Innovative new designs showcased at the 2013 K-Show

K show crowd of people

Photo credit: Caroline Seidel, Plastics News ©

This year’s K was smaller in size than the original K-Show, with less than half of the expected 200,000 visitors. However, design innovation was certainly in evidence, with many companies developing interesting and quirky ways to create more sustainable plastics.

Some 3,200 exhibitors attended – including MBA Polymers – from 59 countries. Machinery and equipment suppliers dominated the show, followed by materials producers and producers of semi-finished goods, reinforced plastics and technical parts. Germany was the best represented country, with German plastics and rubber companies accounting for 40% of the exhibition floor space.

According to Werner Mathias Dornscheidt, chairman of exhibition centre Messe Düsseldorf, K is still a vital information platform for designers and production professionals from many industries, including automotive, consumer goods, electrical/electronic, aerospace and construction.

“For them, the K is a must, with producers of plastics and rubber machinery, processing companies, scientific and competence centres all setting research and development yardsticks,” he said.

Among the many companies exhibiting at the show, BASF highlighted its reorganised plastics business with a host of new materials and applications across the engineering resins spectrum. The changes will help BASF to expand its share of the automotive market, as well up-and-coming sectors such as wind power and bioplastics, board Vice Chairman Martin Brudermüller said.

ExxonMobil Chemical collaborated with 13 machinery firms at K to demonstrate its added-value polymer technology, strong application development and the optimisation of processing conditions, ExxonMobil Chemical VP John Verity said.

German company Polysecure demonstrated a new way to mark products (to protect against counterfeiting), using tiny particles blended in a masterbatch of plastics, while chassis, suspension and powertrain supplier ZF Friedrichshafen showcased its work in using rubber and plastics to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

Neil Croucher

MBA Polymers at K

MBA Polymers’ Roger Hynes – Commercial Director, enjoyed a busy few days at the K Show, meeting companies from a variety of different sectors and explaining the many different applications of our product. As our Sales Manager Neil Croucher explains in this video, MBA has a unique proposition. Our products compete effectively with virgin raw materials by offering a high level of quality and consistency.

We manufacture recycled plastic pellets for a wide range of uses, including seed trays and plant pots to filters for the automotive industry. The opportunities are almost limitless. Importantly, we agree technical specifications in advance with our customers, sometimes modifying the characteristics of the plastic to meet their precise needs.

As Neil explains, the scale of our operation and our successful partnership with EMR are helping us to lead the marketplace for post-consumer recycled plastics.

Design innovation

K 2013 acknowledged the increasingly important role of design by hosting the Design Chain conference for the first time. It addressed the commercial world of medical, automotive and appliance design and its use of plastics, and featured speakers from BMW and Philips.

Plastic innovations took many forms at the show, reports Plastic and Rubber Weekly. In one quirky example, a US company is extracting protein from chicken feathers, the by-product of 6m chickens slaughtered daily for the food industry in North America.

Interestingly, industrial designers are reaching further back into the product development cycle and are developing plastics themselves as well as new methods to form them. One such example is designer Jeongwon Ji’s ‘Crustic’ investigation. Exploring the potential for new alternatives to petroleum-based plastics in electronics production, Ji investigated the use of a bio-plastic made from mitten crab (a Chinese pest). Ji has also perfected a chemical-free non-toxic ‘slow production’ method that may improve the well-being of electronics manufacturing workers.

For more information on the K-Show, click here.