Plastics Live (incorporating Industry 4.0 in Plastics, Sustainable Plastics Live, and the 3D printing event AMPLAS) is being hailed as mapping the future for plastics-related events, focusing on pragmatic solutions to make manufacturers more efficient and sustainable.
Plastics Live will take place from July 5-6, 2022, at the Coventry Building Society Arena (formerly Ricoh Arena).
It is the view of the show and organisers that the days of single-topic events have now passed. Manufacturers need to take a holistic view of their production regimes. This includes a sober look at where and how to incorporate 3D printing/additive manufacturing (AM), the role of Industry 4.0 in future planning, and of course, issues pertaining to sustainability.
John Jones, Event Manager, said: “I spent many years working in the plastics and additive manufacturing spheres and recognised some time ago that AM standalone shows were no longer providing exhibitors and attendees with the focus they required.
“AM is a technology that cannot be looked at in isolation. It must be viewed as one of a range of technologies that can enhance efficiency, productivity, and agility in production when combined.
“Seeing it as a standalone technology would be the same as saying that when the microwave oven was released, it made all other cooking technologies in the kitchen redundant. This is palpable nonsense, as AM, like the microwave, is a complementary technology, another tool in the belt of plastics manufacturers that can help redefine the way they manufacture.
“The same can be said of Industry 4.0 and sustainability issues, which are all interconnected, at the heart of each being ways in which efficiencies can be brought to bear on manufacturing and manufacturing sustainably.”
Plastics Live and its allied events draw a hardcore plastics manufacturing audience that attend the show in order to find solutions that will assist in their manufacturing endeavours.
In respect of Sustainable Plastics Live, the baseline is that plastics manufacturing moving forward must make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of the operation. Manufacturing plastics sustainably requires companies to conduct business in a way that seeks to drive value creation for society, the environment, and industry. It also seeks improvement to reduce impacts on natural resources, minimising waste generation, and shifting towards renewable energy options, all of which reduce the impact of greenhouse gases.
Focus should be on measuring the impact of the numerous lifecycle stages of plastic products, consistent with the values of sustainable materials management, and manufacturers should strive to keep materials in circularity for remanufacturing whenever it yields the greatest environmental benefit. These activities should be measured and reported with integrity and transparency.
The Plastics Live event will provide a forum for exchanging views on these issues and a venue where attendees can see the best-fit technological and service solutions that will help them reach their goals.
Jones continued: “Industry 4.0 has a role when looking at sustainability and plays to the fact that all the shows that reside alongside Plastics Live are interconnected.
“Industry 4.0 contributes to sustainable development goals as it builds connectivity between the plastics industry and sustainability by finding a significant relation between their components.
“The combination of AI, robotics, and other advanced technologies applied across many sectors of the plastics economy, including supply chain, distribution channels, and manufacturing, provides a significant impact on the natural environment. All of which leads to a reduction of pollution, decrease in greenhouse gases emission, decrease in energy consumption, and increase in profits simultaneously.
“The emergence of Industry 4.0 opens the opportunity of connectivity of technology with resources and skills in terms of sustainability benefits (zero impact — lower-cost — social equity), and Industry 4.0 can reduce the environmental impact of a product, a process, or a service based on footprint data availability and traceable analysis. Additionally, it helps to leverage a greater efficiency of functions such as reducing resource consumption.”
Jones concluded: “Plastics Live is for forward-thinking plastic manufacturers who are focussed and committed to their future viability and profitability. Conference and workshop sessions will offer visitors advice on how to future-proof business, how to use technology to improve output, save energy and the environment, and create the factories of the future. It will draw together leading technology and solution providers in what is set to be the largest plastics exhibition in the United Kingdom.”