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26-28 September 2019
Annual Conference of the European Brush Association

A brief review of the 61st FEIBP Congress in Lucerne

The European brush industry gathered in Lucerne, in the heart of Switzerland, for a remarkable FEIBP Congress, which took place from 26-28 September 2019.

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Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its attractions, its attractive shopping offer, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby excursion mountains of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland. Complete with gable paintings, the covered, medieval Chapel Bridge forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe. Historic houses decorated with frescoes line the picturesque town squares as they do the Weinmarkt square in the car-free old town. Tradition and modernity stand side-by-side with ease in Lucerne, as the town has also earned a reputation for itself with innovative design.

Around 120 delegates and partners as well as press representatives from various European countries met in the four-star hotel Astoria in the middle of Lucerne. Other guests came from Tunisia and the USA.

FEIBP President Peter Langenegger and his colleague Peter Brunner (both Ebnat AG, CH) organized an excellent congress with an entertaining supporting program. The carefree hours amidst traditional Swiss folklore and customs during the cosy evening in the historic restaurant Stadtkeller as well as the magical gala evening in the luxurious Park Hotel Vitznau directly on the shores of Lake Lucerne were an absolute highlight.

One day before the start of the congress Andrew McIlroy (Perlon) had organised a small golf competition at the Küssnacht Golf Club. The attractive 18-hole course is varied and challenging for beginners as well as for the single-digit handicap player.

ABMA President D. Scott Enchelmaier welcomed the delegates on behalf of the American Brush Association.

The working groups Technical Brushes (Chair: Alessandro Acquaderni), Professional Hygiene Brushes (Chair: Philip Coward), Brush Manufacturers (Chair: Piet van Erp) as well as Products for Personal Care (Chair: Christopher Boomer) were all well attended with the positive result that every year more and more interesting topics are discussed openly and make these meetings more and more valuable.

Traditionally, FEIBP member companies reported on the current market situation for raw materials: Bristles (Reinhold Hörz of DKSH Switzerland Ltd.), Vegetable Fibres (Urte Rietdorf, Friedrich Platt GmbH), Fine Hair (Mark Samuel Trading Co. Ltd.), Thermoplastic Polymers (Andrew McIlroy, PERLON). The Brush Forum is an important part of the congress. Experts from the industry meet to exchange ideas and make new business contacts.

The brush and paintbrush industry has repeatedly proven itself to be a branch of ideas. This was demonstrated by the four applicant companies in this year's competition for the FEIBP Innovation Award.

For the first time in the history of the innovation prize there were two first place winners: Wistoba Pinstelfabrik GmbH (Germany) with the V12 Brush Concept and Van Dams Kwastenfabriek BV (the Netherlands) with the Duo Brush for Professional Painters. Third prize went to Ebnat AG (Switzerland) for its baby bottle cleaning brush.

The keynote speakers Prof. Dr. Sita Mazumder and Rudolf T. A. Greger held sti-mulating and entertaining discussions with the congress delegates on the topics: How can older and new generations in our industry be bridged? Typical features of Generation X Y Z were used as a basis. As well as the question: What should be done to make the congress format future-proof? Initial solutions were worked out in groups, which will be discussed further in the near future.

Three exciting, stimulating and entertaining congress days have come to an end. Many thanks to the FEIBP organizers, all participating members and partners as well as the European and Swiss sponsors for their active support.

Andrew McIlroy (Perlon Company) presented a brief preview in preparation for the 62nd FEIBP Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, which will take place from 23-25 September 2020, together with a warm invitation to all delegates to attend the Congress.

Brush Scene® reports in its year-end issue (Nov.-Dec. 6/2019) in detail about the 61st FEIBP Congress in Lucerne / Switzerland with numerous colour photos.

Source: Text & Photos: ©2019 Brush Scene®