Our partner KRAH Pipes invited us to join them at K 2019 – the world’s biggest trade fair for plastics and rubber. K Trade Show brings together more than 200,000 people in a venue the size of 32 football fields. It takes place every three years in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Here are my four takeaways from a 5-day visit where our main goal was to get a deeper understanding of where the industry is headed as well as meet with new potential partners and clients with whom to build new digital solutions for the market.
1. Relationships are Key
At the risk of sounding cliché, strengthening business relationships by meeting in the real world is critical and industry events with niche focus like K trade fair provide a perfect opportunity for that. You can meet face to face with the owners and Managing Directors of the biggest players in the industry. That is when the most daring questions about one’s machine or material, its resistance, durability, and benefits over others, get answered. It allows professional bonding and deciding on which companies you want to build long-lasting partnerships with.
2. Plastics and Sustainable Development within Circular Economy
It was evident that the industry takes the current debates about waste management, microplastics, and marine litter problems seriously. Never before have recycled materials and biopolymers been in such a spotlight. It seems certain that sustainable development and well-functioning circular economy systems play an important role in the future of the Plastics and Rubber sector.
3. Plastics and Industry 4.0 - Digitisation of the Value Chain
With the evergrowing competition from all sides, it is more important than ever that manufacturers have a comprehensive overview of their processes. This means that new machines need to support integrations with ERP systems and also be able to provide more insightful data than just a simple data sheet in a CSV format. More and more producers are including sensors and automated quality control solutions into their daily operations.
4. It’s all about Intelligence
K 2019 offered the opportunity to discuss new solutions directly with the key players in the field while presenting an unparalleled range of new materials solutions and trends that can be seen in direct international comparison. One might think that the final products are quite simple to assess, but they aren’t. Some materials are better for high-impact environments and in some aspects can even beat their metal counterparts, while others are specifically designed to be used in food processing and production of clothes. Taking the time and learning about them first hand allows you to make informed decisions.
To conclude, I am very happy with our visit and highly recommend the K Trade Fair to others in the industry. We established strong connections with many great companies. I believe that our expertise in building world-class digital products for customers like KRAH Pipes was well-received and found valuable.