K exhibitor and machine manufacturer ENGEL moves its large-scale machines to Düsseldorf
Presenting products at an international trade fair like the K or EuroShop can be a logistical and organizational challenge for some exhibitors. Take the Austrian company ENGEL for example, which arrived at K 2019, the world’s premier trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry with injection molding machines weighing several hundred tons. The EuroShop team sat down with Ute Panzer, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ENGEL, and talked about her exhibitor experiences and asked what booth construction is like when it happens at this scale.
Ms. Panzer, what does it mean for you as an exhibitor to showcase your machines at the K trade fair?
At the K 2019, Engel showcased its products on 1,650 square meters of exhibition space. We brought a total of 18 injection molding machines to the K and ten of them were exhibited at this booth. Fifty-seven trucks transported our machines and exhibition material to Düsseldorf. The total weight of the machines we exhibited here was nearly 260 tons.
Wow! You probably also needed many staff members to pull this off?
During the trade fair, we rotated roughly 600 colleagues from our plants around the world, our subsidiaries and local representatives. In addition to salespeople, we had many application engineers, who kept our machines and manufacturing cells running smoothly throughout the trade show.
Our ENGEL teams compare the K trade fairs to the Olympic Games when it comes to preparation. The teams spend several years of hard training and develop and optimize new technologies to be able to – when the day is finally here – give it their all and get the audience excited.
How do you organize the transport and setup of the machines?
We fully used the allotted set-up time for K 2019 and were also deep into the assembly process prior to the officially assigned time slot. From September 26 until the start of the trade fair on October 16, we continuously worked onsite with more than 30 people. For the transport and positioning of the machines in the otherwise still empty exhibition center, we collaborate closely with our preferred transportation service and the official logistics partner of Messe Düsseldorf. Over the years, our teams have become attuned to each other and work well together, which guarantees smooth operation and – in the case of last-minute or unforeseen events – ensures a speedy solution to any problem. In addition to the onsite indoor crane, we use truck-mounted cranes and forklifts. To unload the trucks and facilitate onsite logistics, we once again had a designated forklift and operator during the whole time.
What are the biggest difficulties and challenges you face in the implementation?
Every time we exhibit at K, we set up a fully functional plastics processing plant, which also requires extensive infrastructure. All of our machines produce sophisticated products live throughout the show, ranging from large-scale automotive components to delicate medical device precision parts. The machines are equipped with robots and other peripheral systems. The lines that supply the machines with raw material are soundproofed and hidden in a platform that completely covers the floor space of our exhibition booth. The IT infrastructure is also added to the mix. This year, we installed 6,800 linear meters of network cable at our booth.
How do you collaborate with the trade fair?
Once again, we collaborated successfully with the Messe Düsseldorf logistics partner. We benefited from the fact that our contact persons are very familiar with the trade fair grounds and local conditions. Even at peak times, all of our trucks were able to arrive quickly and well-organized at the exhibition center.
Why is it important for you to be an exhibitor in Düsseldorf, despite the complexity of the logistics?
The K is the world’s leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, making it the most important industry event for us. At the K trade fair, we meet our clients from all over the world, because they know that this is the place to expand their information edge. The K is the central event to showcase innovations in our industry and attract worldwide attention.
Interview: Sonja Koller, EuroShop team