In recent statements issued independently, three leading global manufacturers of injection molding machinery have decided to skip this year’s Fakuma exhibition, scheduled at Germany’s Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre from 13 to 17 October 2020.
In its statement, KraussMaffei said: “For KraussMaffei, Fakuma is one of the most important platforms for showcasing new products, solutions and services for the plastics industry, as well as for meeting existing and prospect customers. However, even under the conditions of strict hygiene and safety measures, KraussMaffei does see no viable way to offer its customers and service providers a satisfactory trade show experience. Unfortunately, the risk of infection, present for all attendees including our employees, could not be eliminated. KraussMaffei very much regrets this step, but sees no alternative in the current situation. Still we would like to emphasize that we continue to be available to our customers and interested parties and that we will be happy to present our new developments and innovations in person through our sales teams and/or digitally anytime.
For its part, Austria’s Engel stated: “We bear responsibility for the health and safety of both our employees and our booth visitors. Even with a strict hygiene concept and a limited number of trade fair visitors per day, we cannot rule out the risk of infection with COVID-19. For Engel, Fakuma is a very important innovation trade fair and of great importance for the interaction with our customers, interested parties and partners. The decision is extremely difficult but protecting the health of each individual is our highest priority. Even without an active participation at the trade fair, we are of course available to our customers at any time. We will be presenting Engel innovations this autumn of 2020 in other, individual ways.”
The third withdrawer, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, commented: “The safety of employees, visitors and customers is of paramount importance, therefore neither employees nor machine exhibits will be sent to Friedrichshafen.” Company CEO Gerd Liebig added: "We are fortunate that the Corona virus has largely spared us. There have been isolated cases, but there have been no infections within the factories. Health is such a precious commodity. Even with hygiene measures in place, taking part in a trade fair involves too many imponderable risks and unfortunately we cannot eliminate risk.”
The state government of Baden-Württemberg stated on 23 June that trade fairs with more than 1000 participating persons will once again be permitted as of the 1st of September. The state Ministry of Economics and Ministry of Social Affairs have prepared hygiene rules for trade fairs which serve as a benchmark for further planning on the part of trade fair facility operators and trade fair promoters. “Our trade fair venues already provide high levels of controllability. They’re already well prepared, for example by means of access control with registration by name, limitation of the number of participants, visitor flow control relative to the size of the room or hall and ventilation concepts for indoor areas,” explained Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs.
Previously, the Wittmann Group was a notable withdrawal from Fakuma. With the additional loss of three high-profile exhibitors at the processing machinery-centric event face a difficult choice when they decide on the go-ahead for Fakuma 2020 no later than the end of July 2020.
Image courtesy of Fakuma.