70th anniversary of the leading global trade fair of the plastics and rubber industry
In 1952 the companies and associations dealing with the material that is plastic decided jointly with the then “Nordwestdeutsche Ausstellungsgesellschaft – NOWEA”, today’s Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, to create an event designed to give proof of the performance and versatility of polymer materials. The age of producing mass plastics had just begun. This was the “birth” of K in Düsseldorf. Registered for the debut event were 270 exclusively German companies that presented to both trade visitors and also ordinary consumers products designed above all to make everyday life nicer and more convenient.
70 years later those days put a smile on our faces, given that K in Düsseldorf became a special-interest trade fair for professionals as early as 1963; and its triumphant success as the world’s most important meeting place for the plastics and rubber industry continues unabated to this day.
K 2022 – most relevant trade fair of the industry worldwide
Just like every three years, K in Düsseldorf will also be the most relevant information and business platform for the global plastics and rubber industry once again in 2022. Exhibitors and visitors from all over the world get together in Düsseldorf and use the opportunities from 19 to 26 October this year to demonstrate the operational excellence of the sector concentrated in one place, to discuss current trends, introduce innovations and chart the course for the future.
This year's K 2022 will be attended by 3000 exhibitors from 61 nations. With 178 000 m² net, the exhibition center (halls + indoor area) is completely booked.
K 2022 comes at precisely the right point in time to provide the plastics and rubber industry with fresh orientation after the changes induced by the pandemic. The “Who’s Who” of the global plastics and rubber industry will again be represented with Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre fully occupied over some 175 000 m² of net exhibition space.
The individual product ranges are spread across the 18 exhibition halls as follows:
Machinery and equipment: Halls 1, 3-4, 8b as well as 9-17
Raw materials, auxiliaries: Halls 5, 6, 7, 7a, 8a, 8b
Semi-finished products, technical components and reinforced plastic products: Halls 5, 6, 7, 7a, 8a, 8b
Particularly well represented once again will be the suppliers from Europe, above all from Germany, Italy, Austria, Turkey, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France and also the USA. At the same time K clearly mirrors the changes on the world market: the number and presentation areas of companies from Asia have remained at a constant high level for several years. Especially China, Taiwan, India, South Korea and Japan will impress visitors with their strong appearances.
The diversity and international cross-section of companies ensure that the global ranges of products, solutions, trends and innovations are mapped in their entirety – also in special segments. In addition, this ensures that K 2022 offers the best conditions for not only discussing global challenges of the industry in depth, but also for successfully tackling them together.
Top ratings for K in Düsseldorf
K is a firm fixture in the agendas of the sector. This is not only reflected by the number of exhibitors and the quality of ranges but is also impressively evidenced by outstanding trade visitor ratings: 97 % praised the broad range of technical developments and forward-looking solutions. In particular, the high number of innovations and the presence of all market leaders were given top ratings by visitors. And this applies not only to the manufacturers of plastics and rubber products; industrial users also visit K regularly because here they find both inspiration for their sector and their products, and innovations helping them to be ideally geared up for international competition in future.
Professionals from a wide variety of customer industries – be it automotive, packaging, electronics and communication, construction, medical device technology or aerospace – come to the Rhine to have plastics and rubber industry experts illustrate to them current and visionary applications at K in Düsseldorf, the global marketplace for innovations.
After all, at K 2022 the entire value chain is showcased in a unique breadth and depth. And rubber also plays a decisive role here. While smaller than the plastics segment, this sector is highly innovative and of pivotal importance for key customer industries.
The central point of contact for rubber and elastomers will again be the Rubberstreet in Hall 6. This has been a fixture at K in Düsseldorf for almost 40 years now serving to increase the visibility of the rubber industry and stress its innovative potential.
Not only does K 2022 underpin its extraordinary position thanks to its great popularity within the industry worldwide, it also always addresses the key issues of our day and age and specifically those of the plastics and rubber industry.
The guiding themes at K 2022
At the last edition of K three years ago, exhibitors already unanimously underlined the need for operational and closed cycles along the complete material chain. Never before had the industry been so unanimous in addressing an issue and working so cohesively on solutions around environmental compatibility, resource conservation and waste avoidance. This development has picked up speed enormously since then. K 2022 will provide impressive proof that this industry assumes responsibility and that plastics will in future be part of the solution rather than a problem.
And this is precisely why the three major guiding themes of K 2022 will read as follows:
Without plastics careful management of the world climate will not be possible. Plastics are enablers for lightweight construction, e-mobility, the use of wind and solar energy. And here the Circular Economy is of vital importance, while digitalisation is an indispensable enabler for transparency and resource efficiency. All three guiding themes will also feature centrestage in the Specials at K 2022.
K in Düsseldorf enjoys highly qualified input on these guiding themes care of a high-calibre expert body, the Scientific Council of K 2022. The scientists have already worked out a list of the aspects to be considered. Here just five topics by way of example: recycling of composites, standardisation of recyclates, micro particles in the environment, bio-degradable plastics, CO2 as a polymer component.
Official Special “Plastics Shape the Future”
The official K Düsseldorf Special “Plastics Shape the Future” will again be located in Hall 6 and will pick up on the core message of the industry’s fundamental transformation into a circular economy in corresponding formats. It will feature both themed days and moving image presentations alongside panel discussions and infotainment. Industry experts will flag up how plastics can shape a sustainable future, which developments are already emerging today and which visions stand a chance of being realised in the future. Furthermore, political representatives will be involved in the panel discussions as well as groups of societal relevance and NGOs. This K Special is a project put forward by the German plastics industry under the auspices of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf.
Circular Economy Forum
The Circular Economy Forum, which celebrated its successful debut at the latest K, can again be found on the outdoor space between Halls 10 and 16 at K 2022. There, 13 member companies of the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) will make the circular economy palpable and showcase the theme in its entirety.
Special “Science Campus”
The Science Campus at K 2022 is synonymous with the dialogue between research and business. Here exhibitors and visitors are given a condensed overview of scientific activities and findings in the plastics and rubber industry and an opportunity to exchange ideas with universities and companies.
Young talents for the industry
The plastics industry faces massive problems in recruiting young talents. Often it is simply that school leavers are unaware of the range of apprenticeships and career opportunities on offer in the plastics industry which makes it so difficult to get young people interested in this sector. With a view to also securing sufficient young talents in future, GKV – Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie (General Association of the Plastics Processing Industry) already launched the plastics-training-initiative (kai) jointly with other associations and institutions such as Messe Düsseldorf as early as 2010 under the motto “kai – Sei dabei!” The aim is also to allow young people to get to know this industry at K 2022 in a targeted manner by means of activities ranging from exhibitions and moderated panel discussions to experiments.
Start-UP ZONE celebrates premiere
Start-ups are young, creative, flexible, future-oriented and particularly stand out with their innovative, problem-solving solutions. So what would be a better fit for K 2022 than to offer newcomers specifically dedicated to the development of innovative products and solutions in the field of plastics and rubber their own presentation area? Precisely this is what K 2022 will be doing with the START-UP ZONE found in Hall 8b of Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre.
Interactive in multimedia: the K Community
The success formula of K in Düsseldorf is also that it has always focused on the needs of the market and developed its concept correspondingly. The in-person event on site is therefore already extended to include digital content in the run-up to the trade fair. This consolidates the leading position of K in Düsseldorf as a central communication and information platform of its industry – during the in-person event and beyond.
Since April 2021 K in Düsseldorf has published its own online magazine, the K-MAG. It targets all sectors associated with K and delivers facts, news, stories and trends from the international plastics and rubber sector in German and English all year round. All of this is also oriented towards the guiding themes of the trade fair. It’s all in the mix – this is why K-MAG features a wide range of different sections including e.g. “Industry Voices” with forward-looking contributions by industry representatives and opinion-leaders, “Science News” reporting on the latest research findings and studies, “Young Professionals” featuring articles and tips specifically targeting young talents and “Apropos K” picking up on colourful topics revolving around plastics be it from everyday life, history or different countries.
To make the K-MAG as attractive as possible the content is offered in various formats such as features, news, interviews, videos or photo galleries, to name but a few. The URL reads mag.k-online.de but – needless to say – the K-MAG can also be accessed via the usual website www.k-online.com.
K-monthly is the name of the new K Newsletter. Its subscribers not only receive the most interesting news and stories from the K-MAG via e-mail on a monthly basis but also current information revolving around K in Düsseldorf and the international trade fairs of the K-Global Gate family of products. Registration is possible via the K website or the K-MAG.
K 2022 already now offers a real highlight setting the scene for the big industry event, the new K-Talk. From January 2022 until the trade fair in autumn the monthly K-Talk features exciting panel discussions with a changing line-up of international participants such as industry experts, scientists, representatives from user industries as well as from political spheres, the media or NGOs. The K-Talk provides valuable insights, focuses on the applications of plastics, flags up technological innovations and discusses important challenges for the sector. Be it concrete best-practice examples or long-term future strategies – the visions and differing views of panellists are meant to inspire, provide orientation and encourage exchange.
The K-Talk is broadcast live via k-online.com and is held in English. Active participation is welcome which is why questions can be submitted via the chat function during the complete web talk.
K-App and Matchmaking Tool
Those wanting to be kept up-to-date, both in the run up to K but also during their visit, should download the K-App on their smartphones (for iOS and Android). This allows all interested parties to permanently and conveniently call up news from the entire industry and helpful tips related to the trade fair. The App also permits access to the exhibitor database, which is already online.
The Matchmaking-Tool will allow trade visitors and all exhibitors to search for the right contacts at K-online from August 2022. You just need to submit your interests and search parameters. Thanks to fast matching of shared interests, recommendations and personalised proposals will be delivered immediately. This lets exhibitors and visitors already make contact beforehand or conveniently agree on appointments during K itself.