The world’s leading trade fair for metal packaging: METPACK 2017 ends with positive results

Around 7.200 trade visitors came to Messe Essen between 2nd and 6th May 2017

The International Trade Fair for Metal Packaging METPACK attracted around 7.200 trade visitors from throughout the world to Messe Essen between 2nd and 6th May 2017. With a record number of over 300 exhibitors, more companies than ever before took part in the world’s leading trade fair. As well as packaging, products on offer included machinery and equipment for manufacturing cans, lids and bases, as well as filling and sealing systems. Numerous manufacturers including ArcelorMittal, Belvac Production Machinery, Can Man, KBA-MetalPrint, Lanico, Mall + Herlan, Soudronic, thyssenkrupp Rasselstein and Valspar presented their products and innovations to the international visitors to the trade fair.

“METPACK has more than fulfilled the high expectations of the industry. Its great plus-point has again been the very international nature and competency of its visitors. This makes it the most important sales platform in the industry worldwide,” comments Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen, on this year’s event. The trade fair focused in particular on efficiency and digitisation, according to Wolfgang Niemsch, Chairman of the METPACK committee: “Systems and machines are consuming less and less material and have shorter re-quipping times. Industry standard 4.0 has also definitively arrived in the sector: Networking of production is increasing, there are more and more digital interfaces between the various machines.”

Exhibitors look back with satisfaction and forward with optimism

Exhibitors rated the quality of visitors, their business success and opportunities for good follow-up business from the trade fair even higher than 2014. The intention of companies to attend METPACK in future is therefore also correspondingly high: 95% of exhibitors have already expressed their intention to return - a peak number. As well as leading the debate on hot topics, METPACK is an important indicator of the mood in the industry - and it was very good: Around 60% of exhibitors are predicting improved sales, and amongst visitors almost two thirds think there will be an economic upturn. This makes future prospects look better than previously.

More than 70% of trade visitors had travelled to Essen, in Germany’s Ruhr region, from other countries, in particular from Europe and Asia. This puts the international character of visitors on a similarly high level to 2014. The greatest proportion of visitors came from the food industry, followed by the beverages industry and the chemical industry. Around 86% of visitors were decision-makers with responsibility for purchasing and procurement. Trade visitors to the exhibition rated their visit very positively: more than 90% were completely satisfied or satisfied with their time at METPACK.

METPACK Innovation Awards for PrintabLED, KBA-Metalprint and Valspar

METPACK was a particular success story for the Italian firm PrintabLED, which celebrated winning first prize at the trade fair. The southern European company won the METPACK Gold Innovation Award for its high-performance UV-LED systems for paint and printing lines. The jury recognised the high energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly design of the UV-LED drying technology for curing printing inks, paints and adhesives on metal packaging. UV-LED devices do not use mercury and have a narrow emission spectrum, so that no o-zone or undesirable radiation is formed during thermal drying. Other Silver and Bronze awards went to KBA-MetalPrint and Valspar.

The rest of the fringe events were marked by 25 Years METPACK and the METPACK Conference. On the evening of 2nd May, exhibitors and other representatives from the industry celebrated a quarter century of METPACK. Messe Essen took the opportunity to honour numerous exhibitors who had been there from the start, such as Biagosch & Brandau, Darex Packaging Technologies/GCP Applied Technologies, Inghor, Pressco Technology, Sargiani  and 21 more firms. The METPACK Conference on 3rd May started with a keynote address by Dr. Peter Biele, CEO of thyssenkrupp Rasselstein, on opportunities for the industry. Subsequent speakers provided information on current research results on new production technologies. One project which attracted particular attention was the Biocopac project, where the parties involved used tomato skins as coatings for food cans.

Coming soon: METPACK 2020

The next METPACK will open at Messe Essen in May 2020. Although the exact date has not yet been fixed, over 90% of visitors are planning a return visit. If current developments are sustained, prospects for the industry look good: the sale of drinks cans in Germany, for instance, and worldwide production of aerosol cans has risen recently. This is due, amongst other things, to the versatile possibilities for using metal packaging, as well as its growing user-friendliness - factors which visitors can see for themselves every three years at METPACK.


Exhibitors’ opinions

Rick Steigerwald, President, Belvac Production Machinery:

“METPACK brings the key providers of technology, such as Belvac, together to provide a world class venue to manufactures of metal packages around the world. For many years, Belvac has participated in, and viewed, the METPACK exhibition as the absolute premier trade show for the can making industry. This year in particular, Belvac has successfully introduced new product offerings and technologies which will re-shape the industry for the benefit of all can makers. Belvac’s experience this year with genuine interest in, such as the Belvac Canformer Trimmer Combination and Belvac Ceramic Solutions, were well received and will continue to create interest long after the show concludes. The show traffic was focused and positive providing wide exposure to a great deal of Belvac’s traditional customers. In addition, Belvac has been approached by many technology providers for long term partnering opportunities.”

Sibylle Vollmer, Managing Director Fördergesellschaft Metallverpackungen (Promotional organisation for metal packaging) mbH:

“We are very pleased with our presence at this year’s METPACK. Feedback from the members of our association and in the metal packaging promotional organisation has been outstanding, and we have also made a lot of new contacts on our stand. For us, as an organisation, METPACK is a valuable platform for nurturing contacts. So we certainly imagine that we will be present again as exhibitors in 2020.”

Ralf Gumbel, Managing Director, KBA-Metalprint:

“We have been completely overwhelmed by this year’s METPACK. We did expect our new digital printing machines to be very popular, but we never imagined that our stand would be practically overrun! Our products were the talk of the trade fair. Interest was enormous. We set new standards. It could not have gone better.”

Wolfgang Niemsch, Managing Director, Lanico-Maschinenbau Otto Niemsch:

“Our overall assessment of the trade fair as exhibitor is very good. The quality of visitors was outstanding, and without any significant wasted coverage. One customer spontaneously ordered our Maschine Can Former CF 589 which he had only become aware of at METPACK. Of course, this sort of surprise business is particularly pleasing. What METPACK also showed: worldwide competition is on the increase. Manufacturers from countries which have not surfaced much previously, are increasingly improving. That will be a challenge for German machine manufacturers.”

Anna Maria Mazzilli, Metlac, Image/Communication/PR Manager:

“METPACK is one of the most important trade fairs in our calendar. We have been full exhibitors at it since 2005, so this is the fifth time we have been represented at METPACK - a minor anniversary! And we have been happy with our participation this year as well, as expected. We have had many visitors to our stand and the discussions have been high-quality. Around 15% of them were first contacts - that is a very satisfactory result for us. We have always considered METPACK to be a very well organised trade fair. Even last-minute requests are met quickly and accurately. And we were very pleased with the high international contingent at the trade fair this time - lots of visitors from countries far away from our headquarters. Overall, METPACK offers a good overview of what the current hot topics in the industry are.” 

Matteo Soprani, Metalprint Sales Manager, PrintabLED:

“Our participation in the trade fair was very positive and successful. It was even beyond our expectations, in particular with regard to the quality of the very well informed visitors and discussions. The highlight, of course, was to win the METPACK Innovation Award in Gold for our high-performance UV LED systems. The award has further boosted interest in our products. We are definitely back in 2020.”

Peter Hensel-Ehren, Key Account Manager, SCHAWK! Germany:

“This is the first time we have exhibited at METPACK, and we are absolutely satisfied with the feedback. The topic focused on this year provided a perfect framework for us to present our innovative product portfolio in the area of embossing technology and 3D effects on drinks cans. With a first-rate professional audience, the world’s leading trade fair offered precisely the right target group, and our visitor frequency numbers were outstanding. For us, METPACK 2017 was a resounding success!”

Carlo Di Terlizzi, Marketing Communications Manager, Tata Steel:

“We’re really pleased to be exhibiting at METPACK again this year. METPACK is a very busy trade exhibition for those of us who work in the metal packaging industry. Every day we’ve had a constant flow of visitors to the Tata Steel stand and the discussions have been high quality. What struck me is how truly global METPACK is: we’ve had visitors from practically every continent this week. On our stand, there has been a good level of discussion around Protact laminated steel with particular interest around our latest development, Protact for 3 piece cans. In general, METPACK has been very successful for us. We’re looking forward to the next one.”

Christian Pürschel, Head of Communications + Market Development, thyssenkrupp Rasselstein:

“25 years of METPACK in Essen. Congratulations! This year we experienced an excellent showcase for the industry. On our thyssenkrupp stand in the centre of Hall 3, we were able successfully to present our customers with brand-new products  rasselstein® Solid, rasselstein® Solidflex and rasselstein® Ultra Low Earing. Our initial conclusions would already be that we are well positioned for the future with these products. The market demands rapid processes and significant material savings. Together with our customers, our innovative products enable us to play an active role in shaping this development. METPACK, which has continued to grow as a concentrated specialist forum for the industry, has again given us a great opportunity to enter into intensive dialogue with customers. Taking part in the METPACK trade fair is an important cornerstone for us in our long-term market presence.”

Tom Mallen, Director Global Regulatory and Strategic Services Packaging, Valspar:

“Valspar’s commitment to the global metal can industry was very evident this year at METPACK 2017 in Essen, Germany. This trade fair has been an extremely effective way for Valspar to showcase its pioneering ValPure® Next Generation Packaging coatings technology with customers around the world, as acknowledged by the 2017 Bronze METPACK Innovation Award for our ValPure® V70 Next Generation Epoxy Coating. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the trade fair, we congratulate METPACK on another record attendance of exhibitors, and look forward to continuing our commitment to ensure future success."

Images to download: www.messe-essen-mediacenter.de