Once upon a time, NPE stood for National Plastics Exposition—but not any more.

Once upon a time, NPE stood for National Plastics Exposition—but not any more. This has become a truly international show, at least as far as exhibitors are concerned. Even a cursory perusal of some of the major categories of exhibits reveals 30 to 40 different nations represented, and not just the usual suspects—Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria. You will also find a smattering of exhibitors from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, India (several), Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia (several), Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Turkey.

The really big difference at this show is the crowd of exhibitors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea. There are 31 Chinese extrusion machinery vendors at this show, up from five at NPE 2003, and 17 Taiwanese vs. six at the last show. There are also 31 German, 16 Italian, and eight Austrian extrusion exhibitors. Injection molding has seven each from China and Taiwan, plus three from Hong Kong and four from Korea, not to mention 18 from Germany, 15 from Japan, and eight from Italy. Blow molders will have an opportunity to look over machines from seven Chinese producers (plus nine from Germany and seven from Italy). There are even 13 suppliers of plastics additives from China at the show.In moldmaking and mold components, the numbers are really eye-opening: 46 exhibitors from China, 18 from Taiwan, 17 from Portugal, 14 from Korea, and six from Hong Kong, plus smaller numbers from 16 other countries. And among injection molders and extruders of film, sheet, and profiles, there are 22 companies from China, 13 from Taiwan, nine from Hong Kong, and six from Malaysia.

No doubt about it: Plastics are a global market. NPE is a prime opportunity to look over the competition and view the world’s best technology for taking them on.