PlastMilan: moves to later date and biennially in next showcase

The triennial Italian trade show, PlastMilan, which is traditionally held in May, will move later to September, from 26-30 and in 2017, instead of 2019, said organiser Promaplast. The earlier year of 2017 is because the Fiera Milano fairgrounds in Rho, Milan, is full in 2019.

Meanwhile, the month of September was picked due to avoid cramping exhibitions one after another in a year, said Mario Maggiani, Managing Director of Promaplast. "We want to space out the exhibitions in the year for exhibitors," he said, speaking to journalists in Milan. He added that important shows like NPE and Chinaplas, were almost back-to-back and the September date for Plast is to allow "for some breathing space".

However, some exhibitors, especially injection moulding machine makers, were not too happy with the September date, since it is three weeks before Fakuma, also an important show for machine makers in Germany.

Meanwhile, Maggiani said Plast will revert back to being held once every three years after the 2017 event, adding that the next Plast thereafter will be in 2020. This is to avoid clashing with the most important fair for the plastics industry, the triennially-held K show that will run in 2019.

This year, the International Plastics and Rubber Fair, held from 5-9 May, coincided with the world Expo 2015, which was held adjacent to the fairgrounds in Rho and runs for six months.

As for visitors, Maggiani shared unofficial figures of 8,000 to 9,000 for the first day; 11,000 on the second day of the show; and up to 14,000 on the third day. "The first day was quiet but we forsee an increase in visitors," he said, adding that a signficant number of foreign visitors were noted. "The ratio of foreign visitors is almost 40%, unlike previous years."

Plast hosted 1,558 exhibitors over 55,000 sq m of space, representing machinery and equipment manufacturers, producers of raw materials, converters and much more. It boasted a 4% increase in participation with respect to the previous fair in 2012.

At the opening ceremony President of Assocomaplast (the Italian trade association for machinery), Giorgio Colombo, said, "The year 2014 was a positive one, both for exports, which recorded a +4.9%, and for the domestic market with a somewhat more modest +2% that nevertheless marks a change in a positive direction."

In spite of the recession and economic difficulties in recent years, which have affected nearly all sectors of Italian and international industry, manufacturers of machinery and moulds for plastics and rubber have proven to represent a robust market, as underscored by the data for 2014 (as compared to the previous year): production +2.6%, exports +4.9%, imports +8.5% with a production output that reached EUR4 billion.

The exhibition had three satellite fairs: Rubber 2015, dedicated to the rubber industry, which had +30% exhibitor participation with respect to 2012; 3D, a new section dedicated to additive manufacturing using plastics, rapid prototyping, modelling software, 3D printing and related technologies; and Start Plast, featuring 30 selected start-ups who were invited, free of charge, to exhibit their products.

Maggiani also said that Plast will in the future look at adding on dedicated areas for recycling exhibitors and another area for the composites sector.


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