With the world’s biggest companies, the very latest developments and the opportunity to meet new and existing contacts – the K Show offers a perfect platform for visitors from the UK plastics industry to find out key information and market intelligence that can benefit business.
British Plastics and Rubber spoke to Dr. Jeff Ryan, Technical Director at UK PVC compounder, Dugdale Limited, on what he expects to gain from the show, as well as key advice for other visitors.
How many Dugdale delegates are attending K2016 and what do you expect the mood to be like at the show?
Four employees will be attending for three days each, and between us, we have partaken in numerous K exhibitions. Two of the attendees have visited eight times, the others four times. One of our staff, prior to joining Dugdale, was a regular exhibitor at the exhibition. In terms of mood, we are expecting exhibitors and delegates to be generally optimistic after what has been an unpredictable year.
From a visitor’s perspective, what do you regard the main benefits of attending the show to be?
It is generally an ideal venue to discuss and often see some of the latest technologies available with regards to machinery, software and special effect additives/products. Our Sales and Marketing Manager, who will also be attending, will be looking at marketing trends and exhibitor stand layout, as well as meeting potential clients.
We shall be discussing with existing and new suppliers/manufacturers generally about the latest technology and trends regarding mixing, compounding and additives. This will include laboratory/test equipment.
As a UK plastics company, what business opportunities are you looking forward to?
We are particularly looking forward to networking with industry professionals. Some meetings have been organised with overseas agents already and with increased interest in purchasing from the UK, especially since the recent fluctuations regarding the exchange rate, we expect more meetings to be finalised in the coming weeks.
What do you think the key trends affecting your business from a materials development angle will be?
Firstly, recycling and waste stream management. The requirement for good quality feedstock is critical for re-use/recycling and the ways/methods for achieving this will be on show at K. Also, trends around performance engineering, where the general move to develop materials for more demanding uses where traditional polymers or alternative materials are used.
The use of alloys to enhance properties will be something interesting for us as a business to see at the show, including the search for synergies and new technologies by exploring the combining of polymers and additives or other polymers.
I am also hoping to see developments on the advances in nano technology. New nano-fillers are appearing on the market and the latest development vision for these materials will be on show, hopefully in actual product applications and offering practical functional solutions.
Of course, the latest developments in compounding technology – including melt compounding and high speed mixing – will be of great interest, as well as the latest laboratory facilities and research test services. With the installation of new laboratory facilities at Dugdale during 2016, there is a keen interest to explore new trends in both development and quality control test equipment/methods.
What do you expect will be the main additive technology trends at K?
I expect to see information on REACH/’ROsH2’-compliant additives, as customers seek advice about the use of particular additives and possible alternatives. Also, I expect cost effective anti-microbial/anti-bacterial technology to be a trend this year, as new, more effective additives are being introduced as a result of this area seeing some growth.
I’d also expect to see stabilisers/additives for more technically demanding applications - i.e. HDT, UV, fire/smoke performance (particularly antimony replacement). This will include more cost effective stabiliser technology and the possible introduction of more innovative methods to improve processability
Finally, special effect pigments/surface finish modifiers, and better methods as to how these can be incorporated into the final product, are likely to be a trend at the show.
What advice would you give first time visitors to the show?
It is critical that you plan your visit, ditch the tie and wear comfortable shoes. It’s always good advice to pace yourself in the evening! The bratwurst stand is always worth a visit too!