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70 Years of K in Düsseldorf – a World Career Made in Germany!

70 Years of K in Düsseldorf – a World Career Made in Germany!

The same year that saw Queen Elizabeth II ascend to the throne, the first artificial heart valve implanted in the USA and the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” inspire millions at the cinema, history was also made in Germany with the inaugural edition of K, hosted in Düsseldorf from 11 to 19 October 1952. At that time nobody suspected this event only just taking off would develop into the world’s leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry.

However, K in Düsseldorf also started small once: the debut event “Wunder der Kunststoffe” (Miracles of Plastics) in 1952 registered 270 exhibiting companies – exclusively from Germany. They occupied approximately 14,000 square metres of net exhibition space.

The more the plastics industry specialized and high-tech plastics for special solutions in electronics, medicine, automotive or aerospace attracted attention beyond standard polymers, the more specialists visited the trade fair. In 1963 the break was made: K in Düsseldorf became a special-interest only trade fair of international standing. Since then it has maintained its position as a leading global trade fair for the entire industry.

2019 saw over 220,000 trade visitors from almost 170 nations travel to K on the Rhine River. The last K in 2019 recorded 3,330 exhibitors from 63 countries on 177,000 m² net exhibition space, and 224,116 trade visitors, 73% of whom came from abroad.

The centrepiece of “Plastics shape the future” is provided by the theme days with speeches, keynotes, and panel discussions on the three K hot topics climate protection, circular economy, and digitalisation.

Because high tech is also required to optimise manufacturing processes and make them ever more efficient – as another measure besides the recycling of plastic products to save CO2. Both approaches are not conceivable without digitalisation. It is, for instance, the enabler for digital product passports and globally applicable traceability standards.

Newcomers showcase innovative developments and ideas for the plastics and rubber industries. Start-ups are young, creative, flexible and particularly stand out with their innovative solutions.

I am sure this will be the only place for Plastics people world wide.


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