Fakuma 2021: Inspiring Plastics Live!

The 27th Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing celebrated an inspiring restart in Friedrichshafen from the 12th through the 16th of October, 2021. 1470 exhibitors from 39 countries came to Lake Constance for the first major international on-site event for the plastics industry this fall, and presented injection moulding, extrusion technology, thermoforming and 3D printing on a world-class level Overall emphasis was placed on the issues of sustainability, circular economy and recycling.

“We're back! Finally an on-site trade fair again with innovations you can actually handle!” This is what everyone was saying at this year’s Fakuma 2021 in the exhibition halls in Friedrichshafen. After the compulsory one-year hiatus, the event was held live again from 12 to 16 October. 1470 exhibitors from 39 countries showcased their innovations covering all aspects of injection moulding, extrusion technology, thermoforming and 3D printing on 85,000 square metres of overall exhibition floor space. The fact that 40% of the exhibitors came from outside of Germany substantiates Fakuma’s great significance all over the world, especially in these exceptional times: “For the companies in our industry sector, Fakuma is one of the most important industrial trade fairs of all,” notes Annemarie Schur, Fakuma project manager at trade fair promoters P. E. Schall. “Fakuma was even more important this year. On the one hand because on-site trade fairs only became possible again in the fall of 2021, and on the other hand because the issues of environmental protection, circular economy and sustainability are an enormous task that we all have to tackle.” This is why Fakuma 2021 also set itself the goal of making a significant contribution to pioneering, forward-looking solutions.

“Now we want to look forward to the future together,” said Bettina Schall, trade fair organiser and managing director of P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG. “Fakuma is the ideal platform for tackling the current challenges faced by the industry. Record figures and superlatives don’t matter this fall. The only thing that counts is that we all cooperate to get this restart going and carry on with our work.”

“I’m delighted that something like this is possible again,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Bastian, Institute director of the SKZ in Würzburg, at the trade fair’s opening ceremony. In his technical presentation to an auditorium full of trade press and guest listeners, he pointed out impressively what needs to be done in the industry: “We have to take more responsibility for what happens with plastic.” Martin Bastian made a passionate plea for the cause of plastics: “We have to ensure that plastic isn’t just accepted, but rather used with enthusiasm as well. And we have to do a lot more to educate people about its benefits,” says Bastian. “We have to be present in the schools and kindergartens and make it clear that the energy transition will never be possible without plastics.” The plea voiced by Dr Thomas Probst, keynote speaker of the German Federal Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Management (Bundesverband Sekundärrohstoffe und Entsorgung), who offered an exclusive look behind the scenes of the recycling industry and spoke about hurdles and difficulties in recycling, was no less emphatic. “As perceived in general, plastics are not understood,” is the insight he arrives at.

The exhibition halls in Friedrichshafen were very well frequented right from the first day of the event. Interested expert visitors were able to gain an impression of the latest developments and perspectives for concrete solutions in the field of plastics processing. “Many tradition-rich global market leaders have made use of the crisis to advance their innovations.

The trend towards digitalisation is accelerating. Cross-company concepts have been developed for the establishment of a circular economy for plastic products. Every crisis presents opportunities too, and many a clever mind is taking advantage of them,” confirms Sandra Füllsack as well, managing director of Motan Holding GmbH and spokesperson for the Fakuma exhibitor advisory committee. “As a business platform for innovations throughout the value-added chain, Fakuma 2021 was once again the ideal venue for presenting new products and technological solutions, as well as for discussing trendsetting issues.” Extremely practical and with high levels of professional competence, and at the same time in a friendly atmosphere – this is how exhibitors and expert visitors regard the unique and highly esteemed industry event. The next international trade fair for plastics processing, namely the 28th Fakuma, will take place from the 17th through the 21st of October, 2023.