K2022 AND THE WORLD TRENDING BACK TO NORMAL

iMFLUX participated for the second time at the K2022 show in Dusseldorf this past October, and it was glorious!  K, which stands for kunststoff (plastic in German) is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. K gathers suppliers of plastics and rubber machinery, raw and auxiliary materials and semi-finished products, technical parts and reinforced plastic products under one roof.

There was concern leading up to the show with so many unknowns due to the ongoing pandemic. How would attendance be?  Will masks be required?  Will participation be limited by geographic regions?  Will our investment be worthwhile? iMFLUX made the strategic choice to participate and we are glad we did.

A Rocky Start

When it came to our booth, the start was a little rocky. Murphy’s Law states anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and it didn’t disappoint.  The construction materials arrived several days late, one of the construction workers had a death in the family and had to leave, unfortunately that employee didn’t drive so we lost a second construction worker as the chauffeur. In addition, a large electrical panel for the hall (building) was not shown on the booth design drawings and had to be worked around at the last minute, and the list goes on.

Thankfully in the end our booth was completed halfway through the first day of the show. It was an interesting sight to see painters mixed with visitors, and a bunch of people clad in iMFLUX shirts all biting their nails.  The booth may have been completed a couple days later than planned, and we may have struggled for the entire duration of the show figuring out how to use the Nespresso coffee machine, but it worked out in the end, and it was a beautiful booth.

The Show

Roughly 176,000 visitors attended K2022, which was a drop of about 21 percent compared with the last show in 2019 according to Plastics News.  A good sign that the world was trending back to normal was that 70% of visitors were from outside of Germany, with roughly 42% from outside of Europe.  Although attendance was reduced, the quality of the attendees was outstanding with a tremendous amount of interest shown in our innovative injection molding process platform.

The theme of K2022 was Circular Economy, Digitalization, and Climate Protection, which is something that hits home for iMFLUX and is a focus of our innovation pipeline.  We showcased this not only in our booth but in a demonstration that ran every day in our  partner’s booth, Milacron.

The Demonstration

The demonstration was a hit with attendees, showcasing the ability to automatically transition through a wide range of MFI materials (14-65) without the need for operator intervention. Visitors were able to blend their own batch of PCR and virgin materials, along with various colors, to produce their own “krinkle bag”.  It was amazing to see so many people walking around the show with these samples in-hand.

Throughout the day the machine parameters, energy usage, weight reduction, and cycle time reduction were being live streamed to the iMFLUX booth and displayed on a monitor via the Milacron M-powered system, which delivers a suite of extended capabilities to the Milacron injection molding machine and synergizes well with the advantages delivered by the iMFLUX process.

In case you missed it, Plastics News wrote a great article on the demonstration which you can see here:  Plastics News/iMFLUX

A Good Investment

All in all, K2022 was a wonderful experience, and it was great to all be together at the largest plastics show in the world. The business outcome has been fruitful, as we met a lot of new people and companies and had the opportunity to visit with many existing customers and friends. Even with the uncertainty due to the pandemic, we are glad we made the investment to attend. The opportunity to deliver such meaningful advantages to the industry, whether in productivity, sustainability, simplification, or operation efficiency, was well received and we are excited for the future!