President's Message
Koen Van Goethem

Dear Friends of the Cordage Institute and the Rope and Netting Industry,

I hope this message finds you all well and healthy in these continuous, difficult pandemic times. Unfortunately, we’re all struggling and fighting against the second wave of COVID-19, which is coming really closer into all our networks.

2020 had for all of us one goal: staying healthy and taking good care of our families, friends and colleagues.

We support each other and with respect for measures and the arrival of vaccines, we’ll be able to fight and defeat this Coronavirus in 2021.

2020 has been a year in which all of our contacts have been limited to phone calls and contacts by Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc. This has been a challenge to continue keeping close contact in order to develop and secure our businesses and save our industry.

We all tried to establish this way our social and professional rhythm in the New Normal. Really not easy and sometimes frustrating.

I do hope you all found the balance in the New Normal to enjoy a little the end of summer and fall, while maintaining the existing business and perhaps interesting new developments and opportunities in order to proceed your continuous growth.

During our fall virtual technical meeting, which took place on the 14th and 15th of October, we had many attendees with very interactive and constructive input. The subcommittees achieved a good progress in the guidelines and standards (thanks Sarah Padilla and all technical chairs). During our Board meeting, it was decided to continue with virtual technical meetings in the beginning of 2021 and to wait to make a decision on the Annual meeting in May 2021.

I wish you and your families a healthy and merry Christmas, happy year ending and an excellent start of 2021.

Let’s all stay in touch by smartphone, mail or any other means of communication, it helps so much to know we’re not facing this pandemic alone especially during the dark winter months. We’ll be needing each other even more now than before with the severe measures, isolation and social distancing.

Looking forward to seeing you at our next Virtual Winter Technical Meeting, January 20-21, 2021.

Stay healthy and take good care of yourself and your families.
Cordage Institute Happenings
Cordage Institute to Hold Virtual Technical Meetings on January 20-21, 2021
In order to maintain momentum on Cordage Institute standards, guidelines, and test methods during this time, online Technical Committee Meetings will be held on Wednesday, January 20th and Thursday, January 21st.

These meetings will tentatively be held between 10am and 2pm EST on each day in consideration of the various time zones of CI Members, and actual meeting times will be confirmed based on how much time each Subcommittee and Task Group will need for their meetings.

Please mark your calendars for these meetings. Once meeting times are finalized, additional details will be sent to CI Members.
Highlights of the October 2020 Virtual Technical Meeting
On October 14-15, 2020, the Cordage Institute held its second Virtual Technical Meeting. The two-day meeting consisted of Technical Subcommittee and Task Group meetings, as well as a meeting of the full Technical Committee.

New Cordage Institute Members

In 2020, the Cordage Institute welcomed the below new members:
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Zaragoza, Spain
CCF Legacy, Inc.
Mabscott, West Virginia

Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

Cleveland, Ohio

International Manufacturer
Lysaker, Norway
Historical Spotlight: Tubbs Cordage Company
As we continue to celebrate the Cordage Institute’s 100th anniversary, we have included an article on one of the Cordage Institute’s earliest members, Tubbs Cordage Company, submitted by longtime industry professional, Michael Greenwood. 

Tubbs Cordage Company began business as a ship chandlery in San Francisco in 1852 by the Tubbs brothers, Alfred and Hiram. Michael Greenwood is a descendent of one of Hiram's (5) daughters who married a "Greenwood" in the early 1900's. Tubbs Cordage Company became a rope manufacturing company in 1858 profiting from the immense American and Global migration to California; the Gold and Silver mines etc. Tubbs first manufacturing facility, (a rope walk), was at 611-613 Front Street in San Francisco.

Knots & Notes
By Sarah Padilla, Cordage Institute Technical Director
The Knots and Notes section of Ropecord News informs you of the standards being developed by the Cordage Institute, as well as by other industry organizations. As we develop this section of the newsletter, please let us know what type of content is of interest to you by sending an email to or
Standards Update
Updates from the Cordage Institute Standards subcommittees on how things are progressing since the last newsletter.
The Standard Review
Updates from other standards bodies that are relevant to the cordage industry.
The Road to Sustainability and Recycling 
By Loet Hoppe and Koen Van Goethem, I-Coats N.V.
Sustainability and recyclability are becoming more and more important for the environment and especially for our Rope and Netting sector. The current fibres and coatings are historically made from oil-based plastics, at matured cost. These typically are non-(bio)degradable, which is increasingly debated in the growing awareness around global plastic pollution. Greening materials is not easy, to date, this is either done by making materials (partly) bio-based, biodegradable or both. See graph.

On fibre level, I-Coats teams up with two companies which work on bio-based and bio-degradability: B4Plastics and Senbis. B4Plastics has developed a polymer where the bio-degradation can be controlled. In a first project, an alternative for PA in wild fishing was researched. The fibres from that material show good promise for use in the fishing industry, both in performance and in degradability in seawater. However, this material needs a coating to improve the abrasion and net stability. For this purpose, I-Coats developed its first coating with a significant bio-based component (40-65%).

Although a lot is written about the plastic soup, the information on testing for bio-degradation in seawater under controlled conditions is less abundant, especially when tests are accelerated to achieve acceptable testing times. Bio-degradation tests on bio-based coatings show good degradation, although further work is needed to quantify how much the tests can be accelerated from a biological perspective.

For Senbis, a first focus in the fishing industry was set on the replacement of polyethylene dolly ropes in bottom trawling. They have tested an alternative based on a compound of marine degradable polymers successfully. Another application where they are looking at is mussels cultivation. The mussels are grown in so-called socks. (Parts of the socks are torn off during harvesting and lost). Also here bio-degradation is the only practical option, because of the application.

Because fishing-related plastics are an area of attention for the European Commission, industry and research institutes have joined forces in the search for answers and will start-up a TC on Sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and fishing gear.

Although today the trend in Europe towards sustainability/recycling in the view of I-Coats bio-degradation is the preferred option for coatings. A minimal amount of coating and fibre particles will always be released in a normal fishing operations. If they do not degrade, they will also contribute to the plastic soup.

Sustainability and recyclability bring new challenges, but it is our view that an innovative combination of existing and new, both in technology and materials, will result in solutions.
Member News
Timm Ropes by Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Producing ropes for the maritime industry since 1772, Timm Ropes are used on some of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced vessels. Through a standardized and certified product range, Timm Ropes can cover a wide range of rope products from traditional fibre ropes to the new high performance HMPE fibre solution. Our ropes are the result of continuous development for nearly 250 years. The continuous drive towards making higher performance ropes has increasingly turned our factory in Slovakia into a test facility. The result is that the factory has its own R&D department, including our own engineers and specialists. With support from our R&D, you get expert advice and great solutions.

In 2015, Timm was acquired and added into Wilhelmsen’s extensive global network to enable the best rope availability in the market.

At Wilhelmsen, we constantly come up with safer solutions to address risks inherent to the mooring job, mitigating these risks with product development and innovation so we can create a safer mooring environment for seafarers everywhere.
Snap Back Arrestor
This is why we have spent considerable resources and time, almost seven years, to develop the Snap Back Arrestor (SBA) - a core which sits within our range of ropes; if the load bearing construction breaks, the SBA will be deployed, reducing the snap back and mitigating risks to personnel during mooring operations, thus creating a safer mooring environment. In 2020, we signed a deal with Maersk to equip their fleet with Timm Master SBA ropes. The SBA solution is verified by DNV GL.
Smart Ropes
That’s not all – to help steer the maritime industry towards safer mooring, we integrate technology into ropes and mooring lines to help make every user’s job easier and safer.

Our Smart Ropes digital mooring system offers exact load information, in real-time, to help ensure mooring ropes have the right tension, in the right place, at the right time, all the time. This makes over-tensioned lines, premature wear of ropes and, in the worst-case scenario, unexpected rope failures, a thing of the past. Synergy Ocean, Viking Cruises, Berge Bulk and Finnlines have all signed up to be the first to utilize our one-of-a-kind digital mooring system aboard their vessels.
Line Management Plan 
To enhance the management of mooring systems, we have also developed a Line Management Plan (LMP) that simplifies and streamlines all processes and operations required to manage the life cycle of mooring ropes, from procurement to installation, use and retirement. With LMP, users can get a complete overview of the mooring equipment and usage onboard in just one app - working seamlessly across all devices: computer, phone, or tablet - both on board and on shore.

Wilhelmsen Ships Service - Marine Products
As a leader in the maritime industry, we collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, including terminals, organizations, unions, and class. This allows us to put Safety First in our product development and help create a more holistic view of mooring in the industry.

With the largest maritime supply network in the world, we are active in 2,000 ports, in 125 countries worldwide, supplying our market-leading marine solutions including Unitor™ products, Timm™ ropes, Unicool refrigerants, and Unitor™ and Nalfleet™ marine chemicals.

For more information on our safer mooring solutions, click here:

Connect with us on social media and video channels for product demos and the latest insights:
New Ideas for the Arrangement of Fiber Ropes / Change in the Herzog Management Team
Most of the traditional fiber ropes in the market are 12-strand braids protected with a braided jacket. Since the core braid is usually produced with very steep braiding angles, it exhibits weaknesses in terms of dimensional stability without a jacket due to the braiding circle geometry. To avoid this, Herzog developed a machine for this application that is based on a square braiding machine.

This square braiding machine also works with 12 strands/ bobbins, i.e. each horn gear has six incisions instead of four incisions as most standard braiding machines. The arrangement of four horn gears results in a more compact braid. The bobbins run on the machine in four groups with three bobbins each.

Test results show that the 4 x 3 ropes with a shorter lay length (15-30% shorter, more compact and stable rope) achieve similar breaking strength than a standard 16mm SK78.
A second development is a new arrangement for a bend over sheave application where higher force is applied on the outside of the rope. One idea is to make several fine 12 braids in advance and let them run in a second process as core in a 12-strand braid. The second idea is to produce a flat or so-called strand braid over the horngears as a slip yarn or 0°yarn. As testing is still going on, verifiable results are not yet available.
Dennis Behnken assumed the position as Head of Sales and Services at HERZOG on December 1, 2019, one year ago. After graduating in business administration and engineering, Dennis worked in sales for well-known companies like LIEBHERR Cranes and PALFINGER Lifting. Having been successfully “shown the ropes”, Dennis will succeed Janpeter Horn as Managing Director in June 2021. Janpeter will remain with HERZOG, looking after strategic topics and representing the family in and outside HERZOG.
Yale Cordage Partners with DSM Protective Materials to Create a ‘Green’ Synthetic Rope Product
Yale Cordage announced its newest product Sierra 78, created with bio-based ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene Dyneema® SK78 fiber. This marks one of the first partnerships with DSM Protective Materials to create a ‘green’ synthetic rope product manufactured in the USA.

Sierra 78 is a 12-strand single braid of bio-based Dyneema® fiber that will be utilized by companies across industries such as Electrical Utility, Industrial, Mining, and Arboriculture. In addition to sustainable manufacturing with the lowest carbon footprint, this product provides the following features compared to others made with base UHMPE fibers:

  • 3 times the service life thanks to improved fatigue performance
  • 4 times the creep life 
  • 4 times better abrasion resistance 

The innovation behind this product’s sustainability factor is in the utilization of the mass balance approach, which reduces reliance on fossil fuel-based resources. By applying a mass balancing approach, bio-based Dyneema® fiber delivers the same consistent durability and performance with a reduced environmental impact.

“Here at Yale Cordage, we recognize that selecting the best fiber is as crucial to product performance as our engineering and design process,” says Bill Putnam, President of Yale Cordage. “That is why we are proud to have DSM Protective Materials as our UHMPE fiber provider of choice.”

Embracing this new fiber technology and incorporating it into a synthetic rope product allows Yale to provide the best value for the customer in strength, fairlead life, and sustainability.

Along with the debut of Sierra 78, Yale Cordage is also offering two other products in the same likeness, Sierra 75 made with Dyneema® SK75 and Ultrex with DSM Protective Materials globally sourced UHMPE. Both are 12-strand single braid products manufactured with select DSM Protective Materials fibers that lend themselves to many applications. 
Industry Leaders Conclude License Agreement on High Capacity Fiber Rope Terminations
Applied Fiber, the world’s leading provider of fiber rope termination technology, and BRIDON-BEKAERT ROPES GROUP (BBRG), the world’s premier supplier of mission-critical ropes, have signed a technology license agreement on high capacity fiber rope terminations. Under this agreement, BBRG will use Applied Fiber’s patented high capacity termination technology to produce high strength fiber rope assemblies for mining, offshore and industrial lifting markets.

Applied Fiber has developed an industry leading technology that redefines how fiber rope assemblies are terminated. Applied Fiber’s patented terminations excel in strength, reliability and consistent quality. BBRG has a leading position in several mission-critical rope markets such as mining, offshore energy and industrial lifting and has extensive expertise in synthetic ropes. Through this agreement, BBRG will incorporate Applied Fiber’s advanced termination capability within their manufacturing processes, and will drive the further adoption of high strength fiber ropes in key markets. Both parties will also collaborate to further develop the technology for new applications.

Richard Campbell, CEO of Applied Fiber, stated that “Following many years of dedicated focus, we are pleased to launch our technology licensing model. With Bridon-Bekaert we are excited to welcome the world’s premier rope maker as licensing partner. BBRG brings exceptional global reach and a broad in-house R&D capacity to further accelerate the market introduction of high capacity fiber rope terminations.” 

Curd Vandekerckhove, CEO of Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group, added that “Bridon-Bekaert has a long tradition of driving the adoption of new high performing technologies in rope markets. In light of our commitment to offer the highest level of performance to the market, we are particularly happy expanding our offer with Applied Fiber’s termination technology that has built up an excellent field track record in recent years.” 
The Eurocord Corner
A Word from Eurocord's President
Rui Faria

Dear Colleagues,

2020 is on the verge of closing down a horrendous era for the world population…not in the least for our community, where we have seen difficult moments, disruptive business flows and complicated social situations. But I believe all of us have succeeded reasonably well in overcoming this painful year. Many questions still remain open: Brexit does not seem to bring a fair solution to the fisheries in English waters (at least not on this very moment yet), the fate of the US-EU relationship is still uncertain, the resilience of the EU institutions is again and again put in question, and the new regulations, as the “Single Use Plastics” will, in the long run, change our focus in the development of our business-models.

Within Eurocord, we have remained active on the technical side. Quite a few meetings have been pursued, the most important ones undoubtedly focusing on the required circularity of our products. TC 3, the working group handling “Life Cycle Management and circular design of Rope – fishing gear – Baler Twine and Wrap” has now taken an important stance, including an active participation in the new TC 466 within the CEN/CENELEC European Standardization Body. We have a prominent role in proposing drafts for this newly set up committee and I invite you urgently to contact your national standardization bodies to raise your voice for writing those standards.

I truly hope 2021 will bring us a return to a normal life, capitalizing at the same moment on alternative working methods we have experienced successfully during the pandemic.

I wish all of you, and your families, a warm and peaceful X-Mas time and look forward to meeting many of you again at our Annual Congress in Vienna next June.
COVID-19 Update –The Shifting Landscape II:
How Do I Continue to Protect My Business and My Employees Who are Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
By Robert J. Weil, Law Office of Robert J. Weil, PLLC
NOTE: The information contained in this article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it intended as a substitute for consultation with and the professional judgment of experienced legal counsel and a qualified insurance professional.

Most government and private sector employers continue to operate with a significant number of employees working remotely due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. With the current surge in newly reported cases, the likelihood is that many of these employees will continue to work remotely. Whether continued remote work by your employees stems from compliance with government issued restrictions or guidelines or as a sound risk management decision you made in order to look out for the health and wellbeing of your employees, there are a number of nagging questions that need to be thought through.

As the employer, your employee handbook or manual may already address when and how telecommuting will work and who among your employees is eligible to participate. You will need to review your current policy and ensure that you remain in compliance with the same and update the policy if existing circumstances arising out of the pandemic require additional provisions or modifications.

Industry News
US Government Officially Joins the Global Ghost Gear Initiative
By Madelyn Kearns, Seafood Source
The United States has become the 16th country to join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a multi-stakeholder consortium dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear around the world.

On Thursday, 16 July, the U.S. government announced its induction into the alliance, which is comprised of more than 100 member organizations, including 15 other national government and 13 U.S. seafood companies.

On the Comeback Trail
By Cranes Today Magazine
Fibre ropes of one kind or another have been used for millennia before iron took over. Steel wire has enjoyed a monopoly in some sectors for almost two centuries. But is fibre about to mount a historic comeback? Simon Hastelow reports.

The 21st century has seen major investment into research and development of fibre ropes. Different raw materials have been tried, tested and evaluated to get us to the point where the choice between wire rope and synthetic rope is no longer simply about which one works. It is about which works best for a particular lift.

Upcoming Industry Events
January 20-21, 2021

April 25-28, 2021
La Quinta, California
The La Quinta Resort & Club

May 10-12, 2021
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hilton Salt Lake City Center

May 18-20, 2021
White Sulphur Springs, WV
The Greenbrier Resort

June 6-9, 2021
Vienna, Austria
Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel

August 16-19, 2021
Houston, Texas
NRG Park

August 23-25 2021
Raleigh, NC

December 1-3, 2021
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

The Cordage Institute |
Ropecord News

Ropecord News is published by the Cordage Institute. The Cordage Institute is an international association of rope, twine, and related manufacturers, their suppliers, and affiliated industries. Articles appearing in Ropecord News are the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Cordage Institute. Members are encouraged to contribute articles and items of interest by emailing them to
Rates for advertising are available from the Institute.

Peter M. Lance, Executive Director
Tel: 610-971-4854
Fax: 610-971-4859