21 August 2020

Spotlight on adhesive tape manufacturer certoplast

 Thorsten Meier’s experience in the tape business is directly tied to his involvement in Afera 

“Personally I am driven by connecting with interesting people from other countries with different views on tape- and non-tape-related topics. Professionally, it is the compelling network.” Thorsten Meier, the head of R&D at Certoplast Technische Klebebänder GmbH, recently shared with Secretary General Astrid Lejeune some of his thoughts on participating in Afera’s Technical Committee (TC) and membership in the only industry collective in Europe that is specifically focussed on adhesive tapes.

Joining the tape business and the Technical Committee in 2009
Mr. Meier first became connected to the tape business in 2009 when he joined certoplast. He was immediately introduced to Afera by his predecessor, Andreas Hohmann, and assumed his position on the TC. “Funny, I cannot imagine being in the tape business and not being involved in Afera,” he shared. “For the tape industry as a whole, I think it is important to have a pan-European organisation, if not simply for handling such topics as REACH (the European Chemicals Policy), the Circular Economy and customer norms and demands related to MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets). It was before my time, but having tapes classified as ‘articles’ under REACH was a huge achievement of Afera’s.”

What certoplast gets out of the Annual Conference: “Everyone you need to know is there”
Certoplast, a producer of tapes primarily for the automotive industry but also for building & construction, is one of Afera’s oldest Members, predating the Association’s move over to the daily management of Lejeune Association Management based in The Hague, The Netherlands. Mr. Meier reported that his company consistently sends 1 to 3 delegates to Afera’s Annual Conference. “My priority in attending is seeing people,” he explained. “The lectures are interesting in that they are not only specifically tape-related but offer a broader view into global business trends. Every year there is a different theme, which allows us to look beyond the realm of tape into broader business cycles that all of us should be studying.”

Contributing to European tape industry leadership
How does Mr. Meier feel about being part of Afera’s decision-making leadership? “It is indeed interesting to be part of the Committee process—to see how it works and to appreciate its steadiness,” he reflected. What does he bring to the table? Within his relatively small company, Mr. Meier has worked with or at least experienced every stage of tape production, including testing and evaluating the final product. “I have performed myself all the standardised test methods which we discuss and develop within Afera’s TC and harmonise with the Global Tape Forum,” he continued. “At times it is really important to know firsthand what might be important.” Beyond this, Mr. Meier said Afera allows him a view into different perspectives on the business from different countries: “This takes you away from your daily work just enough to refresh your creativity on things, tape-related or not.”

Afera in 2025
As to where he sees the Association in 5 years’ time, Mr. Meier referred to Afera’s new strategy set through 2025 which the Steering Committee rolled out in 2018 at the Athens Conference. “I can see that the changes that started 2 years ago will be fully realised then,” he forecast. “Addressing global topics like sustainability, global warming, etc., in my opinion, is something we have to do regardless of whether we want to. I am perfectly willing to be part of that process.”

If you would be interested in joining Afera’s Steering, Technical or Marketing Committee, please contact Ms. Lejeune on +31 70 312 39 16 or send an e-mail here for more details. Read Afera’s Statutes here.