On 29 and 30 April, around 40 industry participants gathered in Berlin at the second meeting of ordinary members of the MMFA – the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association. At this event, flooring manufacturer Unilin (Belgium) was welcomed as a new ordinary member. The IHD Institute of Wood Technology Dresden (Germany) and the TFI Institute for Flooring Systems at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) joined as new supporting members. The MMFA now has a total of 30 members.
"As of April, the MMFA comprises 15 European flooring manufacturers as ordinary members, 13 supplier companies as associate members, and two research institutes as supporting members. We would of course be happy to welcome even more stakeholders into our ranks," says Matthias Windmöller, chairman of the MMFA.
New board elected
At the regular MMFA board elections, Matthias Windmöller (Windmöller Flooring) was confirmed in office as chairman of the board. Vice-chairman Edwin Lingg (Li&Co) did not stand for re-election in Berlin, but he will continue to provide expert support to the MMFA. The participants thanked the outgoing vice-chairman for his considerable personal and professional commitment. In his absence, Volker Kettler (Meisterwerke Schulte), previously an additional member of the board, was elected Lingg's successor by MMFA members. Following the members' vote, Sebastian Wendel (Akzenta) was appointed to Kettler's former position. Peter Hamberger (Hamberger) shall remain treasurer of the association.
Focusing on the complete flooring system
As was the case at the first meeting of ordinary members at the end of October 2013, the main focus of this meeting was on the association's activities. On the first day, a series of specialist talks provided the participants with detailed information on the topics of product labelling (Dirk Borchert, TÜV Rheinland) and selecting plastics for PVC flooring (Didier Naert, ExxonMobil). On the second day, the two MMFA working groups (Technology and Market Development) gathered once more for a joint meeting.
The first topic discussed by the Technology group was the continued development of European standards: the "prEN 16511" was voted through at the beginning of the year and the standard is expected to come into force as "EN 16511" shortly. The MMFA played an active role in the official committees, submitting information regarding technical descriptions and product requirements.
For the MMFA, it is essential that its technical work schedule looks at flooring as the overall system of different components. This is because only the right combination of underflooring, underlay material and multilayer modular flooring can exploit the full potential of the flooring system and extend its lifetime. A technical data sheet on this topic is currently undergoing development by the MMFA's "Underlay" working group. Gert Bauerfeind (Selit) presented a first draft of this document to members in Berlin. Furthermore, aspects such as laying, cleaning and care are also on the MMFA's agenda. Following appropriate preliminary work, the association hopes to issue concrete recommendations for handling underlay materials.
MMFA seminar on 16 September
In order to successfully position the new multilayer flooring products on the market as an independent category, floor laying professionals, retailers and experts need to have a better knowledge of the innovative products of this emerging industry and an understanding of their specific features. On 16 September 2014, the MMFA – together with the IFR (Institute for Flooring and Space Design) and the ZVR (Association of German Interior Designers) – will present a one-day training seminar in Cologne as a promotional sponsor. The target groups are the members of the ZVR, the ZVPF (Association for Parquet and Flooring Technology), the painting trade and, most importantly, flooring experts. If there is sufficiently strong demand, further seminars may subsequently be organised, possibly in other European countries.
The Marketing working group deals with the MMFA's second priority: the quarterly collection of MMFA sales statistics according to region and country. This involves recording the sales figures of floating, modular floorings, marketed by member manufacturers in three product categories: Class 1: polymer top layer on a HDF base material; Class 2: polymer top layer on other types of base material and Class 3: all products that do not come under Class 1 or 2 or any other external standards, such as special products with mixed compositions.
Publication of the Class 3 sales figures has not been permitted as of yet due to anti-trust provisions (at least five notifying companies). At Domotex 2014, the MMFA presented the first statistics for Classes 1 and 2, corresponding to all four quarters of 2012 and quarters 1 to 3 of 2013. These figures provided the initial reference values due to the small pool of data. Due to the encouraging increase in members, the collections of MMFA sales figures are currently being updated with retroactive effect to 2012.
In view of the large number of tasks to be addressed, the MMFA members will hold another group meeting in the autumn: the next meeting of ordinary members will thus take place in Frankfurt on 30 September and 1 October 2014. The next spring meeting is scheduled for 20 and 21 April 2015.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.