15 July 2020

Spotlight on adhesive tape manufacturer Coroplast: Ralf Roenisch talks about sitting on the Technical Committee, Afera’s “priceless” network and more

“If I don’t know how to solve a problem on my own, I know immediately whom to ask for advice,” explained Ralf Roenisch recently of the network he has built within Afera as a Member of the Technical Committee (TC). Speaking with Afera Secretary General Astrid Lejeune, the head of R&D at Coroplast Fritz Müller GmbH & Co. KG also shared his experience of working in the adhesive tape business since 1994. “I started out leading R&D at a German tape manufacturer and was sent to participate in Afera’s TC right away,” he said. “I retained my position there when I moved to Henkel in 1999, and I got back to my tape manufacturing roots when I joined Coroplast in 2011.”

Coroplast’s involvement in the Industry collective
A market leader in wire harness tapes as well as producing tapes for building & construction and many other fixing and joining demands, Coroplast has been actively participating in Afera’s Committees, Working Groups (WGs), Annual Conferences and technical events for over 25 years. The Company always has 1 representative on the TC and sends delegates to the Technical Seminar whenever possible. General Manager and Head of Business Unit Technical Adhesive Tapes Marcus Söhngen joins the Annual Conference regularly.

When it comes to the Tape College, which is geared towards introducing the technical basics of pressure sensitive adhesive tape technology as well as the tape community to industry newcomers, Coroplast always sends those who are new to its production, purchasing, sales and R&D teams. For the last few years, Company delegates have also delivered papers on test methods during the Tape College Working Programme.

His first contact with Afera
Mr. Roenisch recalls that in 1994 “some visionary Afera Member Companies” sought to set Afera on a more active and useful track as a stakeholder organisation. So in 1998, Afera was moved from France to the Netherlands under the umbrella of Lejeune Association Management. “In my point of view, this was a milestone in Afera’s history and the beginning of an impressive ascent of Afera to today’s high level of quality that it delivers,” said Mr. Roenisch.

Mr. Roenisch’s personal takeaways: networking and information
“I have made many friends in the Industry very quickly through Afera,” Mr. Roenisch related. “The network that the Association offers is priceless.” In addition to adding success to his job performance as a regular Afera Member, Mr. Roenisch feels that belonging to the TC adds extra benefits such as sharing information and having close contact with suppliers and other members of the adhesive tape community. “My favourite aspects of participating in Afera’s activities are staying up-to-date regarding tape-related news, networking with peers from all over the world, and contributing to strengthening our industry by sharing my knowhow within the WGs.”

Coroplast’s takeaways: standardising and representing the market Industry
For Coroplast and other Member Companies, he can confirm that Afera’s active work regarding REACH’s classification of tapes was very helpful for European tape businesses. “Also, harmonising test methods, issuing official Industry statements to customers, holding ‘common sense discussions’ with authorities, and facilitating Round Robin lab testing have all supported the acceptance and understanding of tapes in the market,” explained Mr. Roenisch. Beyond this, Afera’s “growing the pie” campaign to expand the market use of adhesive tape united the tape industry worldwide, breaking down the borders in the mindsets of the 4 other global regional tape organisations. “The foundation of the GTF was an important step in this direction,” he continued. “Afera, the PSTC and CATIA are really important to the representation of our Industry’s needs.”

As one of the useful team members of the WGs within the TC, Mr. Roenisch says the quality of the TC Meetings, as well as the content of the technical events and conferences, has improved significantly over the past few years. “You can see this in the increasing number of participants in everything,” he notes, hoping that he too has added to this trend. “And I agree with [current Afera President] Evert Smit’s view that as an industry, we need to evolve with the changing economic, technological and employment market landscapes.”

Where will Afera be in 5 years?
“Although it is difficult to predict anything in this day and age, from what I see now, I expect that Afera will be even more active globally with our association counterparts in the U.S. and Asia,” Mr. Roenisch conjectured. “I expect that the trend of Afera becoming more professional and valuable to Members will continue. I see the benefits of our recent scaling up of global collaboration, and I intend to support that strategy as much as I can.”

If 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.