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INTERVIEW - Dr. Michael Effing talks about the new edition of Composites for Europe

News International-French

1 Sep 2020

JEC Composites Magazine asked Dr. Michael Effing, Founder & Managing Director at AMAC GmbH,  how he is preparing the new edition of Composites for Europe, and which innovations will be presented during the show which will take place in Stuttgart from 10-12 November ! He looks forward to seeing you there.

Dr.Michael Effing, Founder & Managing Director, AMAC GmbH
JEC Composites Magazine: First of all, can you confirm that the show will take place in November?
Dr. Michael Effing: At the time of this interview, and according to the latest knowledge regarding the development of registered cases of Covid-19 in Germany, trade shows are allowed to take place again from September 1, 2020 onwards. Together with the trade show organizer Reed Exhibitions, we remain in close contact with the local authorities in Stuttgart in order to provide a healthy and safe environment to all participants. So as of today, we can confirm that Composites for Europe will take place as scheduled.

JEC Composites Magazine: Can you tell us about the measures taken to meet health requirements?
Dr. Michael Effing: As mentioned before, we are continuously working in close coordination with the authorities. I can assure you that we will do everything we can to ensure a safe and successful trade show. If you felt safe with your last shopping trip or restaurant visit, you will likely feel safe at Composites for Europe. The measures taken will certainly include seamless contact tracking, ensuring social distancing, especially in highly frequented areas, and enhanced cleaning and regular disinfection in all areas.

JEC Composites Magazine: With the safety of people being assured, what is the mindset of clients, exhibitors and visitors?
Dr. Michael Effing: So far, we have received great feedback regarding the new concept from both our exhibitors and visitors. Exhibitors such as Saertex, Gunnar and Schmidt&Heinzmann are eager to attend and look forward to the new concept being put into practice. The industry leaders acknowledge that Composites for Europe is relaunched with a clear and defined profile. Our societies are facing several challenges and we aim to present solutions by linking composite future trends and innovations. We will discuss them in high-quality expert panels at the Composites for Europe (CE) forum, which we have put together in close cooperation with our partners. Regarding the number of visitors, we already have over 15% higher registration counts compared to 2019. We feel that the industry is highly interested in using Composites for Europe as a boosting platform to take new energy for current and future business opportunities.

JEC Composites Magazine: After you repositioned the trade show, which markets do you target primarily?
Dr. Michael Effing: With the new concept, we focus on small and medium-sized companies as well as innovative start-ups in the DACH region. The trade show is evolving to a business summit, thus helping the industry to come back stronger after the current crisis. We will showcase selected lighthouse projects (“High Lights”) from all areas of application, e.g. mobility/transport, construction/infrastructure, circular economy and sports/leisure. It is important for us to include society needs and mega-trends to help our exhibitors turning them into successful economic opportunities.

Automation and High Volume Production of Thermoplastic Composites are are key trend (Source: Airborne)

Automation and high volume production of thermoplastic composites are key trends (Source: Airborne)

JEC Composites Magazine: How is the composites industry doing in the DACH region today?
Dr. Michael Effing: The weakening impact of Covid-19 on the composites industry is very significant, especially for the aerospace and automotive sectors, while some other industries are still doing very good, especially the building and infrastructure market, the electronics industry and the medical industry. In terms of composite materials volume, the production of passenger cars has been impacted most. We saw a significant decrease, up to 40%, in the last quarter, especially for materials such as SMC, GMT/LFT and short fibre-reinforced plastics.

JEC Composites Magazine: What are the market trends following the Covid episode?
Dr. Michael Effing: Following the China Composites show in Asia, which is planned to take place in September as the first composites trade show worldwide during the crisis, Composites for Europe will be the first trade show to take place again in Europe after the lockdown and further measures. For the second half of 2020, we can see already a very nice recovery for the truck market due to the growth of the transportation business. It is almost back to 95% and this is very positive, particularly for the depressed SMC market. The construction and infrastructure industries will also remain strong e.g. in application sectors such as façade panels, pipes and relining, and the overall market for wind energy.

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you have some innovations to unveil as a preview?
Dr. Michael Effing: We have some surprises in store for you, including panel discussions on innovations in the “Innovative Products/Components for Applications”, “Innovative Processes/Components or Applications” and “Research and Industry” categories. We received more than 50 submissions to the famous AVK Innovation Awards, which will be presented during the Innovation Awards Ceremony at the CE afterwork night. To highlight only two innovations from my personal view, I would like to mention the thermoplastic composites for sport and consumer goods by Cato and the fuel-cell-driven electric vehicles by Plastic Omnium and their impact on the composites industry.

JEC Composites Magazine: What new products or technologies will you present to the visitors?
Dr. Michael Effing: All the innovations presented at Composites for Europe relate to the key topics in order to keep them competitive with other technologies. The new concept integrates technical lectures into the trade show with booths and forums presenting opportunities, impulse forums, live demonstrations and the CE afterwork night. The highly respected trend researcher, author and speaker Adjiedj Bakas will give a keynote speech with further insights into trends and developments.

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you think Composites for Europe 2020 will be the trade show for recovery?
Dr. Michael Effing: Absolutely! The innovative power of the composites industry is unbroken and its visibility is all the more important in these challenging times. With its focus on the future viability of the industry, Composites for Europe offers the best conditions for this. By bringing all key players together, it enables the successful restart of the industry.

JEC Composites Magazine: To conclude, do you have a specific message for the composites community?
Dr. Michael Effing: After one year without trade show meeting possibilities in the composites industry, since JEC Paris unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we will be happy to finally be able to meet and share again on trends and innovations, while we of course must expect that this crisis will be with us at least until the first half of 2021. In the guise of our new concept, the industry has a meeting platform from 10-12 November at Composite for Europe in Stuttgart to get our industry re-started and then, hopefully, to celebrate new cooperations in Paris in March 2021.