PT Blog

Under the shadow of spreading bans of single-use plastic products and growing public concern over “ocean plastics” pollution, the dominant theme at this October’s K 2019 show in Dusseldorf, Germany, will be recycling, under the currently fashionable label of “Circular Economy.”

Visitors will hear plenty about this, to be sure, from suppliers of materials and additives, and builders of machinery for reclamation of waste plastics.

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The Extrusion 2019 Conference: Where the Industry Comes to Learn

So why have processors registered to attend the Plastics Technology Extrusion Conference in increasing numbers every year since the event was launched in 2015?

Two words: To Learn

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“A lot of our customers are still confused,” says Cheryl Sayer, director of engineering at Kortec. “They think it’s two-shot overmolding—sealing off on plastic instead of steel—rather than the skin and the core being injected simultaneously.”  

That simultaneous injection means there is no cycle-time penalty resulting from waiting for one injection unit to finish before the other can start, and it also doubles mold output compared to traditional two-shot molding where a substrate is molded in one cavity and then transferred to another (or the mold itself must rotate) and a second material is overmolded. “If you can co-inject,” Sayer says, “you automatically double the cavitation of a tool.”

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If anyone needs a reminder of how truly global the plastics industry is—K 2019 (October 16-23; Düsseldorf, Germany) will surely do so. The last K in 2016 recorded 3,293 exhibitors from 61 countries, attracted 232,053 trade visitors, including 71 percent from outside Germany.

As a tradition, Messe Düsseldorf invited around 80 journalists from 32 countries for the K 2019 Preview from July 1-3. During 12 press conferences held by K exhibitors over three days in Düsseldorf, there was plenty of product news.

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Held in Houston in early June, sustainability loomed large as a major theme of the seventh Global Plastic Summit (GPS2019), with nearly 300 attendees from several countries. Key panel discussions on the topic included presenters from IHS Markit and PLASTICS, the hosts of these conferences, and companies representing the industry across the chain—from resin suppliers, to processors to brands.

Examples included the keynote panel, titled Sustainability. Moderated by Lyn Tatem, v.p.  IHS Markit and publisher of IHS Chemical Week, it included: Nova Chemicals’s v.p. of PE markets Greg DeKunder; PepsiCo’s v.p. of global sustainable plastics Burgess Davis; Westfall Technik’s v.p. of procurement and sustainablitly Allison Lin; Mars PetCare’s global commercial lead for packaging Barnaby Wallace; and, ACC’s managing director Keith Christman.

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