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Alessandro Grassi, Chairman of AMAPLAST.
Alessandro Grassi, Chairman of AMAPLAST.

PLAST, the triennial and second largest exhibition for the plastic and rubber industry in Europe, will take place from May 29 to June 1, at FIERA Milano in Italy.

A 22% increase of overseas exhibitors

PLAST reflects the preeminent global position of the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and molds industry. For the industry, over 70% of national production - which hit a new all-time record value of 4.67 billion in 2017 according to figures from the trade association AMAPLAST, produced by 250 machinery manufacturers employing some 12,000 people - is exported.

“We are very happy to see an increase of the exhibition space and, in particular, a 22% increase of the overseas exhibitors. That is a positive signal after the economy crisis in Europe,” said Alessandro Grassi, Chairman of AMAPLAST. AMAPLAST is short for Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Molds Manufacturers’ Association. It is the organizer of PLAST through its commercial company Promaplast.

Chinese companies become the second largest foreign participation

And the increase number of Chinese exhibitors contributes a lot to the increase of exhibition space. “We will have about 80 Chinese companies this year. They take about 1,200 square meters (net area) in the Chinese Pavilion and another 400 square meters outside Chinese Pavilion. Thanks to the cooperation with ADSALE, the Chinese companies have become the second largest participation after German companies!” said Alessandro Grassi.

PLAST 2018 will join THE INNOVATION ALLIANCE for the first time

The net exhibition space of PLAST 2018 is 55,000 square meters. But PLAST 2018 will join THE INNOVATION ALLIANCE: for the first time, five international exhibitions (IPACK-IMA, MEAT-TECH, PLAST, PRINT4ALL and INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA) will offer to their respective professionals.

A wide product range in one location that goes from processing to packaging, to plastics and rubber processing, to industrial and commercial printing and the personalization of packaging and labels, all the way to the handling and warehousing of consumer-ready goods.  

“The total five exhibitions will cover an area of 130,000 square meters. With a single entrance ticket, visitors can see a showcase of technological excellence from different manufacturing worlds, with a strong focus on the entire supply chain,” said Alessandro Grassi.

Rubber, 3D PLAST and PLAST-MAT will be the focuses

PLAST will feature satellite fairs dedicated to three sub-sectors of excellence: RUBBER (in its third edition), 3D PLAST (focusing on additive manufacturing and related technologies, now in its second edition) and PLAST-MAT (first edition, dedicated to innovative plastics).

 “Visitors can have an insight of the Italian version of Industry 4.0, the circular economy and bio-polymers at PLAST 2018,” remarked Alessandro Grassi.

He mentioned that circular economy is new to the European approach of plastics. “The idea is to have a short time for zero plastic to landfill. How can we make it? It means that people not only design the plastic products for the final applications but need to think about the end of the life of plastic products. The 3R principles (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse) for plastics need to be taken seriously,” explained Alessandro Grassi.

“We expect together to have 140,000 visitors for the five exhibitions. We are convinced it can be a successful event,concluded Alessandro Grassi.

PLAST 2015 figures

PLAST 2015 covered a net area of 54,595 square meters, among which the machinery and molds covering 79%, materials and products for 18% and services for 3.0%.

There were 884 Italian exhibitors, accounting for 55.8% of the total exhibitors. And the number of overseasexhibitors was 700, accounting for 44.2% of the total exhibitors.

PLAST 2015 attracted 500,087 visitors, including 32,056 Italian visitors and 18,031 overseas visitors.

Highlights at PLAST 2018

At PLAST 2018, NEGRI BOSSI, in HALL 24, stand C121-D122, will officially launch a new platform NOVA range of machines.

The new solution of mid-range machines replaces the Vector range of machines and is available in 700, 850 and 1150 tonnes, with injection capacities ranging from 2010 to 6107 cm³ and Euromap classifications 4960, 7460 and 9750. 

One of the key features is a revolutionary new X-design toggle system that provides vastly increased strokes, tie bar distances and platen speeds in a very compact footprint. The range is also equipped with a new automatic filtered lubrication system in a closed loop, hydraulic control. The machines are driven by latest generation servo motor and pumps, providing higher modularity and offering greater flexibility across the range.

During the show, COLINES® will exhibit several machines in operation:

• the latest version of the ALLrollEX®-1500 cast line producing 5-layer stretch film, equipped with the new generation AllSPEEDY® winder (covered by 5 patents) for hand, machine and jumbo reels. During the exhibition the line will be producing a 12 µm Superpower film with a special formulation developed in cooperation with ExxonMobil at a speed up to 1000 m/min

• New generation CORELESS REWINDER RP, a completely automatic rewinder, from jumbo rolls (up to Ø 2000 mm) to mini rolls (max Ø 350 mm), suitable for several types of plastic films for packaging (air bubble foil, PE foam and various third layers laminated with air bubble). Thanks to a significant software upgrade, COLINES® AIR BUBBLE has developed this new model that boasts a double hourly production with respect to the previous versions. 

• The innovative ALLWRAPPER®-LS orbital bundle wrapping machine, using stretch film as substrate to perform bundle-wrapping over a huge number of different products, such as bottles, cans, dispensers, etc. instead of using thermo-shrinkable film. 

Injection moulding machine manufacturer ENGEL will present its high degree of system solution competency for the elastomer industry. For the single component processing of rubber, thermoplastic elastomers, liquid or solid silicones, as well as for multi-component injection moulding in connection with thermoplastic materials, from a single source ENGEL offers fully automated and integrated system solutions for the economical production of premium elastomer products.

Visitors can see how the ENGEL Tie-bar-less for high-precision multi-component processes with LSR (Hall 24, Booth B81/C82) and ENGEL flexseal (Hall 11, Booth C61/D62 )for maximum efficiency and precision at PLAST 2018.

Arburg will present hybrid ALLROUNDER 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN in a new design and with the innovative Gestica control system for the first time outside ARBURG’s headquarters. In addition, Arburg will present the topics “Digital transformation and Industry 4.0”, additive manufacturing as well as innovative injection moulding technologies and sophisticated applications at our stand C81/D82 in hall 22.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH in Schwaig near Nuremberg/Germany turns the spotlight on the new IntElect series of all-electric injection moulding machines at PLAST 2018 in Milan. Applications will be demonstrated live on three exhibits between 29 May and 1 June on Stand D162 in Hall 24. These exhibits will include two integrated system concepts with robots and a conveyor belt.

Visitors will see the High-speed packaging application with extraction robot and conveyor belt, live medical technology presentation as well as a compact, efficient, automated Carabiners production with the IntElect2 50/360. In addition , the Art & Plastics area of PLAST 2018 will feature a splash of colour, with artists exhibiting works they have created using plastic, providing a further demonstration of the versatility of this material.

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