PLAST 2018: A FULL-SPECTRUM TECHNOLOGICAL SHOWCASE
PLAST 2018, the International Exhibition for the Plastics and Rubber Industries, will take place at the FieraMilano facilities in Rho-Pero from Tuesday, 29 May to Friday, 1 June 2018.
PLAST 2018 will be the preeminent European event this year for the plastics and rubber industry, embracing the whole chain from raw materials to semi-finished and finished products, from machinery and equipment to support services. And, quite rightly, once again this year the fair enjoys the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.
The international scope of this triennial tradeshow, now in its eighteenth edition, is confirmed by the impressive numbers of foreign exhibitors and visitors.
With three months to go before opening day, a total of 1,300 exhibitors have registered for PLAST 2018. Of these, 950 are direct exhibitors (one third of them foreign, representing more than forty countries and growth of 24% in space allocation) and 350 are represented. A total of 54,000 square metres of exhibition space has been assigned.
PLAST reflects the preeminent global position of the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and moulds industry, which forms the core of the exhibition. Over 70% of national production – which hit a new all-time record value of 4.67 billion euros in 2017 according to figures from the trade association AMAPLAST – is exported.
The Statistical Studies Center of AMAPLAST – on the basis of ISTAT data – reports a 12% for exports compared to 2016, up to a value exceeding 3.3 billion euros.
For what concerns the main destination areas of the Italian sector exports, Europe ranks at the top, with a 61% share (52% for the European Union) and a growth over 2016. Then Asia, holding a 15% share and the NAFTA with 14%. A little less than 6% is sold to Central-South America and 5% to Africa.
Within the Asia continent, Middle East accounts for some 3%. Iran is one of the very important market in such area and, traditionally, Italian sales of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds have been reaching considerable amounts. However, in 2017, the flow stopped at some 20 million euros, thus recording a 10% decrease compared to 2016. Nevertheless, a growing trend is still in course on the medium term and there is a rebound for what concerns the supply of extruders and extrusion lines, which are high value-added plants.
Italian technology (as well as that produced in Germany, Italy’s main global competitor in the sector – indeed Germany tops the list in terms of both foreign exhibitors and foreign visitors at PLAST) is purchased by converters all over the world who require high-tech capabilities to produce large volumes of quality products with optimal precision.
PLAST 2018 thus offers economic operators a full-spectrum technological showcase addressing all the various production processes (from extrusion to blow-moulding, from thermoforming to injection moulding) and applications (packaging, automotive, medical, construction, etc.).
Given the excellent performance of Italian exports in the industry and recovery in the domestic market, participants have every right to expect rewarding business opportunities at PLAST 2018, with their order books swelling significantly directly at the fair.
The domestic market is showing clear signs of recovery, probably explained by the measures implemented by the National Industry 4.0 Plan to support investment in capital equipment. The expansion of the domestic market is also signalled by quite positive performance in imports, which topped 970 million euros (+14% over 2016). As well, the good trend of the foreign participation in PLAST 2018 confirms the renewed attention towards the Italian market.
Again this year, 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).
A jam-packed schedule of technical seminars and company meetings is in the works, providing a full-spectrum view of the latest in materials, processes, machinery and services. These conferences, combined with the breadth of the exhibits, will draw in not only professionals working in the field but also young people seeking a place in the job market. As happens at every
PLAST, school groups, most of them from technical high schools, will be among the crowds in the exhibition halls, getting a first-hand experience of the materials and technologies in the plastics and rubber industry.
But that’s not all. In keeping with tradition, 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.
Some three months after the opening of preregistration, thousands of operators have already registered online to visit PLAST 2018. Large numbers have also preregistered to visit the four fairs within The Innovation Alliance (IPACK-IMA, MEAT-TECH, PRINT4ALL, INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA), also expressing interest in visiting PLAST 2018.
The large number of expected visitors (at least 120,000 in total for the five events) will be joined by official delegations from some forty countries from all corners of the world, coordinated by ICE-Agenzia and composed of carefully selected qualified operators with interests spanning all sectors represented within The Innovation Alliance.
Until 31 May, those intending to visit the fair may buy online a 50% discounted admission ticket to PLAST 2018 and to the other exhibitions in The Innovation Alliance (see the “visitors” page at plastonline.org) or get an “invitation-code” offered by an exhibitor.