This year’s Composites Europe trade fair held on 19-21 September in Stuttgart, Germany, attracted a total of 406 exhibitors from 28 countries. This year’s visitor numbers of 8,342 fell just short of last year (8,622), 40% of visitors came from outside Germany.
While most visitors hailed from other European countries, some journeyed from Brazil, the US and Canada, and even Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. All told, Composites Europe visitors represented 63 nations.
“We meet customers from Germany, Europe and even the US, China and India here,” says Dennis Baumann, Head of Global Sales at SGL Group. “There’s a lot of momentum, including in application areas such as construction and mechanical engineering.”
While Composites Europe has so far alternated between Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, it will now be held in Stuttgart every year. Exhibitors are said to welcome this decision.
“The decision in favour of Stuttgart was absolutely correct,” states Hexion’s Corporate Marketing Communications Director, Michael Stahl. “The trade fair was characterised by high-quality visitors, noticeably higher demand and excellent talks with customers like Mercedes and Airbus.”
Serving as the interface between metal and fibre composite technologies at Composites Europe is the Lightweight Technologies Forum, which made its debut in 2016.
“With this cross-material forum, we created a new format in order to bring together the composites industry and the application industries in integrated and hybrid lightweight construction,” explains Olaf Freier, Event Director of Composites Europe.
The market study Lightweight Construction as Innovation Driver, unveiled in Stuttgart, lays out the status quo and explores the trends and future challenges of multi-material lightweight construction in the automotive sector. It concludes that politics and customers are the biggest drivers of lightweight construction right now. However, the consistent implementation of lightweight construction solutions fails due to supplier- and manufacturer-imposed hurdles, according to the study, which was designed and implemented in cooperation with Automotive Management Consulting (AMC).
“Lightweight construction is particularly important for the international competitiveness of German industry and thus for ‘Made in Germany,’ and lightweight construction as a key innovative technology strengthens our leading international position,” states Dr Elmar Witten, Managing Director of AVK and the industry association Composites Germany, and one of the initiators of the position paper ‘Germany must become the leading lightweight construction supplier.’ A total of 16 industrial and lightweight construction associations signed the position paper a few weeks ago.
Image provided by Composites Europe
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