K-vibe bodes well for plastics

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Brennan Lafferty

New 3-D printers, plastic owls, painted ladies, film extruders, design innovations, altbier, new business partners and miles of exhibit floor under my feet.
Those and scores of other images are seared into my brain after eight days in Düsseldorf. I am happy to report that I not only survived my first K show, but I came away impressed with the health of the plastics industry and the expanding nature of the business. The only gray skies at K were the ones in view out the window.
Depending on whom I spoke to, business is booming in Mexico, the U.S., Brazil, China, Thailand, Russia, Germany and on and on. And where it is not booming (Dubai, Africa), companies are keen to expand. Growth potential, one called it.
We all know that the general business climate in the States can vary from modest optimism to trepidation. Well, downright giddiness was on display in all 17 exhibit halls in Düsseldorf. The investments resin producers and machinery makers have made in the now and in the future foretell good news for those who live and breathe plastic.
The CEO of a major equipment supplier shook my hand vigorously and with a broad smile said, "I have to be over there [pointing left] and I have to be over there [pointing right] at the same time. It's going to be a very good day!" Now, there's a man who exemplifies the positive attitude of his peers and the hectic pace of K.
That pace can sometimes come at the expense of truly acknowledging our customers.

Therefore, let me make sure that ours know how much
they mean to us.
Many thanks to our readers and advertisers who helped make our show dailies a rousing success at K. Editors Don Loepp, David Eldridge and Hamish Champ led our crack team of journalists who cranked out six daily news¬papers that we delivered each morning. A true team effort! Much thanks to the executives who took the time to speak with our reporters so we could bring the latest news to the 225,000 attendees of the world's largest plastics fair, too.
Also, our U.K. office produced Design Chain @ K in cooperation with many sponsors and the blessing of Messe Düsseldorf. The much sought-after design community gathered to share ideas on everything from biocomposites to making design critical to a brand. Thanks to all who attended.
While we'll all take a breath post-K, we do so knowing that opportunity awaits each of us in the plastics field. One need only look at K for the exclamation point on the industry's positive vibe!

Lafferty (blafferty@crain.com) is publisher of Plastics News.