German plastics machinery industry remains strong

German plastics machinery… All geopolitical risks notwithstanding, German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers are optimistic for the year ahead. "Our industry forecast is for a four per cent increase in sales in 2015," reported Ulrich Reifenhäuser, the Association's Chairman, adding that "the global crises are however also increasingly affecting sentiment in the firms concerned."

Domestic market remains rock solid

Orders from customers in Germany rallied strongly in the period from January to August, up 20 per cent on the same period last year. At the same time, however, orders from abroad were three per cent lower. The silver lining there was a ten per cent increase generated in the countries of the euro area. Overall, incoming orders are two per cent higher than last year. The industry expects sales to total 6.7 billion euro in the current year, just short of the previous year's record.

EU 28 make up for fall in deliveries to Russia

"German deliveries abroad have decelerated sharply, falling by 5.3 per cent in the first half of the year," said Thorsten Kühmann, the Association's Managing Director. "The export picture is dominated by negative trends in demand from and exports to Brazil, Russia, India as well as Turkey and Mexico. China, too, is weakening." The EU 28 sales region is showing a welcome development. "The increase in demand is making up for the sharp fall in Russia. Growth has come from our East European neighbours in particular, but also from Italy, Spain and Portugal," stressed Thorsten Kühmann. German deliveries to the US and Canada continue at a high level.

China and US remain strong

The optimistic forecast for 2015 assumes that capital investment in Germany will continue to grow and that the trend in the top sales markets of China and the US will remain positive. Large increases in the consumption of plastics are predicted for China in particular, bringing rising demand for high-quality machinery.

Fakuma 2014: Functional integration for efficient use of energy and resources

For Blue Competence, Fakuma 2014 is all about functional integration, the concentration of different tasks in one component or production process. At Fakuma 2014, Blue Competence partner firms will show what functional
integration looks like in plastics and rubber machinery manufacturing and how it saves energy and resources. Wherever you see the Blue Competence blue rider, made by Playmobil, on an exhibition stand, you will also find an exhibit showing integrated technology. The toy itself embodies the theme. Playmobil uses different multi-component processes in its manufacture - that allows greater freedom of design and makes the figure more mobile. But here too Blue Competence can do more! Playmobil has been making this figure since 1974. But today it uses 80 per cent less energy to do so, and that is better for the environment.

99 per cent of plastics recycled

"Our planet's resources are limited and that is also a challenge for industry," said Thorsten Kühmann, the Association’s Managing Director. “In the case of plastics, we look at the entire life cycle. We now have hardly any plastic waste because we see it as a valuable raw material. The latest Consultic study shows that the recycling rate in Germany was around 99 per cent in 2013 too."

The more than 200 members of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) are the most important firms in the industry, accounting for over 90 per cent of its sales. German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers are world leaders with market shares of around 25 per cent in exports.