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Interview with the president of Equiplast, the International Plastics and Rubber Event

Articles

Bernd Roegele: "After six years in the wilderness, the sector is finally on the road to recovery"

Equiplast

The general manager of the Roegele Group, Bernd Roegele, has been the president of the organising committee of Equiplast since the last edition in 2014. The group he manages was founded in 1963 by Helmut Roegele, since when it has been a leading light in the distribution of machinery for transforming plastics.

In 2017, Equiplast reached its eighteenth edition. As president of the organising committee, and ten months away from the event, how do you envisage the next Equiplast?

I envisage Equiplast getting better and better – an Equiplast which, with everyone's input, with imagination, creativity and added value, will shine again just as it did during its glory years.It reminds me of when I was just 11 years old and my father was already exhibiting at Equiplast under the banner of the International Trade Fair. It must have been 1971... 45 years of attending the fair... I guess I've got Equiplast in my blood!

In 2012 you were appointed president of an event in which you have played a key role as a member of the organising committee. How has Equiplast progressed over all these years?

The whole Equiplast team, from the director to the organising committee, including the sales team, has worked extremely hard in promoting the event, especially the international side. We have used our ingenuity and found new formulas that make Equiplast increasingly attractive, thus giving a reason for both exhibitors and visitors to come to Equiplast. Even so, the market dictates the trends and the start of the crisis in 2008 also marked a before and after for Equiplast. But we're still here, and we're still full of enthusiasm, something that has turned into a positive track record over all these years.

In this respect, has the sector changed too?

The sector has recovered since 2014. And it was about time, after almost six years of being out there in the wilderness. In particular, the automotive and packaging sectors have recovered a lot, and we've noticed this in the order books.It even seems that the absence of a government has not had the slightest impact on the satisfactory progress of the sector!!

At the moment, what are the big challenges that the sector has to deal with?

The sector needs to pay particular attention to 3D printing and Industry 4.0. Nor should we lose sight of energy efficiency and savings, or automation, and hence the profitability factor of production. And we also need to offer added value such as technological solutions, collaboration, personalised service, etc.

Is the environment the sector's key issue?

In my view, the issue of the environment is always an important one and brings added value, though I don't believe it's the sector's number one issue. Energy saving is vital, and for this reason manufacturers are offering different technologies that entail considerable savings. Some years ago, virtually all anyone talked about was electric machinery, especially in the plastics injection sector. However, nowadays there is a huge variety of technologies to choose from, such as smart hydraulic servomotors or control elements for Industry 4.0 which, depending on the application, offer a high level of efficiency.

Do you believe that Equiplast 2017 can be the best informative instrument for the sector?

I don't know if it will be THE best informative instrument for the sector, but I do know that it is one of the best. At this year's event we will once again be putting the WICAP formula into practice, expanding the Plastic Transformers Event which, incidentally, had a great response at the previous edition, and integrating advanced additive manufacturing... I believe we have the best possible elements to ensure that nobody in the sector misses the show.

Which are the best markets at the moment? Is internationalisation the key to getting good economic results?

Spain, for example, is currently a very good market that needs to be exploited because it offers a lot of potential, but internationalisation, which is the same as market diversification, should always play a part. Some South American and North African markets are interesting regions which, because of language similarities and proximity respectively, could find Equiplast to be a more convenient international hub with highly qualified, professional exhibitors who can offer the technological solutions to their production needs.

And finally, what do you expect from Equiplast 2017?

I hope it will be a great event, with a wide variety of exhibitors, a range of interesting products and a lot of visitors. We're working hard to make that a reality.

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