Back when computer technology conquered the K trade show
Jürgen Conrad remembers technical innovations - and initial reservations
The K celebrates its birthday! In 1952, what is now the world's largest plastics trade show opened its doors for the first time - and KraussMaffei was there from the very beginning. Here, long-time K participants report on technical highlights, emotional moments and what they are looking forward to at the 70th anniversary this year. Jürgen Conrad, a long-time KraussMaffei employee in Central Engineering and Sales, talks about his first spontaneous visit to the trade show and the development of the first microprocessor control system, which made its first appearance at the K in 1979.
How many K trade shows have you been a part of?
I was at the K trade show for the first time briefly in 1975, and from then on I was a regular visitor to Düsseldorf. I probably went to about seven trade shows in total. I retired in 2006, and from then on I only went there as a visitor from time to time.
Can you still remember your first K trade fair?
Of course! That was a very spontaneous action. Actually, I wasn't scheduled at all, but I was working in the central technology department at Krauss Maffei AG at the time and was called in because something was wrong with the electronics on one of the machines. So I went to Düsseldorf in the morning, fixed the problem and was back on the train to Munich the next day in the evening. Of course, I didn't see much of the trade show. I didn't really take part until four years later - at that time, the K was still held every four years. So strictly speaking, my first K was the trade show in 1979.
What has been your highlight over the years?
This was actually my "first" K in 1979. It was the trade show where we introduced the MC1 microprocessor controller. For almost three years, our team had worked almost every day to develop and produce the technology and software in time - we even completed the last part on site at the trade fair.
During the development process, we sometimes had to deal with resistance, as many colleagues were very skeptical about computer technology at the time. But we were convinced that the future of plastics machinery lay in microprocessor control. And it paid off: the technology was well received at K 1979 and was a great success.
What has changed since you started?
Especially the exhibits we have on display: After the A-series came the fully hydraulic B-series and finally the C-series. Large machine technology also changed. KraussMaffei was and is very innovative, a lot has happened technically. Of course, the electric machines were also a decisive step.
What is your highlight at this year's K show?
I don't know yet if I will go this year. At almost 80 years old, the hustle and bustle can be quite exhausting. But during my active time it was great, I always enjoyed the K fairs. And I enjoyed it right up to the last day.
In any case, I wish KraussMaffei s lot of success and good business at the K 22!