For nine days 32,000 international exhibitors will convene in Düsseldorf, Germany, for K 2019 — the “international flagship fair” for the rubber and plastics industries.
K 2019 will take place Oct. 16 to 23, and representatives from every AZO Inc. subsidiary worldwide will be present.
A seven-day event hosted alongside the K show called “Plastics Shape the Future” will aim to tackle topics like sustainability, worldwide interconnectedness and issues related to the environment. It will feature discussions and dialogue initiated by the German plastics industry under the support of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Messe Düsseldorf.
Chuck Kerwin, general manager of AZO Inc., says AZO is adopting a forward-thinking view to simultaneously expand the company’s brand in a growing industry and tackling ecological concerns.
“We have to look at the long-term growth potential versus the short-term choppiness of the trade issues,” Kerwin says. “Companies are making long-term investments and AZO Inc. wants to be a part of that long-term.”
AZO aims to develop solutions with customers for material handling in the production of bio-based and degradable materials and in the upcycling (the transforming of waste materials or unwanted products into new higher-quality materials) of recyclable materials.
The company’s partnership with BioLogiQ Inc. (an Idaho-based business that creates plastic products made from renewable resources) is a representation of these efforts.
“We all know that things need to change,” Kerwin says. “We have to ask how they are going to change. Producers will need to make changes, and equipment vendors need to help. That’s what we do.”
David Pippert, sales manager of AZO Poly U.S., says three trends present in the plastic industry that are likely to affect the upcoming K 2019 show are 3D printing, recycling and the increasing interest in biodegradable plastic.
“Instead of adding typical fillers to the product, customers are utilizing potato starch and other ingredients that will degrade over time,” Pippert says. “Moving forward, plastic is becoming more biodegradable.”
As a former project manager with over 25 years of exposure to the automation equipment industry, Pippert says his career experience has provided the opportunity to work in sales by offering AZO Inc. equipment he used to purchase in previous manufacturing positions.
“I can realistically talk about the competitor’s equipment because I've bought some of it in the past,” he adds.
Now, Pippert says getting “face time” with existing customers is what he enjoys most about events like the upcoming K 2019 show.
“The K show not only provides time for this type of conversation but the opportunity to introduce new AZO Inc. manufacturing solutions to them as well as to new customers,” he says. “I think that’s a valuable thing.”
If you’d like to obtain valuable insights on ingredient handling, be sure to browse the AZO Inc. blog and check out our configurator for specific bulk handling and discharge requirements. You can also contact our sales team for any other material handling inquiries.