The 26th Fakuma exhibition took place in Friedrichshafen, Germany, on Lake Constance last week, and our team was there! We were excited to see the advances made in plastics processing since last year's show, and we were not disappointed.
Over 1,900 exhibitors across 40 countries were at Fakuma 2018, showcasing their products within the 85,000 square metre Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre to 47,000 visitors. From Injection moulding machines to extrusion equipment and thermoforming technology, exhibitors did not hold back when it came to demonstrating the power of their products and services. That's a far cry from the first Fakuma fair in 1981, where there were only 60 exhibitors within a 4,000 square metre hall talking to a mere 4,000 visitors.
"The mood amongst European manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machines is excellent. Production has increased to an estimated €15.3 billion since 2009, which corresponds to 99% growth over the last eight years. In 2017, production output of the industry sector organised under the Euromap umbrella association experienced above average growth amounting to 7%." - Fakuma 2018
Across a number of exhibitors, trends we noticed included the increasing popularity and willingness of manufacturers to try 3D and 4D printing alternatives, as well as a focus on digitalising their production systems in order to increase productivity (read what our CEO says about that topic in his interview here). As sustainability becomes an important consideration for all manufacturers, plastics manufacturers have also embraced new biomaterials and recycling methods in order to stay relevant and in demand.