(07/04/2022 / sbr)

Zellcheming Expo: Organizers take positive stock

Zellcheming Expo 2022 attracted numerous representatives of the international paper and cellulose industry to the RheinMain CongressCenter (RMCC) in Wiesbaden. Over three days, from June 29 to July 1, this major industry event offered some 1,864 registered attendees and more than 130 exhibitors, sponsors and partner companies extensive opportunities for intensive information exchange and casual networking in and with the industry, as well as the official launch of the Women4Paper mentoring program, which will start in the fall.

In view of the positive experiences in Virtual Days 2021, Zellcheming had organized Expo 2022 as a hybrid event with digital reach extension. Petra Hanke, Managing Director of Zellcheming Service GmbH explains, “With the Zellcheming Virtual World, we have created a thematic island on the web where all content can be found, partly already before the Expo, in the live stream during the Expo and as a back-up afterwards. We will continue to expand and enrich this platform. We were thus able to offer attendees the best of both worlds, because it was very easy to combine on-site attendance with an online login.” Already at this year's hybrid premiere, around 350 Expo guests had logged in via app. “We are sure that this share will grow and that in the future many association activities will also run via our Zellcheming Virtual World,” adds Dr.-Ing. Ernst-Ulrich Wittmann, chairman of the Zellcheming association.

The visitor structure reflected the ambition of the organizers very well: 36 % came from manufacturing companies, 43 % from the supplier sector, 5.5 % from science and 11 % from trade, processing, and associations. From non-German-speaking countries, 12 % international guests took part.

Three days full of highlights

“We are proud that this year we have once again lived up to our claim of being the platform for professional technical exchange for everyone involved in the development of sustainable paper- and cellulose-based products - and draw a positive balance of Zellcheming-Expo 2022!” says Wittmann. 

Zellcheming-Expo 2022 kicked off on June 29 with the association's annual general meeting, which was also hybrid in nature. Here, among other things, the activity and financial report 2021, as well as the expansion of the association network were on the agenda. This was followed on June 30 and July 1 by the wide-ranging Expo 2022 conference program with more than 50 lectures and presentations. The summer evening was fully booked with around 420 visitors even before the Expo opened.

A practice-oriented program over three days of the trade fair offered visitors to the Zellcheming-Expo the opportunity to obtain targeted information and further training on individual topics and application areas. In addition to topics of high relevance to the pulp and paper industry, such as the report by Arno Liendl, Operation Director at Hamburger Rieger, on the pioneering investment project at the Spremberg site in Brandenburg, current innovation approaches and best practice examples were addressed many times.

Ernst-Ulrich Wittmann moderated one of the program highlights: the panel discussion on “Awareness of sustainable products: paper, board and cellulose-based products with a future”. The discussants included Bilal and Cihan Dalgic, from Haepsi, inventors of the two-in-one kebab packaging, which was awarded the German Packaging Award in Gold, Katharina Balcet, environmental activist and ambassador, Plant-for-the-Planet, Alexander von Reibnitz, Chief Executive, Die Papierindustrie e.V. (German Paper Industry Association) and Dirk Schwarze, Managing Director at Model Sachsen Papier. They discussed the prospects for sustainable fiber-based products, especially in the field of packaging, and agreed that renewable raw materials form the basis for sustainable products.

On the second day of the fair, the highlights included the Women4Paper meeting, which is aimed particularly at women in the pulp and paper industry. Four years after its founding, the network already has around 350 female representatives from the industry. In her keynote address, Gabriele Diewald, Professor of German Linguistics at Leibniz University in Hanover, addressed the topic of “Gender-equitable language”. This was followed by keynote speeches from women who shared their experiences in and with this industry, and the official launch of the Women4Paper mentoring program, which will start in the fall. “I am sure we will thus set important new impulses for our industry, also as far as attracting young professionals is concerned,” emphasized Women4Paper initiator Petra Hanke.

The third Expo Day was also dedicated to a topic that is hard to beat in terms of topicality: “Energy, Environment, Climate”. The session was moderated by Professor Dr. Helga Zollner-Croll, Vice Chair of the Zellcheming Association, who stated: “We must reconcile economic growth and environmental concerns. After all, achieving sustainability, that is, combining economic growth with ecological goals, is one of the most important tasks and goals of our time.”

“I am pleased that the association has once again gained traction with Expo 2022, which is always an important interface with industry. We are taking many themes and approaches here for work during the year and developing them further. Of course, it was also a great pleasure to finally meet many colleagues and acquaintances live again. After all, our industry is highly technical, international, and efficiency-driven - but it is also based on a strong and reliable network of personal contacts,” says Ernst-Ulrich Wittmann.

The next Zellcheming Expo will take place in Wiesbaden from June 20 to 22, 2023.