What news have you prepared for the 2018 edition? What are the highlights?

PLAST 2018 will be the preeminent European event this year for the plastics and rubber industry, embracing the whole chain from raw materials to semi-finished and finished products, from machinery and equipment to support services.

PLAST 2018 offers economic operators a full-spectrum technological showcase addressing all the various production processes (from extrusion to blow-moulding, from thermoforming to injection moulding) and applications (packaging, automotive, medical, construction, etc.).

  • Again this year, PLAST will feature satellite fairs dedicated to three sub-sectors of excellence: RUBBER (in its third edition), 3D PLAST (focusing on additive manufacturing and related technologies, now in its second edition) and PLAST-MAT (first edition, dedicated to innovative plastics).
  • A jam-packed schedule of technical seminars and company meetings is in the works, providing a full-spectrum view of the latest in materials, processes, machinery and services. These conferences, combined with the breadth of the exhibits, will draw in not only professionals working in the field but also young people seeking a place in the job market.

As usual at every PLAST, school groups, most of them from technical high schools, will be among the crowds in the exhibition halls, getting first-hand experience with the materials and technologies in the plastics and rubber industry.

The largest number of expected visitors will be joined by official delegations from approximately forty countries from all corners of the world, coordinated by ICE-Agenzia and composed of carefully selected qualified operators.

But that’s not all, in keeping with tradition, the Art & Plastics area of PLAST 2018 will feature a splash of color, with artists exhibiting works they have created using plastic, providing a further demonstration of the versatility of this material.

What are the advantages of exhibiting at Plast 2018?

The international scope of this triennial trade show, now in its 18th edition, is confirmed by the impressive numbers of foreign exhibitors and visitors.

With less than two months to go before opening day, a total of 1,300 exhibitors have registered for PLAST 2018. Of these, 950 are direct exhibitors (one-third of them foreign, representing more than forty countries and growth of 24% in space allocation) and 350 are represented. A total of 54,000 square metres of exhibition space has been assigned.  

PLAST reflects the preeminent global position of the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and moulds industry, which forms the core of the exhibition. Over 70% of national production - which hit a new all-time record value of 4.67 billion euros in 2017 according to figures from the trade association AMAPLAST-Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Moulds Manufacturers Association - is exported.

The Statistical Studies Center of AMAPLAST – on the basis of ISTAT data – reports as well a 12% for exports compared to 2016, up to a value exceeding 3.3 billion euros.

Given the excellent performance of Italian exports in the industry and recovery in the domestic market, participants have every right to expect rewarding business opportunities at PLAST 2018.

The domestic market is showing clear signs of recovery, probably explained by the measures implemented by the National Industry 4.0 Plan to support investment in capital equipment. The expansion of the domestic market is also signaled by a positive performance in imports, which topped 970 million euros (+14% over 2016). As well, the good trend of the foreign participation in PLAST 2018 confirms the renewed attention towards the Italian market.

Can you give us some tips to get the most out of our visit?

PLAST 2018 will join the THE INNOVATION ALLIANCE: five international trade fairs (IPACK-IMA, MEAT-TECH, PLAST, PRINT4ALL and INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA) together in one big event that will cover the entire Fiera Milano fairgrounds, offering operators with a single entrance ticket the technological excellence of a number of fields of production, with a strong focus on the entire supply chain. A single, complete offer will span processing and packaging, plastics and rubber processing and industrial printing, graphic personalisation for packaging and labels, through to handling and storage of merchandise.

The aggregation of these exhibitions is absolutely strategic, a chance not to miss: the industries of packaging, converting and printing are well-integrated and synergic, figuring out as an ideal integration of the supply chain.

Visitors – a large number is expected, at least 150,000 in total for the five events - will have the chance to find on site all technologies needed. A unique chance that will attract a number of Italian visitors, and more than all from abroad, much larger than the records set by every single exhibition in past editions.

Until 31 May, those intending to visit the fair may buy online a 50% discounted admission ticket to PLAST 2018 and to the other exhibitions in The Innovation Alliance or get an “invitation-code” offered by an exhibitor.

How to apply to exhibit or attend?

All relevant details are available at the official website.

Lastly, can you give us some participation results from the last edition?

PLAST 2015 (Milan, May 5th-9th, 2015) occupied some 54,600 net square meters, in 6 halls of Fiera Milano fairgrounds. Some 78% of the surface was occupied by machinery manufacturers, 20% by raw materials and article producers, 2% by industry services providers.

1,584 exhibitors – of which 57% Italians and 43% foreign, from 57 countries - attended the show.

Almost 50,100 operators visited PLAST 2015; among them, 32,100 were Italian, 18,000 came from abroad, from 115 countries.