By David Reed, UT EditorBraunschweig, Germany-After almost 50 years of existence, the German Association of Plastics Processors (the Verband der Schaumstoffverarbeiter VSV e.V.) has been dissolved and integrated into the country's Professional association for plastic foams (Fachverband Schaumkunststoffe FSK eV). A plastics processors group has been established within the FSK to represent plastics manufacturers and processors, under a spokesperson to be elected at a constitutional conference.The move, announced in a statement released 24 Nov., is intended "to establish a stronger entity … and to provide a wider platform for representation of interests and for the common activities of manufacturing and foam-processing companies," explained Georg Heinlein, chairman of the Verband der Schaumstoffverarbeiter for many years.Albrecht Manderscheid, chairman of the FSK added that the move recognises that "associations must become larger and oriented beyond national borders, whether in European organisations or with [its] own European components." He added that "the FSK welcomes this merger and considers itself strengthened in the cooperation in the network with other associations of the plastics processing industry and related industries such as the textile and finishing industry and also the chemical industry."To accommodate the new activities, the FSK board now has nine members, rather than seven, more than half of whom are either foam makers or former members of the VSV, the association's statement said. The new board comprises: Chairman: Albrecht Manderscheid (Cannon Deutschland GmbH); deputy chairman: Klaus Pontius (Heytex Julius Heywinkel GmbH); finances: Manfred Werner (Alveo GmbH); with Michael Begemann (Hennecke GmbH), Michael Gierlichs (VITO Irmen GmbH & Co. KG), Georg Heinlein (ISL Schaumstoff-Technik GmbH), Gerhard Hinzsch (Hinzsch Schaumstofftechnik GmbH & Co. KG), Ina Knoke-Strunk (Polyform Kunststofftechnik GmbH & Co. KG), and Ralf Schmidt (Hübner GmbH)."