interpack 2017 Breaks Records

CHICAGO, IL | interpack 2017, the international trade fair for the packaging sector and related processing industries, welcomed a record 2,865 exhibitors and approximately 170,500 visitors from 168 countries, reports organizer Messe Düsseldorf North America (MDNA). A record 74% of attendees came from abroad, and three-quarters had decision-making authority. The event was held in Düsseldorf, Germany, May 4–19. 

The high percentage of international visitors resulted in promising business contacts and concrete deals in the seven-digit range for the exhibitors, says MDNA, while the visitors in turn benefitted from a multitude of innovations on display and a unique market overview. Accordingly, almost 98% of the attendees stated in the official survey that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit of interpack 2017, saying they were interested in all ranges and segments of interpack, but packaging production was of higher interest than at interpack 2014.

“interpack is an absolute must-go event for companies in this industry and provides unique momentum,” says Friedbert Klefenz, president of interpack 2017. “Every three years it is not only a one-of-a-kind performance showcase but also the place where suppliers and customers from all over the world get together to network and do business.”

Hans Werner Reinhard, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, adds, “interpack has again impressively confirmed its status as the world’s most important event and innovation platform for the industry every three years. Due to the concept of the newly created global ‘interpack alliance’, interpack as its flagship event has also obtained more exposure in the growth markets abroad thereby attracting even more high-caliber experts to Düsseldorf.”

The US was well represented at interpack 2017, with 115 companies (+12% compared to interpack 2014), 31 of which exhibited within the US Pavilion organized by MDNA.

The further digitalization of production processes on the way to Industry 4.0 applications was a top trend at many booths, says MDNA, with production linked along these lines making it possible to manufacture personalized packaging efficiently or to guarantee traceability and some companies also focused on virtual reality. Sustainability remained an important topic with companies presenting improved resource efficiency in terms of both the material used and manufacturing processes. In addition, alternative packaging materials gained in importance.

The “Industry 4.0” special show organized in cooperation with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), presented the latest ideas and applications and reportedly was very well received by the visitors.

Six years after the SAVE FOOD launch, the initiative has grown into a broad-based alliance of over 850 international members from industry, associations, NGOs, and research institutes. One of the milestones of the Initiative is the SAVE FOOD Congress at interpack. The third edition held on May 4 pursued a multi-dimensional approach in order to address the issue of food loss and waste. During the Congress the perspective changed, focusing either on global views or national details and conditions—with India as a focal theme this time. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) presented results of a study in India funded by the Initiative in order to identify the reasons for food loss and to find solutions.

As part of the congress the SAVE FOOD partners Messe Düsseldorf and FAO signed a memorandum of understanding in order to continue the cooperation for the next four years. “It is an absolute trademark of interpack to focus on important special topics,” says Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. “We are therefore delighted to be able to also fight food loss and waste with our partner, the FAO, and in cooperation with the industry and other supporters in future, too. This means we are committed to a good cause and at the same time communicate the potential of the packaging industry and related process industries in this context.”

The special show “innovationparc” also addressed the theme of SAVE FOOD and presented practical solutions for reducing food loss and waste. This included the finalists and winners of the WorldStar Awards of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). Among others, awards were given to plastic bags for fruit which prolong shelf life due to built-in ripening-gas absorbers.

The revised concept of “components—special trade fair by interpack,” was well received by the visitors, and the exhibitors were very pleased with their participation and the visitor quality, MDNA reports. “The decision to place the second “components” in a central location of the exhibition center after a more subdued debut three years ago and to stage it on all days of interpack, proved absolutely right,” says Bernd Jablonowski, global portfolio director processing & packaging at Messe Düsseldorf. “There had never been any doubts about the importance of this theme since upstream suppliers with their components and software for packaging and process technologies play a key role for the digitalization of manufacturing processes as Industry 4.0 approaches. We will therefore also establish ‘components’ at trade fairs of the interpack alliance abroad in the future.”

The next interpack will be held in May 2020 in Düsseldorf, with a new South entrance and a new Hall 1. The exact dates will be published at a later date.

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