The Annual Meeting of the MMFA – the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association – was held in Thansau, Upper Bavaria, on 9 and 10 May at the invitation of extraordinary member Schattdecor AG. Around 60 industry experts were present, who took the opportunity to work together on Association projects and share information within the network on the latest developments. New members attending for the first time were: Aspecta, Novalis, ter Hürne and Toppan.
The MMFA membership figure grew to 38 at the beginning of 2016. During the meeting, Association President Matthias Windmöller formally welcomed the representatives of new recruits Aspecta BV (Oud Gastel, Netherlands), Novalis (Bonn), ter Hürne (Südlohn) and Toppan (Düsseldorf).
The incumbent MMFA Board Members and the cash auditor presented themselves for re-election. The Members’ Meeting confirmed all candidates unanimously for a further two years in their posts: Mr Matthias Windmöller as Chairman of the Board, Mr Volker Kettler as Vice- Chairman, Mr Sebastian Wendel as Member of the Board and Dr Peter Hamberger as Cash Auditor.
Successes in research work
Volker Kettler of Meisterwerke (Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Technical Working Group) teamed up with Dr Rico Emmler (IHD Dresden) to present current successes in research work being initiated by the Association. Since last summer, two MMFA working groups have been engaged in devising new parameters for testing the locking strength and temperature resistance of MMF planks. These series of tests – carried out in collaboration with the IHD in Dresden – have already produced solid results and have led to significant new findings. The MMFA wants to conclude these pilot projects during the course of 2016. Later, the results can be channelled back into CEN work on continuing to develop the content of standards relating to multilayer and LVT. The MMFA is also working on a new pilot project concerning upper surface hot spots on MMF flooring – a situation that can occur in practice through solar radiation, e.g. with floor-to-ceiling glazing.
The aim of this research is to work out new, practical test methods for floating MMF flooring installations, taking into account the different click systems and a variety of underlay materials. The members of the MMFA Ad Hoc Group responsible for this are in agreement that the standard tests used to date are inadequate; the only way to obtain a clear picture is to combine several test methods, so that reliable conclusions on evaluating product quality can be drawn.
Multilayer market constantly growing
During the meeting, Sebastian Wendel (Akzenta), Chairman of the Market Development Working Group, confirmed the positive trend for MMF flooring and that the market continues to develop well. Over the last three years, an annual increase of 20% has been recorded for MMFA Class 1 products (substrate based on HDF with polymer layer, excluding lacquer only systems) – where Association members account for approx. 95% of market coverage. For MMFA members, 80% of the sales volume in this category relates to the German/Austrian/Swiss region.
Similarly, annual rises in product sales figures have been registered for MMFA Class 2 (substrate based on polymer or polymer composite with polymer layer and/or polymer lacquer system), although the increase in the number of producers reporting sales volumes for this category is due to the growth in membership, so it is not possible to draw a direct comparison with the previous year’s figures. Data on MMFA Class 3 (all other flooring structures which are not covered by Class 1 or 2 or external standards, such as organic wear layers or mineral core material) cannot be published yet due to antitrust regulations claimed by at least five reporting companies.
Over the next three years, the MMFA expects an annual increase of 10‑15% per year for the modular multilayer flooring market as a whole. Mr Windmöller, President, predicts exciting innovations for the next three to five years and a simultaneous process of market adjustment, whereby future-proofed products will win through. The MMFA wants to continue its fight to enforce high quality standards for modular multilayer (MMF) products in all markets. To this end, not only does the Association carry out its own pilot research projects, it also promotes cooperative links with other institutes in the industry and is involved in international standards committees.
MMFA working groups will meet for further sessions throughout the year and the next Ordinary Members’ Meeting will be held on 27 and 28 April 2017 in Porto, Portugal, at the invitation of ordinary member Amorim.