COMPOSITES EUROPE 2014: showcase for innovations

COMPOSITES EUROPE has proved to be the most important event on fibre reinforced plastics in Germany. The 2013 event in Stuttgart attracted over 9100 visitors and 400 exhibitors.
COMPOSITES EUROPE has proved to be the most important event on fibre reinforced plastics in Germany. The 2013 event in Stuttgart attracted over 9100 visitors and 400 exhibitors.

Reinforced Plastics: For people who are new to COMPOSITES EUROPE, could you tell us a little about the objectives of this trade fair?

Annkathrin Lange (AL): COMPOSITES EUROPE shows the whole bandwidth of fibre reinforced plastics, ranging from lightweight construction concepts, through sustainable materials, to state-of-the-art production and automation solutions.

Annkathrin Lange became Project Manager for COMPOSITES EUROPE in January. She takes over from Michael Köhler, who remains with Reed Exhibitions as Event Director of the ALUMINIUM, COMPOSITES EUROPE and HYBRID Expo trade fairs. 

The focus is on key technologies for nearly all composites markets.

COMPOSITES EUROPE has long been established as a showcase for new products in the industry. It’s a place where new materials and lightweight construction projects are presented, and this is increasingly being recognised by major automotive manufacturers such as BMW, Ford and Lamborghini.

RP: How does the exhibition reflect the composites market in Germany, and in Europe as a whole?

AL: Germany is the biggest market for composites in Europe. Also, our two alternating trade fair venues, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, are situated in the midst of Europe’s biggest industrial lightweight construction hubs.

In Germany, in particular, COMPOSITES EUROPE reaches the entire industry, so that we can present the value chain for nearly all composite products – from automotive manufacturing, through aerospace, boat building and wind energy to the construction sector.

This is particularly in evidence in Düsseldorf, and the international key players who come to the trade fair as exhibitors and visitors are well aware of it.

We are expecting to see over 10,000 trade visitors in Düsseldorf this year, including 40% from outside Germany, as well as about 440 exhibitors from more than 25 countries.

RP: You are working with several partner organisations – EuCIA, AVK, VDMA. How do these collaborations benefit the exhibition?

AL: Working together with the European composites industry association EuCIA, Germany’s AVK, the VDMA Composite Technology Forum, the new and powerful trade association Composites Germany and the American industry association ACMA, we probably represent the biggest industry network of the composites industry.

This is reflected, for instance, in mechanical engineering, which is always strongly represented among both visitors and exhibitors.

Moreover, the international AVK conference brings together leading composites experts from all over Europe at the trade fair.

RP: What can visitors expect to see at COMPOSITES EUROPE 2014?

AL: There is an increasing focus on the automation of potentially large-scale manufacturing processes for composite parts. At COMPOSITES EUROPE the industry will be showing how far it has come.

In our special areas, e.g. the Product Demonstration Area, we’ll be offering visitors new high-tech products, and the COMPOSITES Forum will provide an exciting international programme of presentations.

As before, COMPOSITES EUROPE will be held in parallel with the Aluminium World Trade Fair. This combination makes the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre the meeting point for lightweight construction experts from the entire world.

RP: And finally, as the new Project Manager of COMPOSITES EUROPE, what are you most looking forward to?

AL: The composites industry is currently one of the most exciting sectors, as it is very much driven by innovation and it is continually in motion. COMPOSITES EUROPE still has a great future ahead of it.

I’m looking forward to taking over this trade fair at such an important point in its development and to moving it further forward together with exhibitors and visitors. ♦  

Reinforced Plastics magazine is the official media partner of COMPOSITES EUROPE. We will be publishing a preview of COMPOSITES EUROPE 2014 in our September/October issue, which will be distributed at the show. Please contact us if you would like further information about this feature.