1st and 2nd Global Tape Forum meetings 2009, 2010

Creating the GTF Afera SC Strategy Subgroup Member Mike Ayres of Advance Tapes (U.K.) has been leading the Global Tape Forum (GTF) project for the last 2 years. At Afera’s recent Stockholm Conference, he explained that the GTF’s second meeting took place on 6 October, and that he was happy to report that the GTF was firmly off and running.

Creating the GTF
Afera SC Strategy Subgroup Member Mike Ayres of Advance Tapes (U.K.) has been leading the Global Tape Forum (GTF) project for the last 2 years. At Afera’s recent Stockholm Conference, he explained that the GTF’s second meeting took place on 6 October, and that he was happy to report that the GTF was firmly off and running.

The concept
One of Afera’s top strategies is ‘dealing globally with public and private bodies of interest to its members with regard to technical, ecological, commercial, economic and social developments within the tape industry.’ The Association has accordingly lent its full support to the creation of a GTF from the get-go in 2006, when preliminary discussions on uniting the worldwide counterpart associations in a greater effort to create one global tape industry took place between Afera’s Mr. Ayres and Mr. Derolez and the PSTC’s John Pufahl and Glen Anderson at Afera’s Nice Conference.

The PSTC then invited Afera to join its autumn conference the same year, where the idea was further developed. In 2007, Mr. Anderson attended Afera’s Annual Conference and indicated the PSTC’s commitment to the project by presenting proposals on how a potential GTF would work.

The inaugural meeting
Afera’s membership lent its support to the initiative in 2008 when the SC presented proposals for both strategic initiatives at the Association’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Florence. Following this, the first GTF meeting, hosted by the PSTC, was held on 12 May 2009 in Orlando, Florida (USA) during the PSTC’s ‘Week of Learning’.

13 representatives of 4 associations, Afera (Europe), the PSTC (USA), CAPIA (China) and TRAATM (Taiwan), as well as many observers, attended the inaugural event. Unfortunately JATMA’s representation was unable to attend due to travel restrictions. The important result of the event was that overwhelming support and unanimous approval was attained for the GTF concept. Drawing up the new Forum’s objectives also proved to be straightforward as everyone shared a similar point of view.

Adding value to Afera’s membership: The GTF’s mission
The GTF meeting laid down the foundations for the future development of the organisation and agreed, as a first point, to meet again within 12 months to keep the momentum of the initiative going. GTF members also agreed with Afera’s assertion that the initiative would only succeed if it added value to each original industry association for the benefit of its membership. With this in mind, the following GTF mission statement was drafted: To enhance the worldwide PSA industry by providing a global forum for all member associations that enables them to add greater value to their members.

The original objectives
The GTF’s objectives were established as follows: 1) Harmonise key PSA test methods (TMs). 2) Establish a database of environmental and regulatory trends by region. 3) Gather top-level production data according to agreed categories. 4) Share an open calendar of global PSA educational events. Everyone should benefit from participating in each other’s regional events. 5) Hold biennial meetings hosted by member associations on a rotating basis. 6) Establish a small shared fund for running costs. 7) Appoint a fixed team of volunteer delegates, plus a secretariat from each member association to serve a 3-year term.

The second meeting: Up and running
The GTF’s second meeting did indeed take place within the promised 12-month period, on 6 October 2010, hosted by Afera during its Stockholm Conference. Mr. Ayres mentioned that an excellent turnout of 21 delegates from the 5 associations plus a number of observers attended. The Global Test Methods Committee meeting, led by Afera TC Member Lutz Jacob, was held during the GTF meeting. Mr. Ayres was pleased to report that “very good progress was made”.

Measuring the pie
A number of actions were agreed upon at the GTF’s second meeting. In terms of ‘measuring the pie’, top-level production volume data will be collected by each association according to the following 5 categories of carrier types, reported in square metres: OPP, PVC, cloth back, paper back and other. Each association will use its own preferred method of data collection, e.g. via a third party, member survey, expert panel, etc. The data will be presented to the GTF every 2 years.

Access to the global tape industry info, events, legislation
Afera has agreed to become the central point for communication. Initially Afera’s website, www.afera.com, will host the GTF section, which will be restricted to GTF members. Information and documents will be posted and managed here by the webhost Afera Secretary-General Astrid Lejeune, including an annual calendar of global events so that each association can plan to attend its counterpart associations’ meetings and educational events. In this way, Afera has created for its members better access to global tape industry information and events.

As the tape industry becomes more regulated, Afera members want to keep up with the legislative trends. A combined schedule of all key environmental and regulatory controls in each association’s geographical area is being put together following a template supplied by the PSTC. The first draft of this will be posted in the middle of 2011 and updated thereafter.

More efficiency in global TM harmonisation
Future TMs will be harmonised firstly at the GTF level and secondarily, if at all, through the ISO. Mr. Ayres feels there is significant potential benefit in this shift in TM harmonisation strategy, as going the GTF-route will save time and money for all associations involved, as these 5 bodies represent the bulk of world tape production. Lastly, each association agreed to name 2 representatives to the GTF and to contribute to a central fund managed by TAAT/TRAATM (Taiwan) by the end of 2010.

The GTF’s next meeting will take place in 2012 and will be hosted by TAAT/TRAATM in Taiwan in conjunction with its technical meeting. The meeting venue thereafter will rotate according to a pre-set schedule and will be linked to an event of one of the member associations.

17 December 2012
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