Last month Afera hosted the 7th edition of its well-established technical learning event, the Tape College, at the Brussels Marriott Hotel. The event, which had been restructured in content and flow of lecture subjects, met with success on all fronts. Taking place less than a month after the terror attacks in Belgium, the Tape College maintained solid attendance, with only one cancellation due to his company’s restricted air travel policy.
Attendees, who included general management, R&D, customer/technical service, sales, marketing, engineering, production, processing and quality assurance personnel of companies along the entire adhesive tape value chain, remarked on the high quality of presentations and standardised content. The updated programme was carefully structured to reflect relevant technical, market and regulatory developments by the event’s organising committee: Evert Smit (Afera Technical Committee Chairman, Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG), Reinhard Storbeck (tesa SE), Gert-Jan Ruler (Eastman Chemical Middelburg B.V.) and Ian Grace (Bostik Smart Adhesives BV). Secretary General Astrid Lejeune and Secretarial Support Stephanie Feith received numerous compliments on the logistical organisation, especially the many breaks and meals which provided productive networking opportunities.
All presenters and lectures received high marks on the event participants’ survey. The most popular presenter and presentation on average was Prof. Dr. Andreas Gross (Fraunhofer IFAM) who lectured on “Modern surface treatment methods”. This was followed closely by Peter Harendt (Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG) with “Insight into tape conversion technology” and Michael Ortner (Mondi Advanced Materials) with “Release Coatings Applied”. Each attendee received a stick containing the content of the presentations for future reference and a certificate of completion of the course.
Here’s what some Afera Tape College participants had to say:
As the owner of a self-adhesive technology company, I am here for the second time. It’s a nice event for networking and to see what’s going on in the sector—both what is new and what is perhaps important to know. The speakers and presentations were good. Although the Tape College is geared toward first-time attendees, I find it useful to keep coming. There are so many subjects covered—I always find a few which are interesting to me and which I can bring back to use in my company.
Andreas Benz, CEO, Volz Self Adhesive Technology
I work in the R&D department in new product development for surface protection tapes. As someone who has only been working in the industry for ten months, the Tape College is useful for getting a complete overview. At the same time, you also go into some technical detail, which is very important for someone like me in R&D. The presentation which resonated most strongly with me was the one on release coatings.
Koen Vanratingen, Senior Lab Technician, Functional Base Products, Nitto Europe NV
As team colleagues at Coroplast Fritz Mϋller, we are mainly involved in lab work—testing, providing samples and writing test reports related to adhesive tape. I have worked in the industry for four years, and this is my first time here. The programme content of the Tape College will be very useful to us in our work. Some of the presentations cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and you can tell that the presenters have a lot more that they would like to say. At least we are able to take all the material home with us to study later. The most interesting presentation to us was Dr. Francesca Bennet’s talk on UV curing of acrylics.
Joanna Walenska, Coroplast Fritz Mϋller GmbH & Co. KG
Caroline Boll, Coroplast Fritz Mϋller GmbH & Co. KG
As the Global Marketing and Technical Manager at Hexion, I attend many Afera events. The Association is unique in its way of getting all the interested industry players in Europe and beyond together at events for short periods of about 48 hours, both day and evening, so you have the chance to meet and get to know everyone. I came to the Tape College to support the industry as we are a Gold Sponsor of this event. But I also came because even though I am aware of much of the adhesive technology, there are a lot of the co-supplier technologies that we interact with that I don’t know that well. Typically at this event there are suppliers with deep knowledge in these areas that I can pose questions to. The theme that spoke to me the most at this event is the importance of the entire European regulatory space.
Mike Watson, Global Marketing & Technical Manager Adhesives, Epoxy, Phenolic and Coatings Division, Hexion Inc.
As a machine manufacturer, it is always good to be here because you meet many people, especially young people, who are trying to make contact with the adhesive tape industry. Making these connections is important in gaining a better understanding of the industry as a whole, not only for the general management but for the technical salespeople. For first-time attendees, it is always good to get an overview of tape technology basics, including the chemistry and processes of making products. While my colleague is here to make a presentation on machine design for production of tapes, I am here to network not only with tape producers but chemical companies—the sub-suppliers. This is very important to us.
Stefan Essing, Sales Manager Tape Industry, OLBRICH GmbH
Having only been in the tape industry for four months, I think the Tape College provides a very good introduction to the whole of the industry. I especially like how Afera segmented the topics from a manufacturing point of view [“Tapes deconstructed” session], such as adhesives, backings, liners—the different parts of tapes. And the sessions structured around the various aspects of tapes, highlighting production and chemistry, were also very interesting to me. You get a lot of information, but not too much all at once, and there is also time for networking. The most interesting presentation for me was “Coating and drying methods in R2R processes” given by Dirk Robeling of OLBRICH. I also liked the presentations on liners and regulatory affairs. I would definitely return to the event for networking purposes depending on the content of the future programme.
Simon Stelzig, Senior Scientist Global Product Development, Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG
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