K Show Report: Next-Level Efficiency and Control
With a show as big as K 2019 with more than 3,000 exhibitors from 63 nations, you may think that identifying a theme among all the technology would be difficult, but after all is said and done, two words come to mind: efficiency and control.
After my week in Dusseldorf Germany attending the “World’s No. 1 Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber” along with more than 200,000 other visitors from 165 countries, I walked away with plenty of information, contacts, leads and ideas. However, the most important takeaway was that plastic continues to be an essential and innovative material to consumers, brand owners and manufacturers … and that includes mold builders.
With that being said, a prevalent tagline across the walls and backdrops of many booths was circular economy–meaning an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. At first, I wasn’t so sure what this had to do with my little neck of the plastics woods (moldmaking), but after several discussions, it became clear. Recycling, sustainability and waste reduction are not just OEM and molding facility concerns, challenges and opportunities, they impact the mold manufacturer as well.
Mold builders need to ask themselves where they fit into the circular economy. For example, are you considering how to design molds for recycled material, how to design or spec hot runner systems to process bio-resins, how to implement systems and components in your molds to make them more efficient?
It is time to be proactive and to be part of the solution by getting involved early and often to offer your expertise on how to optimize a mold to be more efficient and/or to handle recycled materials. Technology plays a vital role in achieving both of these goals, and K 2019 did not disappoint on that front.
Exhibitors offered plenty of options—actually too many for one person take in, so I’m sharing the technologies I saw that can help to improve control and efficiency for mold builders in this slideshow. (Now, for those of you only looking for a quick show recap, see the video below).
The next K trade fair will be held from
October 19 – 26, 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Visit www.k-online.com for more information.
Correct alignment lock selection will reduce maintenance costs, molding downtime and increase part quality over the mold’s entire life.
Prototyping helps evaluate and test a design, clarify production costs, sell a product and secure patents.
Moldmakers need to be aware of how different gating technology can affect their customers when designing a hot runner system into a mold.