Return of DKT IRC could mark rubber industry turning point
NUREMBERG, Germany—The return of the DKT IRC expo and conference event could play a role in helping the rubber industry to address the challenges that have emerged over the past two years, delegates to the June 27-30 event in Nuremberg heard
"After a very long time, I am happy to see so many visitors and familiar faces, after a very long time with no personal contacts," said Andreas Limper, vice chairman of the German rubber society, Deutsche Kautschuk Gesellschaft (DKG).
The return of DKT IRC—last held in 2018—could play a big role in helping the industry to solve many of the problems it now faces, Limper said in a welcoming address—on behalf of DKG Chairman Hans-Martin Issel, who was unable to attend due to illness.
"Over the last two years since the outbreak of the pandemic, our industry has faced a rollercoaster of economic surges: fighting supply problems with key raw materials," said Limper.
"Essential materials cannot be sourced reliably, and there have also been large price hikes. As if this was not enough, there have been rising energy costs driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as inflation," he said.
Solutions to these challenges, and those linked to sustainability targets and the circular economy, will involve "balanced sourcing, based on alliances with reliable partners that harness rubber technologies and commercial energies," said the DKG leader.
In this, Limper said it really "makes a very great difference, to meet and look each other in the eye, to meet with a good handshake and share the feeling of being together again."
Virtual meetings, he concluded "can never replace the real meetings, such as those here in Nuremberg. This gives us more awareness of the value of our personal and business partners and how great it is to again meet friends and colleagues."