Alok Masterbatches at K 2022 in Hall 8a stand B12

Held every three years at Düsseldorf Messe during eight days in October, K is the main international trade fair for the synthetics (German: Kunststoffe) processing industries, covering plastics, resins, and rubber. The exhibition is of machinery and materials for the four largest synthetics user industries – packaging, construction, automotive, and electronics, including 3D printing and, recently, materials for solar panel and battery production.

Due to its three-year cycle, K is probably the only larger fair that has not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic – at least as far as its periodic schedule. This year’s show brought almost as many exhibitors – 3,037 – and trade visitors – 176,000 together, as its 2019 edition.

At this year’s K, 1,804 exhibitors showcased machines and equipment, 883 raw materials and auxiliaries, 441 plastic products and technical parts, and 211 services including research, consulting, software, trade associations, and trade press.
Indian exhibitors among the top five at K

With 148 exhibitors, not counting the Indian sales representatives at many other booths, Indian companies made up for one of the top five clusters, after Germany with 875, Italy with 408, China with 307, and Turkey with 185 booths. Much like previous years, Indian trade visitors were among the largest visitor contingents, totaling more than 8,000.
Roughly 75% of the Indian exhibitors showcased materials and semi-finished products, including polymers, pigments, additives, masterbatches, woven plastics packaging, fittings, and pipes. The other 25% had machines and equipment on show, including extruders, blown film lines, recycling machines, plastic processing equipment, paper cup making machines, printing presses, converting machinery, corona treatment solutions, blow molding and injection molding machines, and spare parts.

The K regulars from India included Alok Masterbatches, C Trivedi, Cosmo Films, Echaar Equipments, Expert Industries, HPCL-Mittal, Kohli, M Plast, Mamata Machinery, Mundhra, Plastindia, Pelican, Rajoo, Reliance, SP Ultraflex, Specialty Polyfilms, Technoshell Automations, Welset, and XL PLastics, to name just a few.

In total, Asia-Pacific with 659 booths represented 20% of all exhibitors, including, China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Hong-Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand.

The three main trends determining new technologies at this year’s fair were the circular economy (plastic recycling and recyclate processing), digitalization (digital networking and platform economics), and sustainability (implying carbon emission reduction measures such as lightweight construction, electric mobility, water management, and renewable energy).
The largest spaces on the exhibition floor were taken by KraussMaffei, BASF, Reifenhäuser, and Windmöller & Hölscher. Some of the other major players comprised Atlas, AV Flexologic, Bobst, Borealis, Bosch Rexroth, Brückner, BST, Bühler, Comexi, Dornier, DSM, DuPont, Fujifilm, Goebel, Kampf, Koenig & Bauer, Macchi, manroland Goss, Polytype, Saueressig, Soma, Uteco, and many others.

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As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

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The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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