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In-house seminar of the Trofil Company on March 22, 2012 in Hennef near Bonn, Germany

An audience made up of community representatives, architects, sport associations and industry came together at the production plant of the synthetic turf manufacturer Trofil on March 22, 2012 to learn about the topic of synthetic turf – standards, quality and price.

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When the topic is synthetic turf, then on the company's own turf, so to speak. Following the event, the participants also had the opportunity of seeing how the synthetic turf is manufactured.
Questions posed by Mr Wedell included how manufacturers describe customer benefits and how they can determine the optimal implementation of customer requirements. In addition, the managing director of Trofil encouraged participants and speakers to play an active part in a neutral and expert discussion of the question synthetic turf versus natural grass, price and manufacturing as well as standardisation. Further topics brought up by Mr Wedell were the sustainability of synthetic turf as a "supplement in and for nature" or "synergies between technology and nature". This included environmental compatibility of synthetic turf and benefits for people who through this, can live in tune with nature.
In his opening presentation, Mr Wedell, managing director of the start-up company Trofil for more than 12 months, introduced the company based in Hennef and its product range. All materials, such as yarn, twine and texturing, are chosen and manufactured by Trofil in-house. The mother company, Monofil, has been active with yarn and fibres for manufacturers of synthetic turf since 1984. Versatility is important for Trofil, enabling them to adjust the product assortment flexibly to suit customer requirements – a good strategy in the strongly competitive synthetic turf market. The family-owned company sets its faith in a wide product range; everything is possible from sport pitches to printed trade fair event flooring. Eike Wedell believes that top quality and high technological standards allow cost-optimised manufacturing to be carried out long-term in Germany. Based on flexibility, customer-orientation and cooperation with suppliers, Trofil intends further strengthening and increasing its market presence.
After a short break, Dennis Frank from the institute for sport facility testing (Institut für Sportstättenprüfung, ISP) in Bad Laer, Germany spoke about the standard "Din SPEC 18035-7:2011-10 for synthetic turf fields" – a topic which has currently caused no small controversy and has greatly unsettled the trade. The ISP is specialised in laboratory testing according to ISO 17025 and under the leadership of Dr. Uwe Schattke tests in its own laboratories turf for sport halls and outdoor facilities. Mr Frank presented the most significant changes: an increase in force absorption, reduction of vertical deformation and the increase in number of field measuring points from 6 to 19 points. Mr Frank pointed out that the DIN SPEC is not a standard in the classical sense but a specification SPEC, and an adjustment to the European standard. With the introduction of a new testing process, high requirements will be made on synthetic turf.
In his presentation, Daniel Schockmann from the Genan Company, introduced this granulate manufacturing company based in Viborg (Denmark). He mentioned the advantages of manufacturing granulate from environmentally compatible substances such as old tires (which must conform to the European standard), which is used in nearly 90% of all synthetic turf pitches worldwide.
Following this, Björn Hammel from the ProGame Trocellen Group, with headquarters in Troisdorf near Bonn, Germany, presented the benefits of elastic layers for synthetic turf floor coverings. Functionally, these both present a good combination of force reduction and vertical deformation providing many advantages for athletes such as a reduced risk of injury. This is a pre-manufactured as metre-goods which requires no granules or bonding agent to be used on the building site. Its installation is quick and does not require machinery - a real alternative to rubber granules.
René Auerbach and Stephan Viel, employees of the event organiser TROFIL, presented other fields of business of the company. Along with the GalaBau trade fair, there are a number of other reference examples of indoor halls, small pitches, hockey fields, golf courses and private garden use of Trofil products proving that they can be used in a variety of ways. Synthetic turf is a very versatile product and is gaining in acceptance for an increasing number of application areas.
The field of sport facility installation was presented by Hollander Ron de Vlieger from the Henitech B.V. Company, who explained the most important structures (drainage, substrate and design) using a selection of examples. He emphasised that many mistakes in construction of sport pitches can be avoided by good planning taking into account the local conditions with regard to substrate material. A geological survey or soil assessment as planning basis and a regular check of all construction segments, ensure good quality and prevent unplanned costs being incurred.
Closing the presentations was final speaker Achim Höse from the Berleburger Schaumstoffwerke GmbH. He spoke about elastic layers for synthetic turf systems in local planning procedures and requirements or loading experienced during building and installation work as well as in use. He also presented the advantages of synthetic fall protection flooring in public buildings and the possibilities of using this kind of floor covering in a variety of colours and versions in sport facilities. As the material is very versatile, it can be used for both playground and sports surfaces. A very good example of this is the tartan running track in the Olympic stadium in Berlin where Usain Bolt achieved his world sprint record in 2008. Bolt still runs today on a training track made of BWS material.
Summarising the whole event it can be said that the different uses of synthetic turf were discussed in detail. Participants were treated to a very intensive impression of a manufacturing plant and the controversy of the new DIN SPEC was explained and discussed. There was also plenty of impulse for innovation and new ideas for participants to take away with them. All in all a very successful event which will hopefully be continued.

Trofils exhibition booth at GaLaBau 2012 in Nürnberg: Hall 1, booth 1-319

Foto: Trofil

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