FEIBP Congress 2018 Report– Bordeaux, France


The 60th FEIBP (European Brushware Federation) Congress was held from 26 to 28 September 2018 in the elegant host city of Bordeaux in south-western France. The Congress hotel Mercure Cité Mondiale Centre Ville is located in an enviable position on the banks of the Garonne river and was the ideal place for Federation members to gather for 3 days of information sharing, networking and to explore the delights of this cosmopolitan city. Organised this year by the French Brushware Federation (FFB), the destination couldn’t have been more perfect, particularly as the city basked in glorious sunshine more reminiscent of the height of summer than its actual late-September timing.

Wednesday 26th September, 2018

This year’s golf event, organised by Andrew McIlroy, FEIBP Vice President, kick-started the Congress. The 10 registered participants enjoyed great weather and idyllic conditions for golf on the Les Vignes course at the Golf du Medoc resort. This now annually-hosted event drew players from across Europe, as well as a significant delegation from the United States, and was an entertaining start to the Congress.

Those delegates and partners that had arrived prior to the commencement of the Congress proper were invited to join the first of the social program tours to the charming, UNESCO-listed medieval commune of Saint-Emillion. The guided tour of the village, its historic ruins and underground catacombs was followed by wine-tasting in the splendid gardens and lunch in the former marketplace in the heart of the commune.

The excursion was rounded-off with a visit to the Chateau Villemaurine including a tour of its vast ageing cellars and a tasting of its famous Grand Cru Classé wines.  It was widely-reported to have been an exceptional tour, enjoyed by all.

All delegates and their guests came together on that first evening for a welcome cocktail in the Congress hotel. Afterwards, at the kind invitation of the FFB, the party moved to the Hotel Vatel situated on the Quai des Chartrons where canapes and drinks were served.

Thursday September 27th, 2018

The 60th FEIBP Congress was launched with the Official Opening Session and a welcome by current FEIBP President, Peter Langenegger who thanked the Congress organisers, spearheaded by Danièle Quemper Nguyen (Official Secretary) and Pierre Simler of Nespoli (FFB CEO) on behalf of the Federation.

Pierre Simler, FFB President, welcomed everyone to Bordeaux and gave thanks to his colleagues and to Brosserie Brenet for supplying the 60th Anniversary commemorative brushes given to all delegates.

First time attendees were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to the delegation and to give a short review of their respective companies and operations.

To mark the 60th Anniversary Congress of the FEIBP, an updated version of the “50 Years” commemorative book released 10 years ago was prepared by the family Acquaderni of SIT, Italy, most notably by Susanna Cavazza, whose remarkable efforts were reflected in the pages of wonderful photos from 40 of the 60 Congresses that have taken place since the very first meeting in Brussels. The book was available for purchase throughout the Congress, with many copies sold.

As an ongoing gesture of the close working relationship between the FEIBP and the American Brush Manufacturers Association, an open invitation is extended to ABMA member companies to attend the annual FEIBP Congress. ABMA President, Carlos Petzold, congratulated the Federation on its 60th anniversary and urged all present to work together with unified aims and encouraged open-minded, respectful dialogue.

He also gave details of the 102nd ABMA Annual Convention that will take place in Atlantis Resort, Bahamas from 20 to 23 March 2019 and invited delegates to attend. Peter Langenegger presented Carlos with a copy of the 60 years commemorative book as a mark of the friendship between the associations.

Daniel Strowitzki of FWTM/Messe Freiburg was on hand to share the latest information regarding Interbrush 2020 which will take place from 06 to 08 May 2020. With only 18 months to go until the next edition of the world-famous exhibition for brush machinery and components, exhibitor registration is now open, with 30% of hall-space already reserved. More information can be found in the press release available via this link and updates will be shared with readers as they are released.

This year, the annual FEIBP Innovation Award attracted 3 nominations (click links to view full details):
Representatives of each company were given the opportunity to explain their innovations ahead of voting on Friday.

The FEIBP Congress is the setting for the key meetings of the Working Groups of the Association covering Personal Care Brushware, Technical Brushware, Hygiene Brushware (PHB) and Paintbrushes. Each Working Group was well-attended and participants discussed minutes from the previous meetings, economic trends apparent within their respective industries, revisions and reviews of standards, technical and legal issues and contributions to the FEIBP website.
The Thursday Partner Program tour was formed of two parts, with the morning being dedicated to a biking tour of the city, taking in the impressive waterfront from both left and right banks. In the afternoon, guests were treated to a visit to the renowned Cité du Vin attraction billed as “a journey through time and space to discover wine in its universal, heritage, civilizational and cultural dimensions”.

After a delicious lunch in the hotel’s restaurant, the afternoon session embarked with a plenary session in which speaker Thomas Serval, co-founder and CEO of the Kolibree company gave his keynote speech “Bushes and Artificial Intelligence”. The company’s options for integrating AI into brush design have led to revolutionary advances in improving oral hygiene by tracking and reporting on brushing data.

Thereafter, delegates were divided into two groups, with each group taking turns to participate in the two Interactive & Explorative Sessions:

The workshop “Digital Fabrication and Prototyping a Click Away” was led by Lea Maleh and introduced online prototyping platforms with tips for choosing the right prototyping technology, as well as how to find an online provider to model prototypes and included live demonstrations.

The second workshop “Predictive Maintenance” was hosted by speaker Guillaume Le Vézouët and discussed how to anticipate a breakdown in production, control the shutdown of machines, increase their service life and reduce the stocks of spare parts using various digital technologies. Both practical sessions were well-received and attendees participated enthusiastically.

In the evening, all attendees were invited aboard the cruise ship “Sicambre”. The gourmet cruise took in the stunning sites of Bordeaux from the water, made all the more  pleasant  by the continued wonderful weather.

Friday September 28th, 2018

Whilst partners headed off for a guided walking tour of Bordeaux that included a visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts (or Museum of Fine Arts) housed in the 18th century Hôtel de Ville and instituted by Napoleon's decree in 1801, delegates congregated for the Brush Forum; a table-top display in which suppliers of machinery and components exhibited their latest innovations. The event was busier than ever before and certainly a great success.

The FEIBP General Assembly took place immediately after the Brush Forum and commenced with reports given by representatives of the various Working Groups: Thomas Holland-Letz for the Technical Brushware Working Group, Thorsten Stollberg for the Paintbrush Working Group, Philip Coward for the PHB Working Group and Chris Boomer for the Personal Care Working Group.

This was followed by the annual Raw Materials reports, in which the following spokespersons from the different component sectors gave reviews of the state of play of their respective areas over the past 12 months (click links at the bottom of the article to view presentations):

  • Urte Rietdorf, Friedrich Platt GmbH – Vegetable Fibres
  • Andrew McIlroy, Hahl Filaments GmbH – Synthetic Filaments
  • Reinhold Hörz, DKSH – Bristle
  • Mark Samuel, Mark Samuel Trading – Fine Hair
  • Holger Kruse, Gustav Wolf GmbH – Wire

Next on the agenda was the presentation of prizes for Wednesday’s golf tournament, with the top 3 places awarded as follows:

1st – Günther Mückenfuss, formerly of Hahl Filaments GmbH
2nd – James Benjamin, Precision Brush Co
3rd – Chris Monahan, Brush Fibers Inc

Fons Ceelaert, FEIBP Manager, gave a short report on the last 12 months within the industry, remarking upon signs of low economic growth within the EU and the pressure on the Euro, as well as price pressures and cheap products affecting the industry from overseas. Despite this, the brush industry is showing stability and the association is performing well, yet still on the look-out for new members.

He went on to thank family Stollberg for their perfectly organised Congress in Leipzig in 2017, before thanking the current  board members and announcing the members for the coming year to include Peter Langenegger as President, Andrew McIlroy as Vice President, Thorsten Stollberg as Past President and Andrea Acquaderni as Treasurer.

Once again, Fons led a huge round of applause for the services of the FFB, particularly Pierre Simler and Danièle Quemper Nguyen, for their perfect Congress organisation, as well as to the family Acquaderni for their efforts in preparing the updated anniversary book.

Andrea Acqauderni gave his Treasurers report on the financial experiences of the Association over the last 12 months, before the announcement of the outcome of the Innovation Award vote. In the closest contest to date, the spoils went to the overall winner which was Nespoli’s “Click&RollBox10”. Second place went to Lessmann’s “Multithread Adaptor” and third place to Ebnat’s “Click” dish brush system.

The FEIBP’s 61st Congress will be organised by the Swiss Association and will be held in Luzern from 25 to 28 September 2019. Peter Langenegger was pleased to share the early plans which will include a special Swiss evening, a gala dinner and golf tournament to be held at the Küssnacht course. Full details will be released via the www.brushexpert.com Newsletter and FEIBP page as they are announced.

Long-standing FEIBP member Rudi Schwitter of Alfons Hophan AG (HOLA) has recently announced that he will retire from the company at the end of the year after 47 years of service, meaning that this year’s Congress was his last. His first Congress was in 1997 Budapest and he has only missed one since – a remarkable achievement and worthy of the loud applause of all present when he stood to bid them goodbye and gave heartfelt thanks for the moments shared with fellow members. The FEIBP board presented Rudi with a bottle of fine Château Samion wine produced in the Bordeaux region.

In the late afternoon, all attendees were taken by coach to the spectacular Château La Louvière where knowledgeable guides shared details of the estate’s 700-year-old wine-growing history and gave a tour of the impressive cellars, showing how their wines are produced today.

Afterwards, the group moved on to the nearby Château Couhins-Lurton, where guests were invited to sample the different wines produced and enjoy some beautifully prepared appetisers on its beautiful terrace area overlooking its vines. The party then moved indoors where a sumptuous dinner was served – entertainment most notably provided by Lorenzo Ghidini of Borghi SpA who took to the microphone to serenade guests in true Italian style! This evening of good food, great company and fun entertainment was a resounding success and the perfect way to finish this year’s Congress.

Photos of the event can be found in the www.brushexpert.com Image Gallery and via the links at the bottom of the article.
FEIBP Congress 2018 - Bordeaux, France - Business Sessions & Brush Forum
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FEIBP Congress 2018 - Bordeaux, France - Social Occasions
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