Are you visiting A+A 2013?
Manufacturers, buyers and retailers of PPE from around the world will be in Düsseldorf during November.
Gone are the days when protective footwear was simply functional. Obviously, the ability to protect the wearer is the most important aspect of a designer’s brief when he or she is faced with the responsibility of creating a new product. However, style has also become a vital tool in the modern footwear manufacturer’s strategy in an attempt to attract customers.
This fact is evident when considering the latest collections at specialist events such as A+A – possibly the largest trade fair and conference dedicated to personal protection, operational safety and health in the workplace. A+A is held every two years in the German city of Düsseldorf, and the 2013 show will open on 5th November. More than 60,000 international trade visitors are expected to attend during the four days of the exhibition, to learn about the products and services offered by 1,600 exhibiting companies.
Each of the show days will have a specific theme. Tuesday will be devoted to hazardous substances, Wednesday will concentrate on fire protection and disaster management at work, and both Thursday and Friday will particularly investigate PPE.
The A+A Congress, which takes place at the same time, is reportedly Europe’s largest discussion forum on safety and health at work. The programme is presented in both German and English. Visitors to A+A will be able to take advantage of a number of special shows and informative events, including fashion shows and design seminars.
Meet SATRA at the show
As one of Europe’s foremost test houses and Notified Bodies for PPE, SATRA has attended this exhibition regularly for many years. This year, we will be on stand 3F92 in hall 3, demonstrating new machines, such as the ISO cut tester and the new model Martindale abrader.
The last time the exhibition was held (in 2011), SATRA’s stand received a steady stream of visitors, and our staff were kept busy answering technical queries and enquiries for testing or certification. These covered the full range of SATRA’s test and Notified Body activities, including ISO 9000 auditing. We were also available to help and support members with enquiries from their customers where appropriate.
Members of SATRA are often keen to display ‘Member of SATRA’ logos on their stands, and they recognise the added value of having their products certified by SATRA. Clearly, for manufacturers or distributors of safety footwear and other items of PPE, this is one of the best opportunities to showcase new product ranges and, while November may seem a long way off, it is necessary to begin making preparations now. There is nothing more important, particularly in the current economic climate, than ensuring that your footwear is fully tested and certified to the latest European and international standards by a highly reputable Notified Body such as SATRA, ready for the exhibition.
At SATRA, we are at the forefront of European Committee for Centralisation (Comité Européen de Normalisation – ‘CEN’) activities, and we are represented on all of the relevant CEN committees. We are, therefore, confident that we always are aware of the latest news, developments and proposed changes as they happen. This is invaluable in providing our members with the most up-to-date advice.
As a consequence, particularly at this time leading up to a major exhibition, we find ourselves testing and certifying new products ready for launch. We provide a fast and efficient testing programme to all our customers, and can offer constructive help and advice, where appropriate to our members, right from the sample development stage. Our customers find this assistance – from concept to certification – invaluable in reducing development times and getting certificates quickly.
The SATRA test laboratory in Dongguan offers customers manufacturing safety footwear in China a very convenient way of getting their products tested for CE marking. This provides an ideal opportunity to have products type-approved by SATRA in time for A+A.
SATRA members at A+A
A number of SATRA members will be exhibiting their products and services at A+A 2013, including the following:
The new Walkline shoe – part of the ‘Energy Footwear’ solution that consists of shoes, insoles and socks – will be displayed on the Bata Industrials stand. Developed in close collaboration with Norwegian biomechanics scientist, Terje Haugaa, Walkline is claimed to have a number of revolutionary features. These include a sole with varying densities, with hard and soft sections utilised in order to balance shock-absorption, stability and support for the foot’s natural rolling movement.
Cofra will be showcasing a variety of safety boots, including its Bering BIS S3 CI WR SRC, Konan S3 SRC, Trivela S1 P SRC and New Oakland S3 HRO SRC, all of which are said to meet EN ISO 20345:2011. Among these styles are a number of features, including water-repellent grain leather uppers, 100 per cent polyester textile linings, gel heel inserts and anatomical, antistatic, antibacterial PU footbeds, as well as non-metallic toe caps and midsoles.
Dickies has launched a new range of PPE products, including a comprehensive selection of safety footwear fitted with either steel toe caps or a composite casing. In addition, Dickies are introducing new lines in shock absorbing and heat-resistant PU/rubber soles. High slip-resistant and non-clogging sole patterns are also planned for release in 2014.
Part of the Plinio Fleck Group, Flecksteel is a major producer of steel, aluminium and composite toe caps and stainless steel midsoles for safety footwear. The company will be showcasing its entire range at A+A – an event that coincides with its 64th year of trading.
The full range of YDS technical footwear – including firefighting footwear – and Goliath special hazard footwear will be shown at A+A. A DDR sole unit with integrated bump cap will be launched at the event which, it is claimed, offers greater protection and better reliability than ever before. Other footwear on display will include a new quick-release boot for workers in aluminium foundries, a new range of metatarsal protective boots and a linesman boot with a reinforced sole instep to ensure rigidity and stability while the wearer is climbing utility poles.
Harvik Rubber Industries specialises in the manufacture of rubber safety footwear designed to provide protection for workers within a variety of occupations. These include firefighters, chainsaw users, miners, construction workers and food processing personnel, as well as staff requiring dielectric boots and footwear for other industrial applications.
Magnum will be showcasing a number of footwear products, including the new Armadillo HPi shoe for healthcare professionals. This was introduced followed the company’s research into the healthcare market, and is said to feature an anti-bacterial memory foam insole, a needle-resistant leather upper and liquid/blood-borne pathogen-resistant materials. Magnum’s footwear range includes products for law enforcement, military, fire, rescue, emergency medical and service agency applications.
A+A is marketed as the place to find the latest innovative products, trends, scientific discoveries and developments in the areas of safety and security. Undoubtedly – as in past editions – this international event will prove to be a valuable resource for everyone involved in the protective footwear supply chain.
How can we help?
Visit SATRA’s experts at the A+A Show on stand 3F92 to discuss your specific product development, testing and certification requirements, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This article was originally published on page 42 of the July/August 2013 issue of SATRA Bulletin.