According to official tallies from show organizers, Chinaplas 2013 drew 114,000 visitors from around the world. From the perspective of your humble correspondent, rumors of a decline in the plastics industry have been greatly exaggerated, at least on evidence of our booth traffic. We saw visitors from China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, just to start with the Asian countries. Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Netherlands and India were also represented as engineers and managers from toolmakers and thermoformers all stopped at our booth to talk/learn about syntactic foam for plug assist.
It would appear that the efforts of our local distributor (Melchers Trading) to educate the market about syntactic foam have paid off as many customers came to the booth with specific questions on grades of HYTAC® material and how best to machine/polish them into plug assist shapes. While some processors continue to use basic materials such as POM or nylon for low performance requirements, the level of sophistication has clearly increased over the past 2-3 years. More complex parts, multi-layer materials and demanding customers mean that thermoformers require higher performance plug assist materials. Low thermal conductivity and dimensional stability are two key reasons why the HYTAC® line of plug assist materials continues to increase in popularity in these dynamic markets. Polypropylene cups seemed to be a popular topic and several thermoformers who were running plastic at the show were extruding and forming PP.
Chinaplas 2014 will return to Shanghai and we will certainly be there again. In the meantime, our 2013 calendar is booked solid with the following events:
AMI Thin Wall Packaging Conference: June 17-19, Chicago IL
Penn College Heavy-Gauge Thermoforming Workshop: June 18-20, Williamsport, PA
Penn College Thin-Gauge Thermoforming Workshop: June 25-26, Williamsport, PA
SPE Thermoforming Conference: September 9-12, Atlanta, GA
K 2013: October 16-23, Dusseldorf, Germany