Nuremberg, Germany - The DKT 2018 rubber and elastomers industry trade fair opened with a lively mix of industry awards, music and even philosophy to set the scene for the conference and exhibition being held 2-5 July in Nuremberg.
“Many things only work with rubber,” was the message from Jörg Böcking outgoing chair of organisers German Rubber Society (DKG) who expressed optimism about the 'economic' future of the industry.
"The rubber industry is a growth industry," said Böcking, adding that the sector was driven by 'the power of innovation'.
Incoming chair Dr. Cristina Bergmann, emphasised the importance of promoting and spreading knowledge about rubber and elastomers.
Bergmann also highlight DKG efforts to increase dialogue between experts and young professionals and better engage with students and young people to ensure the future development of the rubber industry.
Of the DKT exhibition, the DKG officials said that it had for the first time been sold out: attracting over 300 exhibitors from the machinery, materials, software, academic and media sectors.
Musical interludes from group Heavy Gummi then featured as the winners of various DKG awards were announced: Prof. Ulrich Giese received the Carl Dietrich Harries Medal, Dr. Manfred Achenbach was awarded the Erich Konrad Medal and Dr. Rainer Panenka received DKG Medal of Merits.
Two companies received DKG product technology awards: Freudenberg Process Seals for clamp sealings, securing hygienic pipe connections; and Kloeckner DESMA Elastomertechnik für their Industry 4.0 project and SmartConnect 4.U software.
The session finished with a keynote speech by Konrad Paul Liessmann, professor for methods of conveying philosophy and ethics at Vienna University. His topic 'The individual in his or her networks' explored issues around individual liberty and self-determination in an increasingly digitalalised and networked world.