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CHINAPLAS 2018 hails record attendance of 180,701 visitors.
CHINAPLAS 2018 hails record attendance of 180,701 visitors.
Photo: 12

The highly successful CHINAPLAS 2018 concluded its four-day show in Shanghai. The rainy weather prior to the opening did not hamper the enthusiasm of visitors who were eager to acquire the latest state-of-the-art plastics technologies. 180,701 visitors showed up — the highest count in the show’s history.

180,701 visitors! A record breaking attendance

CHINAPLAS 2018 drew down its curtain on April 27 at its new venue, the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), Shanghai, PR China, with a record attendance of 180,701 visitors.

Compared with the Shanghai edition of the show two years ago, the number of visitors increased remarkably by 21.6%. The total also rose by 16.4% compared with last year's Guangzhou edition.

I have never seen such a huge number of visitors before,” said Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., organizer of CHINAPLAS. “Most of our exhibitors were satisfied with the results.”
Lightweight materials were the focus of many chemical suppliers.
CHINAPLAS 2018 was the first edition of the show being held in the NECC. It also set a new, all-time record for exhibition space in the show's 32-year history. The exhibition area covered 340,000sqm, an increase of 100,000sqm compared with the Shanghai edition two years ago.

Visitors are satisfied with the theme zone arrangement, as they can more easily find clusters of exhibits that address their specific interests,” added Ada Leung.

Exhibitors also hailed CHINAPLAS’s increasing internationalization as well as the sophistication of technologies showcased.

For instance, Brückner Maschinenbau’s Reinhard Priller, Sales Director, found CHINAPLAS today more an international fair. “There are people from India, South America, Saudi Arabia, Europe, etc. They are starting to travel more and more to China. The technology level of the exhibitors is also quite sophisticated. There are very modern designs,” he said.

Piovan, the leading Italian manufacturer of axiliary equipment, received a lot of visitors at the show. Group CCO Peter Dal Bo also commented that the show was very good this year, considering that it was held in a new venue. “Apart from China, we are surprised to see a lot of buyers from other countries, especially from Southeast Asia, for example from India,” he explained.

Concurrent events successfully held

The 3rd Industry 4.0 Conference held at CHINAPLAS 2018.
Apart from 3,948 distinguished exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art products at CHINAPLAS 2018, exciting concurrent events were also held to reinforce the theme of “Innovation is Key to the Future”, boosting the exchange of expertise and market information.

These events included the “3rd Industry 4.0 Conference”, “Tech Talk”, “Medical Plastics Connect” and “CMF Inspiration for Design x Innovation”. All of them were well-received among visitors and most sessions were fully occupied.

In addition, there were more than 120 global or Asian product launches at the show, which helped to inspire visitors with the host of new ideas from this technology-oriented trade show.

Organizer celebrates 40th birthday

The Adsale Group, organizer of CHINAPLAS, celebrated its 40th birthday during CHINAPLAS 2018. At Adsale’s 40th Anniversary “Honorable Partner” Awards Presentation Ceremony held on the show’s first day, The Adsale Group Chairman Stanley Chu remarked the company grew along with China’s economy.

Over the past 40 years, Adsale has weathered the struggles of early industries and benefited from the current economic take-off. We have witnessed China’s transformation from a ‘factory of the world’ to a powerhouse of innovations,” said Mr Chu. “Now, it (CHINAPLAS) is an international hub that facilitates exchanges between suppliers and buyers from all over the world, and provides a platform for the introduction of high-end technologies.”

CHINAPLAS 2019 will rotate to Guangzhou, running from May 21- 24, 2019.

Expansion plans at new height


The plastics market is very strong globally now. To get ready for the opportunities ahead, several companies announced their expansion in China or around the globe.

At the end of March, ENGEL concluded the financial year of 2017/18 with revenues of €1.51 billion, an increase of 11% versus the previous year.

The Asian markets continue to have a large share in the success of the company, with demand fast increasing in China. The production plant in Shanghai alone sold around 20% more machines in the 2017/18 financial year.

The automotive industry in China continues to be the most important driver of growth and innovation,” emphasized Gero Willmeroth, President Sales and Service, ENGEL Machinery Shanghai, on the Media Day of CHINAPLAS 2018.

In addition to automotive, ENGEL in Asia has increased its sales in the medical area, with health care and diagnostics being the main growth engines.

With the largest investment program in the company's history, ENGEL ensures that the growth of the company extends into all regions of the world. For a total of more than €375 million, by 2020, production plants worldwide will be modernized and their capacities expanded.
Gero Willmeroth, President Sales and Service at ENGEL Machinery Shanghai.
While the expansion of ENGEL Machinery Shanghai was just completed in time with a new production hall in September last year, the largest construction projects are taking place in Austria.

At the company’s headquarters in Schwertberg, the northern production hall will be expanded by 11,500sqm by the autumn of this year. A new, significantly larger customer technology center is also being built.

With an investment volume of €160 million, the expansion of the large machine plant in St. Valentin, is by far the largest construction project. In the first stage, an additional hall bay was constructed last year. More space will also be created for the Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies.

WINTEC, an ENGEL Group company, also announced big development plans on the Media Day.

In the past 12 months, the injection moulding machine manufacturer based in Changzhou, China, was able to further increase its incoming orders and gain a number of new clients in Asia. In order to meet the growing demand, it is enlarging its production plant in Changzhou, China.

The production area will be more than doubled. By the end of 2019, the number of employees in production alone will increase by 60%,” reported Michael Feltes, President Sales and Service of WINTEC. Construction work is expected to commence in the autumn of this year. The plan is to use the additional area by the fourth quarter of the coming year. Altogether, WINTEC is investing more than €10 million into the first big expansion of the site since the company was established four years ago.

Until now, WINTEC sales have focused on the Asian markets, but as of May 2018, the company is expanding sales into selected American markets. Meanwhile, it is also enlarging its Changzhou production plant.

Initially, WINTEC machines were only available in Asia. However, in the recent years, further markets in the Middle East and South Africa have been added. Since May this year, WINTEC has also been expanding its sales to the US, Canadian, Mexican and Brazilian markets.

In order to become a leading provider of cost-effective solutions, Yizumi has enthusiastically embraced advanced European technologies with an open mind, and teamed up with a broad network of research and development (R&D) institutes in Europe, such as IKV (Plastics Processing Institute of Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany) and AZL (Aachen Lightweight Design Center).

Yizumi is moving away from just providing a standalone machine to focusing more on the entire ecosystem consisting of final products, molds, machines, ancillary equipment, automation and production environment. This is how we strive to become a leading provider of cost-effective solutions,” said Dr. -Ing. Hans Wobbe, Chief Strategy Officer of Yizumi.

To achieve this strategic goal, the China-based company announced that it has set up a R&D center in Germany and co-invested with Prince & Weiss in an environmentally-friendly plastics innovation center in Eupen, Belgium. By doing so, Yizumi tries facilitating the development of advanced molding technologies through an international high-tech network.

In addition, Yizumi will also establish a global open innovation center, and seek greater synergies with research institutes, colleges and universities, and other technology partners over the world.

Setting off for further expansion is not just confined to machine manufacturers, but also material suppliers.
Michael Rockel, Head of Greater China Sales & Marketing of LANXESS’ High Performance Materials business unit.
With the rapid development of new forms of mobility such as autonomous driving, the electrification of vehicle power trains, and new logistics concepts, LANXESS sees a wide application potential of high-tech thermoplastic materials.

To meet the growing demands of the Chinese market, LANXESS announced that it is building a new high-performance engineering plastics plant in Changzhou.

LANXESS sees significant potential for the application of its high-tech plastics in lightweight design, charging systems, battery solutions, sensors for autonomous driving and housings of electric motors as well as in the infrastructure of e-mobility, for instance, in charging stations.

We have developed dedicated and innovative solutions with our PA6, PA66 & PBT polyamides to tackle the challenges and innovate for e-mobility and autonomous driving,” emphasized Michael Rockel, Head of Greater China Sales & Marketing of LANXESS’ High Performance Materials business unit.

China increasingly a R&D and innovation hub

As China continues to be one of the most important plastic markets, and the Chinese plastic and rubber industry is striving to be technically strong, R&D activities for new processing technologies and innovative products are increasing in the country. More leading manufacturers are also setting up their innovation centers or research laboratories in China, driving the country to be the hub of R&D and innovation.
The latest Screen Changer Line displayed at the booth of Nordson.
At CHINAPLAS 2018, John J. Keane, Senior Vice President at Nordson Corporation said that Asia in general, China in particular, is the strongest in the many respects.

According to him, there are more investments in increasing the capability, so instead of just interested in capacity, many customers are concerning the efficiency of the new equipment.

For example, packaging market in China is strong, and the producers are getting into more specialized areas and producing new, high quality products, so they need new and efficient capability for replacing the aging capability.

Therefore, just like its customers, Nordson is also investing in upgrading capability by setting up state-of-the-art laboratories in China for faster product developments and customer collaborations.

The aim is to bring the engineering closer to the customers and be more responsive to their requirements,” explained Mr Keane. “We also have brought in more application engineers to develop more new ideas that solve problems of the customers.”

Brückner Maschinenbau’s Helmut Huber, COO Sales & Project Management (right), and Reinhard Priller, Sales Director.
Brückner Maschinenbau demonstrated at the show a new laboratory stretching equipment KARO 5.0, and the first customer of this new machine is from China.

We have for the first time in history introduced the KARO laboratory stretching machine here. China is going more and more for R&D for modern products for development. This machine is perfectly matching the market,” said Brückner Maschinenbau’s Helmut Huber, Chief Operating Officer, Sales & Project Management.

And we are very proud to say that we have very positive feedback from the Chinese market. We already have an agreement with the first customer buying the new machine, and it is from China,” he remarked.

Mr Huber said the China market is developing towards engineering R&D development – not only on the manufacturing side as it has been in the past, but also into the direction of more cooperation, and working closer on R&D among companies.

He also revealed that Bruckner will introduce a new product in flexible simultaneous stretching for battery separation within the next few months, and Chinese customers are expected to be one of the first to respond to the new product.

Chinese customers are knowhow-related driven. They are more new technology-driven, very new product development-driven. We prefer to go in this market for the worldwide launch of the new product. We are pretty sure Chinese customers will react first,” concluded Mr Huber.

There is also a trend that suppliers are encouraging more Chinese customer to make trials on ideas, and make them local in China.

Chester Du, General Manager of Zhejiang Entex Machinery Co. Ltd., and Arne Festerling, General Manager of Entex Rust & Mitschke Gmbh.Extrusion and film lines provider Entex is eyeing new markets, such as the food and pharmaceutical sectors, in China for its advanced technologies. The company has its own laboratory in China to better meet the requirements of customers.

According to Chester Du, General Manager of Zhejiang Entex Machinery Co. Ltd., the market was tougher three years ago, but now customers are upgrading their products and looking for better machinery.

We custom-make our machinery based on customers’ need. We can arrange customized process and modules and make trials and modify if necessary. That is why we have the laboratory here,” he explained.

Before, we tried to promote the machinery but we couldn’t prove it without coordinating with Germany like sending over materials for trials, etc., which was both costly and time consuming. Now we can check immediately with the materials provided by customers. So laboratory helps a lot, while local assembly makes the price competitive,” he added.

By localizing some parts of the machines as well as the assembly process, the company managed to reduce the cost by about 20%, making the machine price more competitive to local customers.

With a better market atmosphere, Entex is looking to reach out to new application areas – processing new materials in new market segments. Currently, many of Entex’s customers in China produce films for flooring, artificial lacquer and packaging.

Milliken’s Shanghai Packaging Innovation Center aims to drive the development of the packaging supply chain. Mr Du said: “These two industries (food and pharmaceutical) are rather advanced. If customers have come up with ideas, they can come to us and make trials. It may be too early, I don’t know. We need to keep on doing it and promoting it.”

During CHINAPLAS 2018, the grand opening ceremony of Milliken’s Shanghai Packaging Innovation Center was held. It not only further promotes the applications of the company’s chemical additives in Asian market, but also generates design ideas and drive the development of the packaging supply chain.

The Center is located at the company’s Asia headquarters in Shanghai. Equipped with a display area and a R&D laboratory, it is currently in the first phase of development, and the Virtual Reality (VR) technology will be applied in the second phase.

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