Italy Plast trade show as a display of the Italian plastics and rubber industry

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

Plast 2018, the International Exhibition for the Plastics and Rubber Industries, will take place at the Fiera Milano facilities in Rho-Pero, Italy, from Tuesday, 29 May, to Friday, 1 June 2018. The combination of trade show and conference programme is heading towards success.

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Packed halls at Plast 2015 in Milan, Italy.
Packed halls at Plast 2015 in Milan, Italy.
(Source: Plast)

Plast 2018 will be the preeminent European event this year for the plastics and rubber industry, embracing the whole chain – from raw materials to semi-finished and finished products, from machinery and equipment to support services. And, according to the organiser, once again this year's fair once again enjoys the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

The international scope of this triennial trade show, now in its eighteenth edition, is confirmed by the impressive numbers of foreign exhibitors and visitors. Already three months before opening day, a total of 1,100 exhibitors has registered for Plast 2018. Of these, 870 are direct exhibitors (one third of them foreign, representing more than forty countries and growth of 21% in number and 24% in space allocation) and 230 are represented. A total of 52,000 square metres of exhibition space has been assigned.

Plast reflects the global position of the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and moulds industry, which forms the core of the exhibition. Over 70% of national production – which hit a new all-time record value of 4.5 billion euros in 2017 according to figures from the trade association Amaplast, produced by 900 manufacturers employing some 14,000 people – is exported.

High expectations for business opportunities

Germany, Italy’s main global competitor in the sector, tops the list in terms of both foreign exhibitors and foreign visitors at Plast. Similar to technology produced in Germany, Italian technology is purchased by converters all over the world who require high-tech capabilities to produce large volumes of quality products with optimal precision.

Plast 2018 thus offers economic operators a full-spectrum technological showcase addressing all the various production processes (from extrusion to blow moulding, from thermoforming to injection moulding) and applications (packaging, automotive, medical, construction etc.).

Given the excellent performance of Italian exports in the industry and recovery in the domestic market, participants have every right to expect rewarding business opportunities at Plast 2018, with their order books swelling significantly at the fair.

This year, Plast will once again feature satellite fairs dedicated to three sub-sectors of excellence: Rubber (in its third edition), 3D Plast (focusing on additive manufacturing and related technologies, now in its second edition) and Plast-Mat (first edition, dedicated to innovative plastics).

Accompaying programme is in the works

A schedule of technical seminars and company meetings is in the works, providing a full-spectrum view of the latest in materials, processes, machinery and services. These conferences, combined with the breadth of the exhibits, will draw in not only professionals working in the field but also young people seeking a place in the job market. The conferences include the topics “New developments of Composite Materials in the Era of Circular Economy” on 29 May and “Innovation, Safety and Sustainability of Food Packaging in Plastic Materials in the Frame of the Circular Economy” on 1 June.

As at every Plast, school groups, most of them from technical high schools, will be among the crowds in the exhibition halls, getting a first-hand look at the materials and technologies in the plastics and rubber industry.

But that’s not all, as the organiser announced. In keeping with tradition, the Art & Plastics area of Plast 2018 will feature a splash of colour, with artists exhibiting works they created using plastic, providing a further demonstration of the versatility of this material.

Two months after the opening of preregistration, thousands of operators have already registered online to visit PLAST 2018. Large numbers have also preregistered to visit the four fairs within The Innovation Alliance (consisting of Ipack-Ima, Meat-Tech, Print-4-All, Intralogistica Italia), also expressing interest in visiting Plast 2018.

The large number of expected visitors (at least 120,000 in total for the five events) will be joined by official delegations from some forty countries from all corners of the world, coordinated by ICE-Agenzia and composed of carefully selected qualified operators with interests spanning all sectors represented within The Innovation Alliance.

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