59th FEIBP Annual Congress – Leipzig, Germany - Brush Expert Report

The 59th annual FEIBP Congress was held this September in the ancient city of Leipzig, Germany.  The city’s earliest written mention was in 1010 when the settlement between 2 major trading routes began.  The first trade fair in the world was held here in 1,190. Leipzig has been noted for many significant events for example; the Reformation began in 1539 with Martin Luther’s sermon in St Thomas’ Church, the decisive battle against Napoleon took place in Leipzig in 1813 and in the Autumn of 1989 the Peaceful Revolution began with Monday church meetings outside and around St Nicholas Church. Eventually over 70,000 people congregated lighting candles and placing them in the square to oppose the strictures of government within the GDR culminating in the tumbling of the Berlin Wall and the repatriation of Germany East and West.

Notable figures such as Richard Wagner, Karl Liebknecht, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Sebastian Bach also have strong connections with Leipzig, and it is well known that the first daily newspaper in the world was published here.
With such an important heritage, it was a fitting setting for the Congress of the last term of office for the President, Thorsten Stollberg of Wistoba, Germany.

The impressive central Steinberger Hotel was a superb venue being within walking distance of many famous places as well as some of the evening venues and partner tours.

Auerbach’s Keller, one of the two oldest restaurants in Leipzig was the venue for the first evening. A restaurant has been on this site for nearly 600 years mentioned in print in 1438.  The current Auerbach’s Keller has been here since the 16th century with various refurbishments. It owes its worldwide reputation to Goethe’s play “Faust”, being the place Mephistopheles first takes Faust on their travels. Two bronze figures are found at the top of each set of stairs.

The meetings proceeded in usual order starting with the official opening of the congress by President Thorsten Stollberg. Thorsten introduced the congress and the working groups, especially the new working group for Personal Care Brushware, encouraging the delegates to join in and take home what they will have learned. He announced the new partnership between Loewert and DS Commodities and the opportunity to meet them and other major suppliers in the Brush Forum. He informed all about the Porsche event informing those that may have heart pacemakers that they would not be allowed into the factory – he suggested glibly that they might just turn them off!!

Dieter Lessmann, Director or Lessmann GmbH, Chairman of the German Association which hosted the event, welcomed all delegates. from over 11 countries and three continents and encouraged all to participate fully and enjoy the wonderful surroundings of this Saxony town.

Carlos Petzold, newly appointed President of the ABMA, thanked the FEIBP for his and his wife’s welcome to the congress. He delivered his speech first in expert German, then in English. He was proud to state that his family on his father’s side were rooted in Leipzig and Germany going back 5 generations and therefore, this was where his appreciation of Germany came from. He gratefully thanked the FEIBP for the wonderful rococo plate presented to the ABMA on their 100th anniversary this year.  He opined that it was ironic that being from the Italian firm Borghi, that is situated near to Modena, the home of Ferrari, that the Thursday evening event would be a visit to Porsche that he as well as many other delegates were looking forward to.  He invited all FEIBP members to participate in the ABMA congress in March next year assuring them of a warm welcome.

Thorsten then individually welcomed each new delegate who stood to the warm applause of the audience. – Denis Schlaf from Osborn; Bend Fischer and Thomas Halbruker Roth Composite Machinery (Schlesinger); John Rainey Denroy Plastics Ltd; Juergen Tabert from Woehler Brush Tech GmbH; Julian Rottner Defet from Da Vinci Kuenstlerpinselfabrik Defet GmbH and Michaela Deffner-Wagner from Gregor Deffner .

Fons Ceelaert, continued with the agenda and introduced Peter Langenegger, Alessandro Aquaderni and Simone Lorrielliere who informed the delegates describing the new attributes of the Association’s website, its analytics and additional new pages.

The companies that were nominated for the Innovation Award were given the platform to address the delegates and explain and enthuse on each of their products that would be voted on in the Brush Forum planned for Friday morning.  You will find separate press releases in the News pages.

After the coffee break, the keynote speaker, Joerg Heynkes, delivered his views on “The most important innovations for the coming 260 weeks”.  He impressed us with amazing statistics and his vision of the future and the way our world will have changed in just 260 weeks, the affect robotics and 3d imaging will have on manufacturing future; voice or eye driven passwords, single passenger drones, hop on hop off electric taxis much of which is being manufactured now.  it was an amazing talk and opened many discussions in the ensuing coffee break. More can be found by visiting joerghaynkes.de or emailing Joerg at mail@joergheynkes.de

The first two Working Groups were held before lunch; the Hygiene Brushware group and the NEW group for Personal. After lunch, the working groups were Paintbrushes Group and Technical Brushes Group. Reports for each of the Working Groups will published in our News pages as soon as they become available.

After the meetings had closed, the delegates and partners were taken out for the evening in to visit and have dinner at the impressive Porsche factory where 950 cars are produced every day! The whole factory is highly automated using a gently moving conveyor system to allow workers to work below, above and around each car from the separate parts finally marrying together before the finishers completed the interior and exterior.  Each car is humanly tested around the small track outside the factory which, was the highlight of the evening for our delegates too!  Anyone who wished was treated to a lap (at high screeching speed!) around the track in two of the latest 4-wheel drive models.  There was a crowd to get a turn as you can imagine!  Afterwards we were dined in their roof top area where many of the cars are on show.

The Brush Forum is now quite popular with a lot more stands taken and similarly more visitors showing their interest in the components and machinery on offer.  The Innovation Award’s ballot box was on show at the Forum for votes and during the lunch break the votes were counted.  The winners were Ebnat with their double-sided tongue cleaner, second place was taken by Zahn for their cake painting brushes and third place went to Da Vinci for their travel artist brush set with synthetic bristle that were a very close match for fine animal hair.  Innovation Award press releases can be found in the News section.

After a break, the general assembly convened for the outcome of the Working Groups, the Raw Materials Market Reports (published in the News pages as they become available) and the treasurers report. The Innovation Award results were given along with the appropriate certificates and the plate for the winners and, of course, to thank the outgoing President and welcome the incoming.

Fons Ceelaert, General Manager of the FEIBP gave thanks to Thorsten for his efficient hard work for the group and grateful thanks too to Carmen Stollberg for her almost single-handed wonderful efforts in organising the whole event.  Peter gave a short speech committing himself to working in the same vein for the FEIBP during his two-year office as President and to continuing the good work on the website.

There was a short video and introduction for next year’s congress by Daniele Quimper, Secretary of the French Association and Pierre Simler, President of the French Association who will host the 60th FEIBP Congress in Bordeaux, South West France.  It will be held during 26th – 28th September 2018 at the prestigious Hotel Mercure Bordeaux Cite Mondiale Centre Ville Hotel, situated on the left bank of the Garonne river in the heart of Bordeaux; the acclaimed wine capital of the world!  Be sure to put those dates in your diary and book your space as soon as registration opens. It will be a fabulous venue!

Following lunch, the delegates who wanted to, joined together in the local park for a round of ‘Cross golfing’. This sport is not played on a course but around and between trees using the trees, foliage and flora as obstacles through which to score points with a lightweight ball, therefore avoiding accidents. The participants were split into teams of 4 and thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon team building.

Partners were fantastically entertained each day.  On Thursday, they were offered a morning walking and boat tour along the canals of the city and after lunch at the Steizenhaus restaurant the day was rounded off with a guided bus tour of Leipzig pointing out the famous buildings and history of the city.  On Friday, they visited the interesting museum where the huge panoramic pictures (32 meters high x 110 meters long!) showing intricate detail of the Titanic, made by artist Yadegar Asisi, were on show. 
The finale of the congress is always the Gala Dinner.  This year it was held in the Panorama Tower, the tallest sharpest building in the centre of Leipzig with wonderful views, especially from the very top. The tables were arranged in two areas with the music supplied by a gifted singer and guitarist group, Lucyco in the centre section which held the dance floor. They entertained the audience well into the early hours.

There are many images to be seen in the Image Gallery (link here) where you will find pictures from each segment of the congress separated for easier visibility.  Please download those you are interested in by ’right-click’ on the image and selecting ‘save picture as’ into your computer. If they are to be used for publication please inform us so that the correct credit be assured.

Make sure to book space in your diary for 2018, we will keep you informed well in advance!

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