Dr.-Ing. Karlheinz Bourdon

Senior Vice-President Integration, KraussMaffei Group, Munich

My fascination and passion for plastics processing goes back over 40 years. I studied at IKV and received my doctorate there in 1990. At that time, it was Prof. Georg Menges who introduced me to plastics processing and inspired me. He, like Prof. Christian Hopmann today, was then the charismatic head of IKV. A lot of what we researched at that time can also be applied to the present time: At IKV we started to simulate the injection moulding process and then considered what we could additionally use this data for – the basic concept of Industry 4.0. At that time of course we did not have the present-day IT power, and we could only dream of Big Data. Digitalisation, networking, as well as energy efficiency and sustainability in plastics processing accompanied me in the following years in leading positions in the plastics industry, for example in my time as head of Injection Moulding Technology at KraussMaffei or as President of Global Plastics Machinery at Milacron. During this period, numerous new developments such as the first all-electric injection moulding machine in Europe and the MX 4000 Double SpinForm for the production of body parts for the BMW i3 were born.

The task of the plastics industry today more than ever is to promote the image of plastics as high-grade materials, and to assume responsibility for them as part of the circular economy. The fact that all this is taking place in an international context makes it all the more exciting.