27 Sep 2021

FAKUMA 2021: The future is sustainable

Digital transformation: this is one of the biggest topics at this year’s FAKUMA, a major trade fair for the plastics industry taking place in Friedrichshafen from October 12- 16. We asked five experts from various parts of the field to explain what else is currently on the minds of plastics professionals.

Dietrich Albrecht, Teamleader, UBE Europe

Sustainability transformation underway

"After suffering an initial pandemic-induced slump, the market for plastics is now rapidly recovering. The recovery, however, is characterized by extreme volatility and shortened planning horizons. At the same time, we see a sustainability taking place – in the increased use of recycled materials, for example, or in the development of plastics for applications in e-mobility. Opportunities and challenges lie close together these days, and our company is now expanding its global presence in compounding with greater urgency. If it’s solutions for thermal and energy management in e-mobility within common temperature ranges that you’re looking for – we offer them. We are also very well-positioned in the market for high-pressure hydrogen tanks. It is our aim to keep pushing our already high momentum for growth, particularly in the market for hydrogen mobility."

Nico Vossers, Business Manager Thermoplastics, Nordmann

Tailored solutions for our customers

"We are all looking forward to meeting face-to-face again at this year’s Fakuma – incidence rates permitting – and to presenting the new and customized solutions we have on offer, along with our portfolio of differentiated products and services. The Nordmann team has of course picked up on the latest market developments, and with our new and existing suppliers we are focusing not only on the automotive industry’s changeover from combustion engines to electric drive systems, but also on the issue of sustainability. Customers can explore our range of recycling solutions and plastics made from alternative raw materials."

Christian Schur, Business Manager Polymer Additives, Nordmann

An eye on climate and supply

"The years 2020 and 2021 have shown us that the issue of supply security will have to be prioritized even more in the future. At the same time, personal contact with our customers and suppliers is also particularly important for us. We need to develop long-term concepts that put supply on secure footing – because we’re bound to face other extreme situations in the future. Another important issue for the plastics industry is recycling, especially because of the impact it has on climate change. In the last two years, Nordmann has started to steer its product portfolio in this direction; we now carry Circular+ products from our partner Kraton Polymers and the CEVO® range from VOELPKER Spezialprodukte – additives that were specially developed  for recycling applications. Together, the requirements now being issued through politics and the ever-increasing interest of the industry both indicate that we are just at the beginning of an extremely exciting evolution in the push for sustainability."

Dr. Lutz Matthies, Head of Business Development, VOELPKER

Intensive customer dialogue, process optimization, improving end products, multifunctional high-performance additives

"As a manufacturer of wax additives, we at VOELPKER see ourselves as a partner to our customers – especially when it comes to meeting the ever-evolving challenges of process optimization and improving end products.  This requires us to maintain close dialogues and to invest in development work, of course – which has allowed us to expand our plastics additives business significantly in recent years.  The wax additives in our Plastic Series are now being used widely as multifunctional, high-performance additives in the plastics industry and in recycling because of their unique properties.  Our WARADUR® montan waxes serve as an integral and indispensable component of many high-quality formulations in the engineering plastics sector.  As part of our company’s new CEVO® portfolio, we offer field-tested and ready-to use additive formulations that can be specifically tailored to each customer’s individual needs."

Frederik Röhrs, Sales Director Plastics & Elastomers, Nordmann

A time for concerted action

"The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 caught us all by surprise, and the shortage of raw materials that we are seeing now clearly shows just how carefully we need to manage resources. It also highlights the importance of good communication and concerted action. As of September 1, Nordmann is home to a newly expanded industrial division that covers both the plastics and elastomers markets.  By taking this step, our team is working to bring together materials and industries that share a strong automotive focus and similar customer groupings."

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