Last week, from 12–14 March 2019, the international converting industry gathered for the 11th ICE Europe at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany. This year, the World’s Leading Exhibition for the conversion of flexible, web-based materials, such as paper, film, foil and nonwovens, achieved higher numbers of exhibitors and visitors than ever before and also set a record for the exhibition space. A total of 7,150 visitors from 75 countries came to the Bavarian capital to discover machinery, systems, materials, and accessories; which is an increase of visitors by 4% compared to the previous event. A total of 463 exhibitors from 25 countries presented their latest technologies on a net exhibition space of 11,500 m2, setting records with an 8% increase in exhibitor numbers and a 4% increase in net exhibition space compared to the previous event. For the second time, the organisers honoured four exhibiting companies with the ICE Awards for their outstanding technological achievements.
Once again, this year’s ICE Europe attracted converting specialists from around the world. A total of 7,150 visitors from 75 countries came to the show, where 463 exhibitors from 25 countries covered a net floor space of 11,500 m2. Compared to the previous show in 2017, the number of exhibitors has increased by 8%, the number of visitors by 4%, and the net exhibition space by 4%. The majority of visitors of ICE Europe 2019 came from Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and China. The most important exhibitor countries were Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the United States.
The results of the visitor analysis have also shown that the visitors mainly came from the industry sectors packaging, printing, plastics, engineering, paper, chemicals, automotive, textiles and nonwovens as well as electronics. They were primarily interested in coating and laminating; slitting and rewinding; accessories and materials; flexographic and rotogravure printing; control, test, and measurement systems; finishing; drying and curing; and special films and extrusion.
ICE Awards 2019: Innovative exhibitors honoured with awards
For the second time, the organisers Mack Brooks Exhibitions honoured best practice, excellence, innovation and outstanding achievements of exhibitors with the ICE Awards, in four categories: ‘Digital Converting Solutions’, ‘Sustainable Products and Manufacturing Processes’, Efficient Production Solutions’ and ‘Special Film Innovations’. Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of Mack Brooks Exhibitions, presented the ICE Awards 2019 to four exhibiting companies on the first day of the show. The winners had previously been determined via an online voting on the show website. A total of 37 exhibitor entries made it onto the short list; and 1,370 industry experts cast their vote to determine the winners of the individual categories.
The company JHT GmbH received 41% of all votes in the category ‘Digital Converting Solutions’ and won an ICE Award for its vacuum-roller-system ‘VacuFl3X’, an additively manufactured modular system. Active-assisted, air-driven separation-zones and optimised vacuum-zone-geometries facilitate the detachment and gentle handling of sensitive materials and enable contactless web deflection.
In the category ‘Sustainable Products and Manufacturing Processes’, the company Nepata GmbH received 77% of all votes and won the ICE Award for its DL1650 film separator, which separates self-adhesive film from its carrier paper. It is the first machine to perform automatic delamination, thus, making it possible to obtain recyclable, pure PVC from faulty film media.
With 55% of all votes, the company Derichs GmbH won the ICE Award in the category ‘Efficient Production Solutions’ for its ED touchless-clean, an innovative solution for the inline-cleaning of different roller surfaces. It uses a newly developed, dielectrically impeded plasma (DBD – dielectric barrier discharge) and facilitates smooth production processes, minimises downtime costs, and optimises workplace safety.
The companies OPTIMA life science GmbH und Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH won the ICE Award for their jointly developed machine COMEDCO in the category ‘Special Film Innovations’, with 47% of all votes. COMEDCO facilitates intelligent coating, drying, cutting, rolling and packaging processes of transdermal dressings and oral dispersible films.
In her speech, Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of the organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions, thanked the exhibitors for their many innovative entries and extraordinary achievements in the converting industry: ‘Diverse challenges, such as the ongoing digitalisation of manufacturing processes, increasing regulatory requirements, the growing demand for recyclable packaging, increasing energy and commodity prices, and the trend towards individualised products require innovative ideas and technological development in various areas of the converting industry. With their entries to the ICE Awards, exhibiting companies have shown a remarkable level of excellence, innovation, and achievement. The current boom in the industry, which is reflected by this year’s record exhibition, is characterised by technological innovations by pioneering companies in the converting industry’.
Date of the next show
The majority of exhibitors at this year’s show have already announced that they will exhibit again at the next ICE Europe. ICE Europe 2021 will take place from 9–11 March 2021 at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany. The next ICE International Converting Exhibition will be ICE USA, which will take place from 9–11 April 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky.