Last month, over 100 newcomers to the tape industry gathered in Brussels for Afera’s 9th edition of the Tape College, which was established as a biennial Association event in 2004. Unique to the European tape industry, the Tape College offers 2 full days of learning—this time over 19 lectures—about the fundamentals and current technical essentials of adhesive tape technology.
Subjects such as “Release coatings applied” (Michael Ortner, Mondi), “Modern surface treatment methods” (Andreas Gross, Fraunhofer IFAM) and “World of tapes: 1001 applications” (Michel Mies, tesa) proved extremely popular.
Not only do companies find this a convenient training event for their employees, it is also a coveted networking event for the global tapes business, as all the lecturers and many attendees are adhesive tape field experts. Participants hailed from 14 European countries, plus the U.S. and UAE.
“On top of welcoming the highest number of participants ever at the Tape College, we received a lot of positive feedback about the high-quality of the presentations and organisation of the event,” said Reinhard Storbeck, Afera Technical Committee chairman, director of R&D at tesa SE and host of the “Why tapes?” and “Tapes deconstructed” seminars.
tesa sent 3 industry newcomers – just out of university for a year or 2 – to the event. “Not only did they really learn something,” Mr. Storbeck continued. “They were able to begin building up their industry networks—with raw materials suppliers and others—during the breaks and meals, something which would never be possible at an in-house training event. So the Tape College is a win-win where efficiency is concerned!”
According to Mr. Storbeck, companies have good reason to send their personnel to Afera’s Tape College. Evert Smit, Afera president and head of R&D at Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG., made it his mission 5 or 6 years ago to improve every aspect of the event, including cutting out company and product profiling and tapping into the real knowledge—the technology—that our available industry experts have to share—that is essential for understanding and working in the European tape industry.
“95% of the presentations fell in line with our expectations,” concluded Mr. Storbeck. “This was the perception of tesa’s attendees too.”
“The Tape College keeps improving upon itself!” commented Mr. Smit. “What I heard from our large audience was extremely positive. They all learned a lot about tapes and their applications, as well as got to know new people in the European business. These are the very people who are driving our industry, starting now.”
What other attendees, including a speaker, had to say about the event:
I am pretty new to this business, so the Tape College was interesting in several ways: Firstly, I gained valuable knowledge of chemistry and the mindset related to different production techniques. Sometimes the flow of information and technical details seemed daunting, but in general I was able to follow the lectures, and I learned a lot. Secondly, I came into contact with a great network of people in the tape industry.
Freddy Holwerda, Carlisle Construction Materials B.V.
I found Afera’s Tape College offered good insight for someone entering into the tape world like me. The organisation was perfect, and I came away from the event with good business connections and some tips and ideas for future developments.
Stefano Nucci, PPM Industries SpA
The event was a good opportunity for raw materials, coating technology and release liner suppliers to present information in detail to newcomers in the tape industry. It is of high importance to understand all aspects from backing technology, substrate, coating technology, liner construction and suitability that affect the performance of a tape. We highly appreciate the opportunity to present release liner technology at the Tape College and to be able to interact with other stakeholders in this industry.
Michael Ortner, Mondi Inncoat GmbH
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