‘More than 65% of exhibitors from last year’s inaugural exhibition attended Afrimold 2011,’ says Ron. ‘Many increased the size of their stands, which contributed to the show’s impressive atmosphere. AfriMold definitely reflected the buoyancy and pick-up in the economy and there was a general atmosphere of optimism. We experienced much interest from Asian countries and more than 30% of exhibitors were international enterprises. We can realistically expect this percentage to increase next year,’ he adds.
‘Visitor traffic increased over last year and exhibitors noted that the show had delivered value to them,’ Ron continues. ‘Next year we’ll draw on our experiences and ensure we again have a show that delivers value directly to the industry and indirectly to the South African economy.’
Quality and value
Local exhibitors included Demaplastech, Hestico, Maritime Marketing, MJH Machine Tools and PMS Plastics, offering a number of products and services to South Africa’s plastics processing fraternity.
Maritime Marketing’s Marc Gerasimo was genuinely pleased with Afrimold’s overall appeal. ‘A good mix of new and existing customers visited our stand,’ he comments. ‘Although we expected more visitors, we were pleased with the level of enquiries received. Local visitors and those from other African countries were especially interested in our range of energy-saving servo-driven Tederic injection moulding machines,’ he remarks.
‘There was greater interest in the show this year and we had more visitors to the stand. We gathered quality enquiries and business leads, so the show proved its worth,’ states Victor Stiehler of Hestico, a major supplier of plastics and rubber processing machinery, mould die components, cutting machinery, skin packaging and vacuum-forming equipment. ‘A number of overseas suppliers added to the show’s cosmopolitan atmosphere,’ he notes.
A driving force behind initiatives to increase numbers of students and apprentices training to become involved in the plastics industry, the Tooling Association of South Africa (TASA) was prominent at Afrimold. Entitled ‘Tooling Technologies 2011 and Beyond’, Afrimold’s three-day conference was aligned to the TASA initiative and, according to coordinator Bob Bond of the Institute for Advanced Tooling, featured high-calibre speakers and was well attended.
‘Some strong messages were delivered at the conference and it’s clear that the industry generally is singing from the same hymn sheet,’ Bob relates.