling systems and energy-efficient mould-temperature control technology, systems for process monitoring and data acquisition and, of course, innovations from the field of industrial 3D printing. The increasing use of renewable instead of fossil-based raw materials was also a wide-spread topic of discussion at Fakuma. One step at a time, the industry is working towards the use of bio-based raw materials in numerous applications.