More than 30 professionals of the sector gathered in Berlin on 9 and 10 October 2013 for the first General Assembly of the MMFA – Multilayer Modular Flooring Association. On this occasion Matthias Windmöller, chairman of the board, received the application letter of the producer Tarkett GDL SA (Luxemburg). Furthermore, the companies Dai Nippon Printing Europa GmbH (Germany) and NMC Deutschland GmbH (Germany) joined the association in Berlin as extraordinary members. Prior to the event, Välinge Innovation Sweden AB (Sweden) had become a new extraordinary member of the MMFA. And shortly after the Berlin event Austrian producer Tilo GmbH was welcomed as ordinary member. This means that the association, which had only been founded in October 2012, has grown to 23 members within just one year.
“The MMFA has really made the most out of it during this first year: Last October we started out with seven producers. Now we count 13 European flooring producers as ordinary members and ten supplier companies as extraordinary members to the MMFA. Further negotiations are under way. This means a great initial success and a good basis for our work in the future,” says Chairman Matthias Windmöller.
The complete flooring system on focus
There surely is a lot of work to be done within the MMFA. Therefore priority was given to the work on factual issues also at the first General Assembly in Berlin. The first day offered a comprehensive lecture program with focus on the main spheres of activity of the MMFA, featuring e.g. information on the basics of polymer chemistry or on environmental aspects. On the second day there was a joint meeting of the two MMFA working committees “Technical Matters“ and “Market Development“. Under the convenorship of Edwin Lingg (Li&Co, Müstair/Schweiz) and Volker Kettler (Meisterwerke, Rüthen/Gemany), the first item on the agenda was the current status in the development of the European standard „prEN 16511“. Work is in good progress: The MMFA has been able to contribute to the work of the official panels in terms of submissions on technical terms and product requirements. The objective is to integrate into the future standard a clear differentiation for specific product tests and requirements according to the product structure. Furthermore, the different quality levels of underlay materials shall be considered for all loose-laid systems.
It is paramount for the technical work of the MMFA to view the flooring in the context of the complete flooring system: Only the right combination of underfloor construction, underlay material and multilayer modular flooring secures the flooring system as a whole and optimizes its service life. A special MMFA working group will deal with these system contexts with immediate effect. Topics such as laying, care and cleaning will also be on the agenda. In the long run the MMFA will publish practical recommendation for treatment of underlay materials.
Product description: spadework required
In Berlin also the “Market Development” committee had to work on an extensive schedule. The public shall get information on the products of the young sector quickly. Comprehensive information and advice are regarded as necessary in order to establish these innovative flooring products successfully on the market as an independent product type. The attendees thoroughly discussed issues on the product nomenclature and significant product and term definitions. A second major task will be the introduction of regular sales statistics in different product categories. In order to gain informative value and to secure comparability, the MMFA members agreed on the reporting of sales volumes from the production of their European plants in three product categories: In a simplified description, modular, loose-laid floorings in class 1 cover products on HDF layer, class 2 include - amongst others - full polymer products with clic, and class 3 will feature special products with mixed product structure. From 2014 the sales figures by region and country shall be collected on a quarterly basis.
Further members welcome
According to the MMFA board and the members the first General Assembly has been a great success. In addition to plenty of substantial information and an active exchange of ideas, some central issues could be discussed in a constructive manner in the working committees and new initiatives have been successfully put in motion. The next General Assembly will be held in autumn of 2014 – probably with an even bigger group of participants. In the meantime the MMFA working groups will gather for their different project meetings. Already on 12 January 2014, the MMFA will present their activities at the Domotex press conference in Hanover/Germany.
The MMFA invites all interested companies in the sector to join the association. Companies that are entered in the commercial register of their particular European country and manufacture and sell the multilayer modular floor coverings with decorative surfaces on their own responsibility, may become ordinary members. However, also material producers, suppliers, system partners or testing and research institutes for the equipment operating for the sector are granted access. They may apply for an extraordinary membership with an advisory vote but without a voting right at the assemblies. They are entitled for the full participation opportunities in all working bodies and project groups of the MMFA plus the right to raise their voices at the association’s general assembly.
Source: Multilayer Modular Flooring Association
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