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Fakuma 2018 shows megatrend of digitalization
Source:CPRJ Editorial Team    Editor:By Victor Cheng    Date:21.Sep.2018

The organizer P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG expects 48,375 visitors from around the world to attend the exhibition. In addition to participants from Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the number of visitors from Asia is expected to increase.

Fakuma will present application options in different sectors, e.g. automotive, packaging, construction. Apart from injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming, foaming and 3D printing, the latest materials and their possible uses will also be showcased.

Therefore, the innovations and advanced technologies throughout the entire value chain in the plastics industry will be unveiled and offered to a broad-based audience in Friedrichshafen.

Profits from global upswing of the industry

Fakuma is expected to be held in optimistic atmosphere as the global plastics industry continues to grow. The mood amongst European manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing equipment is optimistic ahead of the fair.

Production has increased to an estimated €15.3 billion since 2009, which corresponds to 99% growth over the last eight years. In 2017, production output of the industry organized under the EUROMAP umbrella association experienced above-average growth of 7%.

Due to the persistently good order situation, EUROMAP is expecting turnover growth of 2% this year. 

The Asians are profiting from international growth of the industry sector as well. In particular, Chinese manufacturers have become stronger, according to EUROMAP. In 2017, they produced machines and systems valued at €11.1 billion, representing an increase of 180% when compared with 2009.

Digitalization the mega trend

There are two mega trends in the plastics industry: efficiency and digitalization. With regard to lower production costs and higher sustainability, energy and materials saving have become key concerns of plastics processors. Beyond this, they are now becoming more and more globally aligned, which also presents tremendous challenges in connectivity.

In order to achieve higher efficiency and connectivity, the processing steps are being automated and digitalized to an even greater extent. Demand for Industry 4.0 compatible systems which permit inline production steps and quality control is growing rapidly.

At the exhibition, advanced smart manufacturing solutions will be staged by many machine builders and system suppliers. For example, Arburg has created new assistance packages for the task of smart machine, and will present them at six stations.

The new Gestica control system, which received the Red Dot Award 2018, and the Selogica ND (new design) of the company will also be presented at further stations, while the potential of AR for the smart service will also be demonstrated.

At dedicated section of its booth, Sepro will be showcasing its Visual control platform. Among other things, this open and transparent robot control system, developed especially for injection molding, makes it possible to integrate robot controls with those of the injection molding machines.

Visitors can also preview Sepro’s new control developments like OptiCycle, a control plug-in that automates robot cycle optimization, and Live Support, an app that links customers and their robots with troubleshooting assistance. Both are intended to function with the Visual control platform on new and existing robots.

Meanwhile, the full extent of Wittmann 4.0 integration will be demonstrated on an EcoPower 90/350, in which Unilog B8 control system the robot is integrated, together with all connected peripheral appliances. As a novelty, the electronic data sheet will be used in the Unilog B8 control system.

The machine will also be equipped with the Wittmann Battenfeld software packages HiQ-Flow, HiQ-Melt and HiQ-Metering, whose functionalities will be shown at the exhibition. Moreover, this machine is also equipped with the CMS condition monitoring system.

Lightweight solutions in strong demand

Lightweight materials are widely used in parts of auto body and other goods.New materials such as foam plastics and composite materials, which offer high product stability and save weight, are also in vogue. Lightweight materials also reduce production, transport and fuel costs.

Visitors at Fakuma will see parts and components of auto body and consumer goods can be economically produced from lightweight materials. Besides, specialized machines and matching tools required for the processing and production of lightweight materials will also be presented at the fairgrounds.

In addition, lightweight materials with superior properties will be the highlights of materials suppliers at the exhibition.

Among other applications, automotive presents huge potential for lightweight materials. For the requirements, lightweighting also requires the materials to provide high strength, low levels of creep, and excellent processability

While metal-replacement continues to drive demand for these materials, performance-boosting technologies such as turbocharged engines and advanced transmission systems place stricter requirements for heat resistance, chemical resistance and reduced water absorption.

All the aforementioned challenges are driving materials suppliers into new technologies, and Teknor Apex is one of them. At the exhibition, the company will introduce a new series of high-heat glass-reinforced polyamide (PA) 66 compounds.

These new compounds provide high strength and high levels of critical mechanical properties even after continuous service at temperatures of 240°C.

Recycling and green materials typify the market

With circular economy under the spotlight, recycling and green materials are also experiencing an upswing throughout the entire plastics industry. In particular where plastics processing is involved, recycling is in great demand. For materials, biodegradable and bio-based are the buzz words in the industry.

In the product portfolio of FKuR, Bio-Flex S 7514 is a biodegradable compound based on PLA with bio-based content of 75%. The material has good flowability and facilitate efficient processing. Together with the Terraprene TPE and Terralene PP which are also bio-based, it will be introduced to visitors.

Thus, one can notice that advanced green materials like biodegradable plastics are not inferior to their conventional predecessors with regard to durability, processability and weight now. Visitors will be able to practically experience this consistently pursued transformation at Fakuma this year.       

Check out these places of interest!

The Viewing Tour.Friedrichshafen is located at the northeastern corner of Lake Constance (Bodensee) where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet, near the lake’s widest point in the German federal-state of Baden-Württemberg. It has one of the longest waterfront promenades of any town along the lake.

Aussichtsturm Moleturm

The panoramic board installed on top of the 22m high Viewing Tower on the Uferpromenade offers a marvelous view of the town with the castle church and the orchards in the background, and a superb picture of Lake Constance and the Swiss and Austrian Alps range.

The reconstruction of part of LZ 129 Hindenburg.Zeppelin Museum

Situated in the historic harbor station building, this museum presents the world’s largest collection on the subject of airship history, construction and travel. Under the same roof, there is also an important collection of art dating from the late Middle Ages to the present day.

The main attraction is the 33m long reconstruction of part of LZ 129 Hindenburg in its original size, which visitors can board just as the original passengers did in the 30's. The authentically fitted passenger rooms give an impression of how people travelled during the period of the “silver giants”.

Dornier Museum

Opened in the summer of 2009 and situated next to Friedrichshafen airport, the museum offers a fascinating experience of about 100 years of aviation and aerospace history.

The extraordinary architecture accommodates almost 400 exhibits on 5,000sqm, including 12 original aircrafts, seven exhibits from space travel and a full-size model.

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