visiting KUTENO 2024

Up close and personal
Philipp Deneer · May 23, 2024
flying the KUTENO-flag, the plastics industry met in Rheda-Weidenbrück.

Depending on who you ask, trade fair visits are always the same. And depending on who you ask, this statement is then categorized differently: either mumbled with a certain lethargy or charged with energetic friendliness and curiosity. There was no sign of the aforementioned lethargy or anything similar at KUTENO 2024, Kunststoff Technologie Nord. Instead, all the people we met there, and not least the event itself, radiated a kind of joyful certainty. Above all, we were looking forward to receiving the many exciting news from and with the well-presented exhibitors at first hand (if necessary in exchange for a small bribe in the form of Aachener Printen).

One thing that is perhaps not "always the same" at every trade fair, but at least has one major thing in common: the undisputed characteristic of such events of offering an individual and multi-layered snapshot of a specific sector. At the same time, however, this is also the exciting uniqueness of every such trade fair visit, because no two snapshots are the same. And so in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, too, a fresh exchange on recurring issues awaited.

Where, for example, are the objective and subjective needs, but also the means of fulfillment used for the successful creation and review of production plans at the issuing manufacturing companies, heading? Having taken the step towards digital solutions for individual production planning is now a milestone in the corporate development of various manufacturing companies.

A step forward wich those involved look back on with conviction when asked about it. Even if, for some of them, this first step initially opened up a path with new technical and organizational challenges. However, our interviewees, for example at the trade fair we have just visited, praise having faced these challenges with the result of a versatile, optimized value chain with great self-confidence as a correct and important experience. It is not uncommon for us to hear this accompanied by a subordinate clause such as "... Why we didn't do this X years earlier." Unfortunately, such valuable impressions of the exhibitors can hardly be captured in their spontaneity by quick live interviews. The reader can find them in other places, such as the user reports from our partners in our Download area.

Anyone who consciously embarks on a new, data-driven path with such a first step will certainly encounter a branch-off into the track of recording ongoing production not much later. For most of our participants, entering this lane is nothing less than a turning point from planning resources as they should be available to holistic planning with the resource as it is actually available at the moment.

For a manufacturing company, placing its own planning on a far-sighted foundation of machine, operating and process data literally means "taking a look inside itself". This is meant in the sense of a revision of their own processes and parameters, from which the exhibitors surveyed generally emerged with a new, more detailed self-image. Individual interviewees reported that when they took the initiative at some point to expand their production-related information channels into the digital realm, this was rewarded much sooner than expected in most cases, for example through more efficient plant utilization or a significant reduction in their own delivery times.

In addition to the plant infrastructure and sensor technology, most companies also use tailor-made software solutions to transform the "dry data" from their respective resources, such as machines and tools, into a lively new asset. Clever entrepreneurial reuse of this data gives such measured values a further "value", in the economic sense, in addition to the actual data. Modern operational data solutions, whether for recording or further processing, can quickly achieve and visualize initial improvements in many areas. With our tetys-MES, we offer a holistically designed range of tools that covers many of these diverse solution areas. We also provide a strong APS solution in combination or as a stand-alone solution, and can integrate all of this into the proven system landscapes of our various customers thanks to tetys' individual connectivity.

Beyond the context of the trade fair, we also have additional content on this topic: for example, in this episode of the IT and TECH podcast, Yannik Wirtz, Managing Director of tetys, talks to host Holger Winkler about the rapid onset of noticeable success among users of the tetys MES following its introduction.

When visiting trade fairs, there is another added value that is "always the same": events like this bring the many facets of such an elementary economic sector as the plastics industry right in front of you. In the form of impressive, cutting-edge technology and engineering work conveniently bundled together in a small space. At this year's KUTENO, for example, the fully integrated production cell could be found side by side with smart marking and marking tools, or suppliers of high-tech polymers alongside manufacturers of components, packaging containers or toys of all kinds (if you're chuckling at this point: we also had to at one particular stand. The "toys of all kinds" was actually to be understood literally).

Another special eye-catcher among the colorful granulates and impressive systems are the sometimes extremely delicate sensors and measuring heads, which are indispensable for in-depth quality assurance nowadays. Walking through the aisles provides an overwhelming but, as always, far too brief direct impression of the directions in which the developers and engineers are pushing the boundaries again this year.Many exclamation marks are set here and, at the same time, a number of new and curious questions are raised.

Who is currently developing the available technology or the processes used in production for production-accompanying test equipment? And how do their users view these further developments of the equipment that helps them to monitor and ensure their product quality, but above all must be practical and reliable?

In addition to modernizing the inspection technology used, simplified, centralized documentation and management of all inspection data can significantly simplify daily handling. In this area too, the tetys ecosystem offers effective means of establishing a CAQ workflow for the individual needs of a wide range of users. Whether for computer-aided planning, execution or evaluation of your own quality assurance: a reduced paper load combined with better retrievability of the recorded data makes itself felt quickly and in many ways.

The exciting questions that we all have to pursue as participants in constant technological progress in order to move forward ourselves are many and varied. And they are too extensive in their entirety to be dealt with fairly in a trade fair report. For this reason, the author strongly recommends regular attendance at such trade events, because:

The direct, unpretentious exchange between the players on such issues can hardly be described, it can only be experienced. And only in the unique context of an exhibition hall. In this kind of temporary neighborhood, feedback is given in an entertaining way in a very "short official channel", once across the trade fair aisle to the stand of the other party, in a relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes mischievously, but always in a sporting manner and above all in the service of good humor.

Whether this is friendly criticism or critical friendliness depends on who you ask. From the perspective of a curious visitor, the fun was clearly written on the faces of all exhibitors and participants, even on the third day of the fair and despite all the friendly banter. We look forward to the next edition being "the same" again, even on an extended scale from 2025 in Bad Salzuflen.

Philipp has been part of the tetys team since the beginning of 2024. Both there and in the wild, he prefers to counter problems with tailor-made solutions. His enjoyment of "paperless" ends with his collection of concert posters at home, and outside of the tetys environment, he prefers to satisfy his passion for successful visualization of all kinds of topics at the movies and in the wider (local) cultural landscape.

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