The Deutsche Email Verband e. V. is the German association for the overall enamel industry, its suppliers and the people employed at these enterprises. It is a state-recognized professional institution. The purpose of the association is the pursuit and promotion of the common member interests. Its aim is to deploy suitable activities to make all interested business and consumer communities understand the importance of enamel as a material.
In Germany, the first union of professionals from the enamel industry took place more than 75 years ago, when the Verein Deutscher Emailfachleute (VDEfa) was founded during the 1931 industrial fair in Leipzig. This technically and scientifically interested body was composed of both industrial firms and individuals. To advance the enamelling technology and provide a platform for the interchange of ideas was always the main concern of the association. In 1961, the Deutsches Email-Zentrum – DEZ was formed as a marketing organization. Apart from publicity and information of the general public, main focus of this centre was to find new fields of application. In 1995, the coexistence of enamel associations was brought to an end by a merger. This was the beginning of the Deutsche Email Verband with the structure as it is today. Presently, the DEV is composed of about 200 members. The institutional members are enamelling firms, frit manufacturers, steel producers, service providers, universities and suppliers of systems, equipment and raw materials.
Klaus-Achim Wendel was born on 9 October 1961 in Dillenburg, Germany. He has a younger brother, Jörg (born in 1963), and is single.
Wendel attended primary school in Dillenburg before progressing to the local high school, where he took his school certificate (Abitur) in 1981, before enrolling first at the Albertus Magnus University in Cologne, then the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, where he studied Economics and Business, graduating with an MBA in Finance (under Prof. Dr. Herbert Hax), Auditing (under Prof. Dr. Günter Sieben) and Social Policy (under Prof. Dr. Philipp Herder-Dorneich).
In 1984, Wendel accepted a post with the Securities Corporation, in New York, where he worked in the corporate finance sector on portfolio management and research, stock and bond trading, institutional sales, operations, accounting and syndicates.
Returning to Europe in 1990, he joined an educational institution in Cologne offering retraining in fiscal law for accountancy firms from the former German Democratic Republic. This was followed in 1992 by a two-year stint as a sales agent with a real estate agency in Düsseldorf, before returning to Dillenburg in 1994 to take up the post of Managing Director with the family firm, Wendel GmbH, a manufacturer of vitreous enamel and glazes.
The association’s work related to particular technical subjects is done during the sessions and meetings of committees and workgroups. In addition to the 11 members of the executive board presided by Klaus-Achim Wendel, the following panels and committees are active:
- Technical Committee, directed by Prof. Dr. Peter Hellmold
- Workgroup on Architecture, Signs and Posters, directed by Heinz Hettich
- Workgroup Dedicated to Enamels for Cast Iron; group leader is Franz-Josef Behler.
- Workgroup Studying Enamels for Sheet Steel; the leading position is vacant since Heinrich Warnke died on 2/11/2007.
- Technical Enamel Marketing Workgroup under the direction of Dr. Jörg Wendel
- Environmental Protection Workgroup, directed by Dietrich Hoffmann
- Water Heater Workgroup, directed by Eckhard Voß
Normally, the workgroups and committees hold their sessions twice a year. When working on current projects, such as preparation of a new standard or in case of special marketing measures, additional meetings are necessary.A special focus of the association’s activities is on education and advanced vocational training.
Since 2002, these activities are pursued by an information and training panel termed IBE Informations- und Bildungszentrum Email e.V. on behalf of the German Enamel Association. Composed only of the members of the DEV Executive Board, the IBE was formed to permit a clear separation from the economic activities. All measures organized by the IBE Panel must be financed by fees and sponsorship revenues. Since its formation in 2002, the IBE balance sheet has been „in the black“ every year.
Since more than 40 years, the Iserlohn training courses are held during a week in September. The three-level course (course I, II, III) includes about 20 lectures and a manufacturer visit (steel or frit manufacturer, enamelling workshop). For newcomers to the enamel industry, or for commercial personnel, a beginner’s course was organized. In only one day and a half, a series of introductory lectures and practical laboratory exercises are held to teach participants which operations are necessary at an enamelling company. Moreover, an advanced training course is offered at intervals of three years. This is a two-day, 16-to-18-hour course held at the Clausthal Technical University to deepen the knowledge from the Iserlohn courses. A resumption of the conference termed “Dozententagung“ in German, provided at regular intervals until the nineties to familiarize university lecturers with the particularities of enamelled materials was planned for 2007, but had to be postponed to the next year for organizational reasons.
Services of interest for members
The highlight of activities is the annual Enamel Conference. This traditional meeting is a mixture of a scientific conference and an informal industrial meeting with 12 to 15 lectures (all day on Monday, and Wednesday morning). During this event, recent scientific findings, new methods and technologies or state-of-the-art application examples are presented. On Tuesday, the 100 to 120 participants coming together every year can select one of a choice of three workshop visits. In 2008, the Enamel Conference will be held in Weimar. For escorting family members, an appealing partner program is offered.
The end of the first day is always the informal enameller’s meeting and the second day is closed by a feastful dinner.
Standardisation, publishing activity, promotion of “vitreous enamel”
However, the measures described above are not the only IBE activities on behalf of DEV. Since many years, the participation in fairs and exhibitions is part of the event calendar. Whereas the association used to have a big booth at the Hanover fair together with industrial partner companies at intervals of two years from 1980 to 2002, the association presently participates in the Munich Materialica fair every year. This fair is much smaller and held only in one hall. But there are lots of technically interested visitors rather than tourists and plenty of occasions for documented technical conversations. Since a couple of years, various member companies make use of the possibility to participate in the Materialica fair as a partner of the association. The enamel association will be present also on the next Materialica in October 2008.Known all over the world is the bi-monthly technical magazine „Email – Mitteilungen des Deutschen Email Verbandes“ published by the DEV IBE. The six issues of each year are focussed on the lectures from the preceding enamel conference. Moreover, current information from the industry and on changes in the association’s activities is published. For the International Enamel Congress, the Porcelain Enamel Digest is published in English language. In this special issue, outstanding publications from the information bulletin are published again after selection by the Technical Committee. The Digest will be sent to specialist all over the globe and distributed to the congress participants free of charge. In the framework of its Press and PR activities, the German Enamel Association also publishes press information on topics of current interest. Additionally, informational brochures and films are produced. Since many years, a continuously updated Internet presence is provided. In addition to the DEV and IBE emblems, the FEF logo also appears on the start page of the website. This society was formed as a non-profit organization in 2002s as well, because this was the prerequisite of continued subsidies for research projects from the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsein-richtungen (AiF) working committee. With this background, at least one research project on a scientific topic will be carried on over a two-year period at a research institute (e.g. Clausthal Technical University). The title of the research project completed last is: „Enamellings for Stainless Steal (Emaillierungen für Edelstähle)“ and the aim was the purposeful development of enamels for stainless steels. Secondary target was the investigation of colouring possibilities for these enamels. A new research project probably starting in 2008 will be dedicated to the adhesion of enamels on cast iron. Of particular importance, although not in the focus of public interest, is the activity of the panels working on the development of standards. The German Enamel Association sponsors the membership of five industrial companies in a DIN standard committee directed by Prof. Hellmold, who is involved with testing enamels and enamellings. Furthermore, Prof. Hellmold is the representative of the DEV on the European CEN sessions.
In commemoration of the famous enamel specialist, cofounder and deserving first managing director of the association, the Louis Vielhaber Medal was created in 1961 as an award for special scientific and practical achievements in the field of enamel research and enamel technology. So far, this award was granted only six times (to Dr. W. Joseph and Professors Dietzel and Hennicke among others). It is planned to award this medal to an outstanding enamel expert again before the background of the 2008 Enamel Conference in Weimar.
Last not least, the German activities in the EEA European Enamel Authority e. V. must not be forgotten. Together with Dutch activities, the quality manual published by the German Enamel Centre as early as in the nineties resulted in the EEA formation in 2001. The third edition of the EEA Quality Requirements Manual will be published in early 2008. Apart from the German, the European enamel associations from Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain are cofounders of the EEA.
However, since the quality thought for enamels and enamelled products is of increasing importance all over Europe, we dare say that – hopefully – other enamel associations will cooperate in the EEA as well in the future. It is our great pleasure to announce that three companies were certified already in compliance with EEA. One more certification project is pending and another two projects are planned definitely for the next year. Since the foundation of the EEA, the Secretariat is presided by the German Enamel Association.