A mood of cautious optimism abounds ahead of the K 2016 Plastics Trade Show. The state of the European plastics manufacturing sector has been stable, despite the tumult as a result of the Brexit referendum. Major plastics manufacturers are now looking ahead to the upcoming K 2016 Plastics Trade Show in Messe Dusseldorf. While the industry remains in good standing, there is a degree of caution in the air after the uncertainty and volatility created by the Brexit vote.
There were also other concerns in the form of the Eurozone Crisis of 2012 – 2013 that put a damper on overall demand in the industry. According to industry sources, the overall volumes of polymers that were used back in 2014 were lower than pre-2007 levels. Growth in the industry is slow but it is increasing. According to Applied Market Information (AMI) a cautious outlook is the order of the day for the majority of European markets. The majority of the growth taking place in Europe is coming from Eastern Europe and Central Europe, with a slowdown in Western Europe. Polymer demands have increased well beyond the levels reported in 2007 according to Applied Market Information.
The Chief Executive Officer of Borealis, Mark Garrett is optimistic about the supply side of the equation. Much the same sentiment was echoed by the Senior VP for Performance Materials in Europe at BASF, Melanie Maas-Brunner. BASF is content with the business growth across multiple segments for 2015 and they expect demand to increase from multiple new industries including sports and leisure, footwear, medical and transportation. There are also enhanced prospects for the processing of plastics across Europe with moderate growth being reported in Germany.
Ahead of the upcoming trade show, there will be a high number of European machinery companies bearing the 4.0 symbol at K 2016. There is an increasing drive for smart technology with the Industrial Internet of Things. 4.0 is a reference to Industry 4.0, a German term from 2011 – the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For Germany, the goal is clear, frontrunner status or bust.