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Important information and advice for the future of the tape business

Shape of Tape 2030 Keynote Address

At our recent Valencia conference, Afera President Evert Smit delivered a keynote address highlighting key information and recommendations for the future of the tape business. Mr. Smit, who is also Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG Scouting Director, said that because the pre-COVID-19, pre-Russian war, pre-supply chain crisis and pre-energy crisis we were looking forward to in the future no longer exists, the strategies that most companies developed years ago is no longer valid. Without being able to predict the future, we have to look at the "shape of tape" of tomorrow, and Afera offers multiple supports in this regard.

For his New Year's message to Afera members, Mr. Smit wanted to build on his key points and lessons learned from last year and from the Annual Meeting:

growth limit

According to Porter's Five Forces Model (1979), industries turn to the power of suppliers and buyers, who both have power; new entrants and substitutes, who are threats; and industry competition—competition. The Club of Rome predicted fifty years ago that what is happening now is linked to climate change. I think we need to expand Porter's model to include supply chains, labor, and the forces of social and political pressure to regulate. At this scale, individual companies simply cannot solve these problems alone. They need the support of an industry collective like ours. Within the framework of EU competition law, we must work together to address these issues.

Patents promote openness

Is it necessary to re-examine the intellectual property system? Is something wrong with the system a harbinger of rot? On this point, moderator Cornelia Peuser ("What's wrong with the patent system now?") I agree to disagree, but that's where progress comes from: vigorous debate. I believe you need to show your innovations to the world to inspire others to create, collaborate, modify and improve products and solutions, and Offenlegungsschrift, the original german term for patents, it's interesting how patents seem to both protect and hinder innovation these days . We're going to have to explore this if we're going to work more closely together.

Less is More: Growth and Anti-Growth

Are we all trying to expand our market share? What exactly does "growth" mean? We may have to redefine it. What else can we grow in the future?

co-creation and collaboration

Only together can we innovate and build complex products. We see this globally with our innovative responses to Covid-19 and the Russo-Ukraine war: vaccinations, digital banking systems, etc. Change is good. Anything can happen with incredible speed if the pressure is high enough.

Sustainability is an industry effort, even a cross-industry effort, such as our partnership with CELAB Europe to recycle release liner and matrix material/tape waste.

Afera's flagship Sustainability Program (AFSP), working to translate the European Green Deal (EGD) into Afera members, is truly groundbreaking globally, making us a leader in solutions to address climate change and meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals part of the goal. I am delighted that next year we will be making significant progress in the AFSP, launching the web-based Afera tool to calculate the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) of tape, and drafting guidelines and position papers on developing EU legislation. I plan to internationalize all of this, as I'll be speaking about European progress at PSTC Tape Week in Orlando in early May.

The power of wisdom, thinking about the future

The future is not an extension of the past -- far from it. How do I distill from the knowledge I have now what I need to do for the future? For example, you can think about and plan how you can profit from what you do in this highly collaborative and competitive world. You can extract millions of signals from a lot of noise, figure out which ones are relevant, how to make sense of them and what to do about them, both as a company and as an industry. In an upcoming issue of Afera News we will review conference moderator Panu Kause's software tool that provides the in-depth future insight and discussion of key issues needed.

we are part of the solution

Afera's aim is to convey this to industry, businesses, consumers and regulators to future-proof the tape business and this should be the aim of every member company! Tapes have an environmental burden, but honestly, their benefits are far greater.

Following Afera's October announcement, we recently received an early Christmas gift scheme from the European Commission to propose a negative list of packaging characteristics in the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, which was removed in the latest draft of 5 December. We intend to move the world forward by communicating our relevance as an industry (with a market cap of billions of euros in fact) to all possible influencers.

In Valencia, Prof. Andreas Groβ from IFAM explains how we can use "monitoring lifetime" to expand the application fields of 21st century adhesives. We intend to work on this in 2023.

My goals for you in 2023

Fill your mind with pressing thoughts. Confused, worried, or both, because this is the world we live in. But as an Afera member, I hope you too are inspired. We are all in this together. What you do and the solutions you bring to the market and society, if you do it, you do it to the best of your ability.

Have a happy and prosperous year!


president afera

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