Themed “Relationships and drivers in the tape business: creating and leveraging technology, markets, processes, value and opportunities", the summit saw the attendance of more than 230 tape-related company delegates, including a significant number of CEOs and heads of R&D, from 15 European countries including Turkey, plus China, India, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, U.A.E and the U.S.

Afera members made up about 71% of the participants, 43 from Afera member tape manufacturers and 104 from member suppliers of raw materials, machines and packaging.

“The sheer amount of information shared in the lectures and the quality of the papers and speakers probably made this the best business event I have ever experienced,” commented Evert Smit, Summit host, Afera Technical Committee chairman and presidential nominee, and head of R&D at Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG. 

“The strongest idea that I am coming away with is that we are all in this industry together— manufacturers, suppliers, converters,” Mr. Smit continued. “Not only will we have to co-operate and to create together in order to survive, but we are going to have to be more transparent in everything we do, and in many ways, this begins at an event such as the Summit.”

Lectures focussed on collaboration, assessing and maintaining the core, proactive and reactive drivers

Participant feedback revealed the 3 most popular presentations of the solid, 28lecture programme held over two days at the Westin Grand Munich Hotel:

Hermann Onusseit of IVK, the German Adhesives Association, discussed the ERPC Monitoring Report 2016 and how adhesives and packaging tapes affect the recycling of paper products in his presentation “Circular economy: a way to more sustainability”. How can we ensure that adhesive applications do not cause problems in paper recycling? Citing co-operative European industry studies, NGO guidelines and regulatory trends, Mr. Onusseit conveyed precisely how they should be dimensioned and mechanically stabilised, so that they survive as large particles in the conditions of pulping and allow for mechanical separation by means of punched screens, slot screens and centrifugal purifiers.

In his presentation, “Investigation into the smell of adhesives”, Philipp Denk of the Department of Sensory Analytics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, and chair of Aroma and Smell Research at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, explained how the formation pathway, chemical structure and odour quality of 20 compounds in 6 acrylic adhesives are critical in supporting manufacturers to develop strategies to produce low-odour and low-emission adhesives and thus positively influence everyday odour exposure.

Annette Kelsch, R&D team leader of reactive adhesives at Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG, talked about “(Semi)-structural bonding tapes based on polyurethane dispersions.” The outstanding properties of latently reactive P.U. tapes are that they cure within seconds, have a low activation temperature providing for high temperature resistance properties, are applicable on sensitive surfaces, stay flexible and elastic after curing, have high chemical, heat and washing resistance, and are available in individual and pre-shaped die-cuts.

The Global Tape Forum & Global Test Methods Committee Meetings

On the first day of the Summit, Afera hosted the biennial international meeting of the regional industry associations and their test method experts. Nearly 30 delegates from the national/regional adhesive tape associations of China (CATIA, The China Adhesives and Tape Industry Association), Taiwan (TAAT, The Taiwan Regional Association of Adhesive Tape Manufacturers), North America (PSTC, The Pressure Sensitive Tape Council) and Japan (JATMA, The Japanese Adhesive Tapes Manufacturers Association) gathered at the Global Tape Forum (GTF) and Global Test Methods Committee (GTMC)’s 6th set of biennial meetings to work through agendas loaded with standardisation issues such as harmonising test methods (TMs) and guidelines, sharing market statics and trends, comparing environmental legislation and classifying of tape products, identifying world markets not yet organised, and reporting on demand increase initiatives.

“The GTF brings us global players even closer together in sharing common goals for expanding the application of tape and consequently our members’ markets,” commented Michael Yang, GTF chairman and CATIA secretary general. “The reason we came to Munich with a particularly large delegation is that we wanted to expand our knowledge and to develop our contacts in the global industry.”

Michel Merkx, incoming GTF vice chairman, PSTC president and general manager at American Biltrite, Inc. - ABI Tape, said, “The PSTC is proud to be part of a forum that believes in and drives harmonisation, collaboration and transparency supporting global growth and improvement of our industry, markets/application and customers.”

Of important note was the GTF members’ renewed commitment to “bring content to their objectives”, particularly in the area of exchanging information. The idea is that should be a source for each member association of information about top-level market production data and trends, environmental regulation, meetings and events of the other countries and regions. They also plan to circulate their newsletters and publications.

Progress was also made in the GTF’s objective to “harmonise key TMs”. “At the GTMC meeting, we adopted the Thickness TM and Width & Length Guideline as GTF standards 6002 and 6003,” reported Astrid Lejeune, GTF secretary and Afera secretary general. 

“Perhaps more importantly, we decided to adopt the ISO methods, Peel Adhesion, Breaking Strength & Elongation, and Static Shear Adhesion as GTF TMs 6004, 6005 and 6006,” Ms. Lejeune explained. “This lends even greater legitimacy to the global status of our co-operation.” The GTMC also has other TMs and projects in the pipeline, including a new Loop Tack TM, a Dynamic Shear/Lap Shear TM, a Methodology to Develop Measurement Uncertainty Guideline, and a Test Panel Cleaning Study.

Providing market production data and analysis

During the Summit, multiple presentations were delivered by delegates from each global region represented in the GTF. Session 1 kicked off with global and national market overviews, most of which were first reviewed in the GTF meeting the day before. 

Participants learned that with steady technological progress and improved efficiency and quality, China’s tape industry will maintain an annual growth rate higher than that of GDP, around 7%. Over the next few years, Taiwan expects a relatively slow growth rate of 2% CAGR. Japan makes up less than 10% of the global tape market in sales, which in 2016 were $3.7 billion, and its market volume is slowly shrinking. In Western Europe, adhesive tape production will rise a modest 1.2% annually to 6.3 bsm in 2018.

The next GTF and GTMC Meetings will be hosted by JATMA on 16-19 November 2020 in Osaka, Japan.

Afera to hold 61st Annual Conference on 3-5 October 2018 in Athens

Afera additionally has announced the launch of its adhesive tape industry Annual Conference, the premier event for the European tape business, taking place in less than 100 days in Athens (Vouliagmeni), Greece, at the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso from 3 to 5 October.

Themed “Innovation and digitisation in adhesive tape technology” and its impact on suppliers, sales channels, product development, converters, supply chains, business models, technology and the application process, the Conference will provide tape industry professionals with the opportunity to interact with tape industry leaders, sales and technology drivers, and future-focussed speakers with inside and outside-in perspectives to share.

In Athens, 150+ participants from Europe and around the globe will meet company delegates from businesses along the entire adhesive tape value chain: tape manufacturers, suppliers (raw materials, machine and packaging), converters, distributors, research institutions, national tape organisations, and other international counterparts.

“An important theme gaining momentum within Afera is ‘collaboration’,” commented Ms. Lejeune. “For example, last year we learned about 3 member companies which are working together to bring MS Polymer™-based technology into the PSA and tapes world.”

“At Afera’s yearly conference, what I see is industry players who not only want to soak up knowledge and ideas but forge those key partnerships—whether European or global—that advance their businesses,” she explained. “And those opportunities will only increase within Afera, as we have seen almost a 10% increase in membership over the last year.”

The working programme will consist of 12 lectures over 2 day working sessions. Topics covered:

• Global market update, including data and trends • The future of acrylic foam tape in automotive • 3M’s collaborative innovation model

• The European economy: things look good at present, but will this last? • Regulatory affairs update for tapes

• Reactive HMPSA: the state of the art • Immigration as the ultimate virtual reality for innovation • The journey of digital transformation

• The technical side of the internet of things (IoT): how smart products transform, brand relationships, business operations and service experiences

• (Semi)-structural bonding tapes based on polyurethane dispersions

• Technology update: major global trends from Afera’s Global Adhesive Tape Summit

• The European Adhesive Tape Association’s strategy and forward focus 2019-2025.

 After a business lunch on Day 1, attendees will take part in the “Tape Olympics”, a team-building event. The working programme will also feature Afera’s semi-annual Technical, Marketing and Steering Committee meetings, Afera’s annual General Assembly, expert panel debates and discussions, ample time for networking during coffee breaks and lunches, and 2 masters of ceremonies, Melanie Lack, business manager of tapes & labels at H.B. Fuller, and Bert van Loon, marketing & communications strategy consultant.  

Athens Conference participants will also get to enjoy cocktails and dinners at Mythos of the Sea Restaurant at the beach and Dionysos Zonar’s Restaurant at the foot of the Acropolis. During the social programme, partners will be treated exclusively to shopping in Athens’ historical Plaka neighbourhood and a guided tour of Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum.