24th Fakuma – Plastics Technologies and Processes
“The Best Fakuma Ever” and “Record-Breaking Numbers at Fakuma 2014”, as well as “Fakuma at 2nd Place in Worldwide Rankings – these and other similar headlines appeared on the occasion of the last Fakuma in the fall of 2014, held on Lake Constance where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet. For private trade fair promoters P.E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG, who have been working together with the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre for many years in trusting collaboration, the record-breaking figures achieved in 2014 also represent a duty to further develop the Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing while maintaining its current high levels. The chances that this will happen are quite good, because Fakuma project manager Annemarie Lipp has already announced that due to enormous demand well in advance, all availabnle floor space at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre will be occupied and fully allocated. Consequently, Fakuma 2015 will literally tread in the footsteps of last year’s trade fair and promises a world-class industry event at its 24th edition.
“We have to work incessantly at maintaining these standards”, says event promoter Paul E. Schall, “because the competition in the trade fair business is splitting up both internationally and at the technical level, and only a few leading trade fairs remain with genuine global acceptance, for example Fakuma. Manufacturers and distributors of machines, tooling, material flow technology and peripheral equipment in all areas of industrial plastics processing are faced with similarly large challenges. Above all the hype which is demonstrating nearly hysterical traits regarding the complex issue of generative production should be stressed within this context, which has gotten entirely out of control during the last two years and is finally beginning to settle down now that its industrial usefulness is being closely scrutinised. In the interest of the exhibitors and expert visitors, we as promoters provide for objectivisation – especially in light of the fact that we’ve been active in the fields of additive, generative and prototyping processes for more than 25 years by creating a platform at a very early stage for exhibitors from research and industry, in order to familiarise the expert visitors with the latest, most highly promising technologies and processes.”
There were lots of exhibitors at the last Fakuma offering 3D printing systems and generative processes to the market, and there will surely be quite a few more at the 24th Fakuma. After all, the established manufacturers of plastics processing machines have recognised the opportunities presented by generative production and are taking their usual professional approach towards getting 3D, and soon 4D printing ready for broad-based industrial use with high quality original materials. In this respect it’s interesting to note that generative production technologies and processes differ greatly amongst each other in the sense that new processes are being added to the already more or less well-known ones, which are not used for the production of plastic parts but rather, for example, to construct injection moulds made of layered, powdered metal in tooling quality with cooling system structures which are extremely close to the contour. Here as well, Fakuma was, and still is, one step ahead and presented MPA technology with combined metal deposition and 5-axis milling processes within the framework of its enormous “tooling systems” exhibition segment last year. The most up-to-date technologies and applied innovative processes – these were met with great interest by nearly 1800 exhibitors from 36 countries (nearly 600 from outside of Germany) and nearly 46,000 expert visitors from 117 countries around the world in 2014 – and thus the criteria for Fakuma 2015 (13 to 17 October 2015) have already been set!