In March 2020, composites industry experts Dr Michael Effing and Frank M Bruns, both based in Germany, officially brought together their 70 years of experience to provide composites companies with advice about acquisitions and divestitures, business transformation and crisis management. (Figure 1) Four weeks later, Covid-19 lockdown began, and the two men are in a unique position to use their knowledge of the last 20 years to help companies through the next 20 years where the industry will have to adapt to a new reality in order to succeed. I spoke to Michael and Frank about the past and the future of composites.

Reinforced Plastics (RP): Tell me about your backgrounds?

Dr Michael Effing (ME): I have more than 30 years in the composite industry working for five multinational companies as general manager or president, starting with DuPont in the US, followed by Owens Corning and Johns Manville, Huntsman. I was then president of DSM Composite Resins based in Switzerland until 2012. So, I learned about the world of the raw material producers working for global companies and all ingredients of composites – from fibers to resins. And then in 2012, I created my own company, AMAC GmbH, based in in Aachen, Germany. This was, in a way, going back home, because that’s where I graduated from as an engineer in aerospace and with a doctorate in composites, many years ago. For many years I have been the Chairman of the German trade associations AVK and Composites Germany.

Frank M Bruns (FB): I have worked in the international plastic surface and composite industry for more than 35 years, including 32 years in leading C-Level positions, and for more than 20 years I have successfully been the CEO of international manufacturing family enterprise businesses in the process and consumer prints industry. I worked, for example, for Freudenberg and Lohmann Nonwovens, Dynamit Nobel Kunststoffe/Menzolit-Fibron, Constantia Industries/impress in Austria, and my last employer was the SURTECO Group/Döllken located in Germany. Since March 2020, I’ve been working as an independent entrepreneur and have founded a company called Alpha Executive Advisory, located in Heidelberg. In this capacity I act as an operational advisor for German Mittelstand and international companies. My personal experience includes from fibers to nonwovens and composites, granulates to plastics edge bands, decorative papers, semi-finished and finished goods as well as component supplying. My expertise is in general international change and restructuring management and crisis management.

This article appeared in the November–December 2020 issue of Reinforced Plastics. Log in to your free profile to access this article.

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