Last week CMT participated in the 2014 Plastimagen exhibition and conference at the Centro Banamex in Mexico City. Due to widespread protests in the capital, attendance at the event was mixed in the sense that there were several pronounced lulls in activity. Organizers and exhibitors felt that the demonstrations led to traffic problems which caused disruptions to schedules. That said, the buzz for thermoforming at the show was generally positive and many attendees arrived late in the evening (the show hours were 1pm – 8pm). Through conversations in different booths and in the hallways, there was a sense that Latin American demand has been pent-up during 2014. Many processors talked about new projects for 2015 that should unlock the potential for more machinery, tooling and equipment.
As the premier Spanish-language plastics tradeshow, Plastimagen draws visitors from all over Central and Latin America. We recently updated many of our guides and reference materials with new Spanish versions, much to the delight of attendees.
In the booth, the Illig RD53 was running XTL plugs for a100% recycled PET tray with a type of tamper-evident feature. Almost every visitor to the booth was interested in higher-performing grades of HYTAC such as FLX, C1R and XTL. This suggests an evolution in both market demands and technical expertise among toolmakers and thermoformers. As the results from our latest trials on clarified PP show, highly-polished C1R provides improved optical properties while improving material distribution when compared to solid polymers such as PEI and Delrin (acetal).
When we visit the AMI Thin Wall Packaging conference in Cologne next week, we’ll have an opportunity to confirm our hypothesis that 2015 is poised to be a big year for thermoforming around the world.