SIBUR presented the full range of polyolefins to be produced by ZapSibNeftekhim at international trade fair for plastics processing.

This year's exhibition attracted 1,933 companies and 47,650 professionals from 126 countries. Over 42% of the participants are manufacturers and distributors from outside Germany.

From 16 to 20 October, Friedrichshafen, a German city on Lake Bodensee bordered by Switzerland, Germany and Austria, was the host for the 26th FAKUMA international trade fair for plastics processing.

This year, the usual agenda covering such topics as equipment for construction materials, materials processing, chemical industry and heat treatment technologies was expanded to embrace proactive technology transformation in plastic processing. New materials, 3D printing, digitalisation and automation in manufacturing, energy efficiency at software and machinery levels – these are to name just a few of the challenges manufacturers have to address today.

“In the coming years, the processing sector is most likely to face polypropylene shortages in the European market,” says Mark Winkler, Sales Manager and Team Leader, Europe (Polyolefin), Basic Polymers, SIBUR International.

He believes there are several reasons for this. Shell and Moerdijk/BASF, two major propylene processing companies in Europe, are planning to close their facilities with an aggregate capacity of nearly 1.2 mt for a major revamp. This means fewer opportunities for producers as propylene is used to make polypropylene. Propane shortages may also become a problem. Meanwhile, polypropylene consumption is expected to grow by 2.3% annually. By 2021, the consumption increase is projected to reach as high as 0.9–9.958 mt, yet Europe has not seen any new polypropylene capacities added for the last five years.

3D printing brings both challenges and opportunities. Photo: 3D printed bridge in Shanghai.

By 2021, the consumption increase is projected to reach as high as 0.9–9.958 mt, yet Europe has not seen any new polypropylene capacities added for the last five years.

“This has prompted the ongoing discussions in Europe on how to make up for this shortage with imports,” said Mark. “Another trend is a boost in plastics secondary recycling, which is increasing its share to become a full-fledged market player.”

Plastics recycling, sustainable use of materials and biomaterials were, in effect, brought to the foreground this year as consumers increasingly pay more attention to environmental profiles of materials in the automotive industry, consumer goods and packaging.

FAKUMA visitors were able to view new machines, adapted tooling, integrated quality assurance, controlled hydraulic and electric drives as well as networkable and communicative controllers complete with software. The industry is on track with digitalisation, which is demonstrated by a greater appetite for Industry 4.0-compatible equipment. (For more information on SIBUR’s digital transformation, please click here).

SIBUR presented not only all its polyethylene and polypropylene products, but also a full range of polyolefins soon to be produced by the ZapSibNeftekhim facilities in Tobolsk.

Shell Moerdijk, the largest petrochemical facility in Europe.

Plastics recycling, sustainable use of materials and biomaterials were brought to the foreground this year.

The business part of the expo included a series of events featuring presentations from around 70 companies.

“In addition to stand presentations, SIBUR International’s sales and technical teams organised a number of face-to-face meetings with current and potential clients,” said Mark Winkler. “We talked to around 120 representatives of the companies with an aggregate polyolefin consumption of ca. 3.7 mt. Over half of them are new contacts. This proves there is significant interest in our polyolefin products from the plastics recycling industry.”

SIBUR is planning to take part in the next FAKUMA exhibition tentatively scheduled for October 2019.

Photos from the Fakuma 2018 international trade fair for plastics processing. Source: https://www.fakuma-messe.de

In Q1 2019, SIBUR will take part in the following exhibitions:

• India Rubber Expo, the 10th International Rubber Exhibition, Mumbai (India), 17–19 January 2019;
• Plexpo India, an international plastics and packaging exhibition, Mumbai (India), 17–20 January 2019;
• Interplastica, the 22nd International Plastics and Rubber Trade Fair, Moscow, 29 January – 1 February 2019;
• Interlakokraska, the 23rd Specialised International Exhibition, Moscow, 4–7 March 2019;
• Tire Technology Expo, an international tire manufacturing technology exhibition, Hannover (Germany), 5–7 March 2019;
• European Coatings Show, an international paint and coatings exhibition, Nuremberg (Germany), 19–21 March 2019.

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