Coronavirus alters attendance plans / Engel, KraussMaffei, Motan-Colortronic and Sumitomo not participating “actively” / Thermoformer Swissplast absent / State ministry to decide on special status of trade fairs
Info: On the evening of 8 July 2020, the ministry of economic affairs in Baden-Württemberg reported that the decision to be taken on this day was postponed to 13 July. Engel on 8 July afternoon announced it had decided against an active participation at Fakuma. Later the same day, Sepro said it would “substantially curtail its activities” at this year's Fakuma trade fair, cancelling its robotic solutions and automated systems display as well as reducing staff attendance.
09.07.2020 13:05:24
Injection moulding machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei (KM, Munich / Germany; www.kraussmaffei.com) has called of its “usual active participation” in “Fakuma” (www.fakuma-messe.de) in Friedrichshafen / Germany in October 2020, although it notes that for the company, “Fakuma is one of the most important platforms for showcasing new products, solutions and services for the plastics industry, as well as for meeting existing and prospect customers.”

It seems that competitor Wittmann (Vienna / Austria; www.wittmann-group.com) recently coined a new term in trade fair jargon with its similar lack of “active participation” at the event (see Plasteurope.com of 30.06.2020). In other words, the exhibition space is booked, but not – or only to a limited extent – animated with machines and people. Although space is secured for the coming year, this does not benefit trade fair visitors right now. “KraussMaffei very much regrets this step,” the company says, but due to the current situation, it does not see an alternative as the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for all attendees and employees could not be eliminated.

Austria’s Engel (Schwertberg; www.engelglobal.com) on 8 July also joined the ranks in announcing that, even with a strict hygiene concept and limited number of daily trade fair visitors, it could not rule out the risk of infection and would not “actively participate” in Fakuma this year as it usually does. The injection moulding machinery maker said it would present innovations in other ways this autumn.

Similarly, the management board and works council of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery’s (Schwaig / Germany; www.sumitomo-shi-demag.eu) German locations have agreed that if – despite the coronavirus pandemic – Fakuma takes place in Friedrichshafen from 13 to 17 October this year as planned, the injection moulding machinery manufacturer will refrain from “actively participating” at the event.

CEO Gerd Liebig has cancelled “active” participation in Fakuma 2020 due to health and safety concerns (Photo: Sumitomo Demag)
This decision is made under the “Act Responsibly” motto, which puts safety as the highest priority for employees, visitors and customers. Therefore, neither its employees nor machine exhibits will be sent to Friedrichshafen. “Even with hygiene measures in place, taking part in a trade fair involves too many imponderable risks and unfortunately we cannot eliminate risk,” says CEO Gerd Liebig. The company very much regrets this decision. Liebig emphasises that “Fakuma will continue to play a major role within the company’s marketing strategy in the future.” For the time being, he is happy to have been largely spared the coronavirus within the corporate group.

The management of peripheral machinery specialist Motan-Colortronic (Isny / Germany; www.motan-colortronic.com) has also decided against “active participation in the usual form” at Fakuma 2020 due to Covid-19. Likewise, its main reasons are the known health risks of the coronavirus and the restrictions associated with the pandemic.

Swissplast (Sargans / Switzerland; www.swissplast.com), a thermoforming company with four plants in Europe, has reached a similar assessment of the situation. However, its management has made a “carefully considered” decision to call off any participation in Fakuma this year as a result of the health risks.

For Fakuma organiser P.E. Schall (Frickenhausen / Germany; www.schall-messen.de), reports like this are more than inconvenient. It is doing everything in its power to get the trade show ready for take-off. In close collaboration with the authorities and site operator Messe Friedrichshafen, a concept is currently being developed to meet all the necessary requirements for addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Schall’s goal is to be able to give exhibitors and cooperation partners the greenlight for Fakuma 2020 by the end of July 2020 at the latest.

Meanwhile, the steering committee of the state of Baden-Württemberg’s (where Friedrichshafen is located) ministry of economic affairs was planning a meeting to decide on the special status of trade fairs during the coronavirus pandemic. The measures it implemented to protect against the spread of the virus came into force on 1 July 2020, and these currently prohibit events with over 500 participants until 31 October 2020. Trade fairs are not explicitly excluded.

The Fakuma exhibitor advisory board also planned to meet virtually, according to informed circles. However, it should be noted that the board only has an advisory function for the trade fair organiser. Whether or not to hold Fakuma 2020 is entirely up to Schall, provided the authorities do not relieve the organiser of this decision. Arburg (Loßburg / Germany; www.arburg.com) in the meantime remains committed to Fakuma. As a kind of co-founder and exhibitor at the trade show, the company has been committed to Fakuma from the start.
09.07.2020 Plasteurope.com [245481-1]
Published on 09.07.2020
KraussMaffei: Keine gewohnte, aktive Teilnahme an der „Fakuma“ 2020German version of this article...

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