The pull of plastic

Everything that can help a business will be under one roof at the Plastics Design and Moulding exhibition to be held in Telford in April. Charles Clarke reports.

With moulded products inhabiting most areas of our lives, the pressure to deliver ever more innovative and cost-efficient mouldings is intense.

This makes the Plastics Design and Moulding exhibition — the only UK event dedicated to the plastic design and moulding industry — a must for manufacturers, designers and suppliers.

The event will be held at the Telford International Centre from 15-17 April, and will feature innovation and new technologies from more than 200 companies across the sector.

Designed to give visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to experience everything that can help a business under one roof, it is supported by key industry, trade and business associations, such as The Gauge and Tool Makers’ Association (GTMA) the British Plastics Federation (BPF), the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and The Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

Regeneration company Transforming Telford is also pledging its support and is sponsoring of the event.

‘Telford is the UK’s polymer centre which has been known as Plastics Valley since the 1980s,’ said director of business and investment, Anne Taylor. ‘With over 100 polymer-related businesses in the town it is the ideal home for PDM 2008 and receives our full support.’

Last year’s show, which was attended by 220 exhibitors and 2,880 visitors, attracted senior buyers and decision-makers from across the sector as well as a range of design consultants, original equipment manufacturers and engineering disciplines connected with the automotive, medical device, electronics, packaging and other industries.

This year’s show will feature the latest technology and equipment from hundreds of top-quality brands and is set to attract more exhibitors than ever. A number of newcomers are due to join the established names that have supported the show from its inception in 2005.

Almost 200 companies have booked stands so far. Among the sign-ups are Alastian, Albis, Boy, Distrupol, DuPont, Fanuc, Gabriel-Chemie, Haitian, HB-Therm, IMSM, Kinneir Dufort, MCP Tooling Technologies, Minelco, Motan, Plastribution, Simar, Summit Systems and Victor Europe.

The materials sector will feature, among others, Bayer UK, DuPont, Kraiburg, Lanxess, Luxus, Solvay Advanced Polymers and Victrex. These will be joined by iconic plastics industry veterans such as DME, Hasco, Materialise and Moldflow and big-hitters from the metrology industry such as Hexagon Metrology.

The exhibitor line-up covers the complete supply chain and features large numbers of the UK’s leading moulders, mouldmakers and providers of rapid prototyping services.

Luxus is one of the ‘first timers’, and managing director Peter Atterby said his company believes PDM is the right place to meet project and design engineers, directors, managers and senior technical people. He added that he will be interested in comparing other exhibitors’ integrated polymer solutions for plastics compounding, recycling and technical support.

‘Luxus will be showing nano composites, biodegradable compounds, flame-retardant and micro pellet products capable of opening up new business opportunities for processors and will demonstrate the capability of our technical centre to develop bespoke materials,’ said Atterby.

The company will illustrate on a Nissan dashboard — manufactured from a compound that incorporates recycled polymers — how it can create critical colour matched compounds to meet strict customer specifications.

Also on display will be packaging products, flame-retardant components, wheeled bins and car mouldings, as well as exhibits showing how flexible and rigid plastics can be recycled and converted into re-usable materials.