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IMA Automation at K 2019

A great tradeshow experience, with a clear signal for responsible handling of plastics.

Post published on 16/12/2019

IMA Automation at K 2019

IMA Automation recently attended K 2019 show, the world’s number one exhibition for the plastics and rubber industry, which took place in October in Düsseldorf.

At K 2019, IMA Automation Telerobot launched the new EASY SMART, the innovative continuous motion machine for caps & closures assembly, which guarantees simplicity and short delivery time. Thanks to fixed driving cams, it’s ideal for simple assembly operations for products up to 3 components, such as push-pull closure, sport cap, edible oil closure, medical cap and thumb-up closure. It’s quick to design and install, and a smart solution ensuring low operating noise.

The show was also a great opportunity to learn more, with open discussions on the IMA booth about future innovation and trends in design and operations, such as the forthcoming regulations on Tethered Caps, making K 2019 a worthwhile tradeshow experience.

K 2019 gives a clear signal for responsible handling of plastics.

For the entire plastics industry, K 2019 also represented a highly important strategic opportunity to start an in-depth discussion on the subject of sustainability.

Since its beginning, the plastics industry has always been based on a linear economic model: a model according to which a polymer is being created, then used to form an object that eventually gets disposed of. Until recently, a landfill site would be the last destination where any plastic product would end up.

The introduction of recycling, either mechanical or chemical, has been relatively recent and, to date, marginal in terms of percentage of the total amount of globally produced plastic. Therefore, despite the industry’s good intentions, the linear model is still the most common.

The leading European polymer producers have therefore seized the opportunity offered by the “Plastics Shape the Future” event at the K 2019 Fair to announce they are ready to close the loop, making their industry a fully recyclable economy.

The problems to be solved are many, the proposals how to solve them are varied – one among them is a general rethinking of the design of plastic products and of plastic polymers, for example by drastically increasing the use of “bio-based” plastics and decreasing the wide variety of polymer designs to a single design.

In this context, one should keep in mind that in Europe, but also in other parts of the world, approximately 40% of plastic is used for packaging, representing the largest share of the entire plastic market. Due to this, and to its short and single-use life span,plastic packaging is at the centre of public attention, more than any other segment of this industry, and is also unquestionably one of the world’s biggest sources of plastic pollution.

The industry must find a way to establish a collaborative network. This is the only way we will be able to create new circular business models and achieve the sustainability objectives that we are setting ourselves,” said Friedrich Barth, of the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre, during his address on 16 October.

Fully agreeing with this statement, IMA has long considered sustainability to be one of the strategic pillars on which to base its choices, a key factor in creating value for all stakeholders. The use of new materials and the introduction of new design concepts pose new, far from trivial, challenges during the production process and use of packaging products; meeting these challenges would require the highest level of collaboration and experience. The commitment to partnershipsat IMA Automation has always led to successful results, especially when product innovation called for complex solutions.

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