Many exhibitors at K 2022 have had a challenging year, with high material prices, supply chain issues and the continued recovery from the global pandemic among the hit list.
Then there's PET Technologies Ltd., a blow molding machinery producer exhibiting at K 2022. Its biggest challenge comes from where it is based: Ukraine.
"You have seen the news and all that is happening around us," CEO Maxim Poliansky said in an interview at a booth tucked into a small corner of Hall 14. "The most important thing for us is purely to survive, not only as a company but as a country. It is what we have to do."
PET Technologies is Ukraine's largest blow molding machinery and blow mold supplier and has served the surrounding region, including Russia, since its founding in 1999. The company is based in Chernihiv, Ukraine, dangerously positioned in the north of the country, less than 45 miles from the Russian border.
Before Russia invaded the country in February 2022, PET Technologies employed 240 people at its 10,000-square-foot plant. Then the bombing began near its factory. While the plant was miraculously unscathed in the constant air attacks, the area around it was in places reduced to ashes and some buildings became damaged shells.
The company had a decision to make, Poliansky said. Many of its fellow businesses were relocating out of Ukraine, moving to the western part of the country, where bombing was not as fierce, or closing entirely. PET Technologies briefly considered moving to a safer haven, but it decided to stay put.
The decision was as much about taking a symbolic stand against terror as it was in continuing production and maintaining consistency, he said.