Technical Committee Chairman Reinhard Storbeck’s focus for 2019-2021
Afera’s Technical Committee (TC) is composed of technical adhesive tape industry experts that meet twice a year excluding Working Group meetings.
All technical subjects, such as
- development of test methods,
- discussion, publication (of the Afera Test Methods Manual) and application of European and GTF standards,
- realisation of Afera’s higher-educational engineering curricula programme, and
- collaboration with other organisations such as FEICA, IVK and FINAT
are matters for the TC’s agenda.
“We are not going to be pushing forward too significantly on developing test methods,” explained Technical Committee Chairman Reinhard Storbeck recently. “Test methods and standards are important but not our primary focus going forward.”
Mr. Storbeck, who is director of R&D at tesa SE, shared that he has other things that he is working on. “We have added other topics which we want to develop with contribution from our member companies. Our TC has the highest competence in technical adhesive tape issues of any group of professionals in Europe. My job is to pull the value out of this for our membership as a whole.”
This means an intensified exchange of information. The TC additionally handles all industry-related regulatory matters, including legislation originating from national or European bodies, as well as private and global initiatives. Mr. Storbeck would like to see member delegates accessing their specific companies’ legal expertise and sharing it in a systematic way within the TC. This is already happening within the Regulatory Affairs Working Group (Reg-WG), which currently includes 7 member company delegates.
Recently Afera’s Reg-WG mobilised the industry on an important European Union legal matter, organising significant input into the E.U. BREF STS Update under the leadership of Afera Public Affairs Manager Mark Macaré. “Within the adhesive tape business, we have this legal pressure to work together,” commented Mr. Storbeck. “We can achieve many things as an industry collective that are simply not possible as individual companies.”
Afera’s Committees are made up of member company volunteers—for over 60 years, the Association has been run by the industry for the industry. Because of the increasing intensity of regulatory affairs in European business matters, however, the TC is looking into hiring external support to speed up the co-ordination of activities leading to legislative results in this area.
As a worldwide megatrend, what does sustainability mean for the European adhesive tape industry? What does it mean for raw materials suppliers? What environmental, social and economic factors do we have to take into consideration for developing tapes in the future? Mr. Storbeck has launched a Sustainability Working Group (Sus-WG), led by Ian Grace, business development manager at Loparex B.V., in order to probe discussion and ideas for developing an Afera programme based on this issue. “Then we can create more value by using the amazing competence of this group through intense discussion,” said Mr. Storbeck, “in order to formulate the possible directions in which our members can go.”
Technical events, including a new tabletop exhibition in 2020
Organisation of the alternating biennial technical events, the Tape College and Technical Seminar, also falls within the responsibilities of the TC. “We would like to improve upon the great base we already have in informing and educating tape industry professionals by introducing a tabletop exhibition at Afera’s 9th Technical Seminar at the Brussels Marriott Hotel, Belgium, 6-8 April 2020,” Mr. Storbeck announced. “So we will offer a working programme with informative, interactive presentations plus the opportunity for tape manufacturers to learn about raw materials information and to meet with any other suppliers necessary.” Mr. Storbeck says this “efficient” plan has already gained support from many potential exhibitors.