Düsseldorf, Germany — On Oct. 16, KraussMaffei Group GmbH's online marketplace Polymore went live. The following day, the German machinery maker held a launch party at WhiteLoft in Düsseldorf, where top executives and employees from both KraussMaffei and Polymore gathered with customers to celebrate the official start of trading — with a ceremonious bell ringing and all.
Polymore's Josef Art said the response so far has been "tremendous."
"Companies are coming to us unexpectedly and want to work together with us," Art, business director for the online marketplace, told Plastics News during the Oct. 17 event.
KraussMaffei said it has fielded more than 100 material inquiries, many of which include post-industrial and recycling material offers. The network so far consists of 19 compounders and recyclers, including BZ Kunststoff Recycling, a German company that manufactures recycled materials — some of which come from automotive bumper scrap.
Plastics News caught up with Art to learn more about the online business of materials.
Q: KraussMaffei has officially launched Polymore, an online business-to-business marketplace for buying and selling compounds, masterbatches, recycled materials and post-industrial materials in Europe. Why did the company see a need for something like this?
Art: KraussMaffei was always, and is, a pioneer in plastics. With the ability of having extensive experience in the extrusion and injection molding market, we do believe that we can add value to the current, much diversified, market of plastic material. In terms of circular economy, there is an upcoming need to allow easy and transparent trading of post-industrial waste and recyclates. We are completing the ability for circular economy with our digital marketplace Polymore.
Q: How does this differ from how plastics companies currently buy/sell material?
Art: Polymore makes the international plastics market transparent, connects converters and compounders, procurement and purchasing of plastics, to optimize business processes in terms of efficiency and effectivity.
Q: Is this a first-of-its-kind marketplace for materials? How so?
Art: Polymore is unique. There are partially similar platforms out there for fragmented areas and typically with very limited plastics industry background. Polymore combines the expertise of technical experts and salespeople with plastics industry background together with digital procedures and tools. We combine certain requests with the best suppliers for those, and we offer an easy-to-handle marketplace for companies who want to actively offer their material.
Q: Are there any restrictions for companies that sell or buy on this marketplace?
Art: We are open to the whole market — independent of machines, branches, etc. The past weeks have showed us a strong confirmation that the strongest need for transparency, reach and efficiency is in the trading process of growing areas like compounds, recyclables and post-industrial waste. This is what we focus on today.
Q: Is there a fee to buy/sell in the marketplace? How does Polymore make a profit?
Art: There are different models of pricing, but mainly we are a kind of selling support platform for companies that offer their material.
Q: How will Polymore help reduce plastic waste and increase recycling efforts?
Art: There is an enormous need in the market for more recyclables and post-industrial waste to feed back into the production cycle, but almost no transparency of where to get the right materials and to assure the supply chain — right there is the huge lever Polymore can support with our digital marketplace.
Q: How will it boost sustainability efforts and contribute to the circular economy?
Art: By creating such a one-stop platform like Polymore, combined with technical and material knowledge, it is like a crystallization point for requests and offers, so for transparency. Transparency creates movement and availability.
Q: How is Polymore organized as part of KraussMaffei? Is it considered a subsidiary? A business unit?
Art: Polymore is a unique brand within KraussMaffei. It is organized as a startup and uses its own procedures and tools, and is fully focused on serving the material trading market.
Q: How does Polymore impact resin cost? Will companies price their materials more competitively?
Art: Polymore creates better transparency for all market participants, bringing the right partners together and creating movement within the circular economy.
Q: What cost benefits does Polymore offer to material buyers? And to the material sellers?
Art: Polymore allows both buyers and sellers to expand their reach and market cover in a very cost-efficient way. This will allow the market to become more efficient and will the reduce cost of transactions in a very easy way.
Q: Is Polymore only serving certain European countries to start? If so, which ones?
Art: The first focus is on German-speaking countries and Italy, where the strongest centers for compounders are. However, very soon we will expand into all of Europe.
Q: Are there any plans to expand Polymore to other regions such as North America?
Art: We are completely blown away by the dynamics and requests we have gotten from the market worldwide the past weeks and will respond to it. However, our current focus is still on Europe.