25th September 2013, Stuttgart
Composites Europe 2013 trade fair for composites, technology and applications set new records with 406 exhibitors coming from 28 countries and with 9,171 visitors attending the Stuttgart exhibition Centre from 17- 19 September. One in two trade fair visitors came from the automotive sector, followed by the aviation and mechanical engineering segments.
“With these figures, Composites Europe has now definitely established a firm position for itself among European lightweight construction fairs,” commented Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO with trade fair organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland.
The event accommodated large national pavilions with leading companies from France, Italy, the Netherlands, the USA and China, focusing on new materials systems, integrated production technologies and innovations for the application markets. “Composites are a key technology for Germany as an industrial location. That is also evident at Composites Europe,” said AVK Chairman Dr Michael Effing.
The Composites Market Report 2013 published jointly by AVK and CCeV shows that whilst the sales markets for composite materials continue to pick up speed, the future prospects for the industry are generally good.
In the largest segment, glass-fibre reinforced plastics, experts predict a slight growth of 1% in Europe. "The trend is in keeping with the overall economic situation", explained AVK Managing Director Dr Elmar Witten. With respectable increases, Germany is the largest market and driving force in this field and has now for the first time become the largest producer in Europe, he said.
Prospects for the CRP market are promising, according to the Market Report, with experts now observing minimum annual growth rates of 13% in the Carbon Composites e. V. (CCeV) industry network. According to the research, currently, the potential for growth is in the large mass segments of wind power plants, aerospace and sports, as well as in the automotive segment.
Composite application markets such as automotive, aviation, wind power as well as the building sector were the primary focus of the fair.
“Most of the exhibiting VDMA member companies are highly satisfied and express gratification at the increasingly internationality of trade visitors,” commented Dr Walter Begemann of the VDMA Forum Composite Technology. "We see fibre-reinforced composites as having great potential,” said KraussMaffei's Sebastian Schmidhuber.
Evonik's Martin Risthaus, said: "Here at the trade fair, we meet all the people we need to talk to, to get new projects rolling.” Kerstin Streuber, 3D|Core / Extended Structured Composites agreed: “At Composites Europe we have encountered a highly qualified public - including, among others, the large companies from the automotive and aviation sectors.”
For the first time, Composites Europe was complemented by Hybrid Expo, the new trade fair for hybrid components, related technologies and applications.
The event that displayed multi-material solutions, automated processing methods, machinery and tools, has received a good echo from the industry, as 1,760 trade visitors attended the initial event.
The next Composites Europe will take place from 7-9 October 2014 in Düsseldorf, at the same time as the Aluminium World trade fair.
According to schedule, Composites Europe is expected to return to Stuttgart in 2015, where it will again be accompanied by Hybrid Expo.