Fall 2020

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. For the moment, we only have one goal: staying healthy and taking good care of our families, friends, and colleagues.

The virus is still hitting hard with a second wave reaching our beloved ones. We support each other and with respect for measures, we’ll be able to fight and defeat this Coronavirus.

Since the month of March, we have kept in close contact in order to secure our businesses and save our industry. We are all trying to establish a social and professional rhythm in the New Normal.

At first, we postponed our Annual Meeting at The Greenbrier until the 9th -11th of November. After this, we kept the members of our Association together through virtual meetings at the beginning of June (Technical 3rd-4th of June and Board meeting on the 2nd of June).

At the beginning of July, the Board decided to cancel our 2020 Annual Meeting and we moved it in accordance with the Eurocord Board, to May 18th – 20th, 2021. We’ll celebrate the 100th anniversary within the year. 

Although we are still unable to travel and safely meet in-person right now, we intend to maintain the momentum on CI standards, guidelines, and test methods by scheduling another Virtual Technical Committee Meeting on Wednesday, October 14th and Thursday, October 15th. 

Our joint efforts between the Cordage Institute and Eurocord continued as well, with Virtual CIRTS, MEG 4, and Machine Directive meetings. We decided to postpone the development of more joint initiatives between our two associations to 2021. The joint annual meeting, Cordage Institute and Eurocord, will be held in Europe in 2022.

I wish you the strength and courage necessary to cope with this continuing difficult situation, both personally and professionally. We’ll be needing each other even more now than before with the severe measures, isolation, and social distancing. Let’s all stay in touch by phone, mail, or any other means of communication. It helps so much to know we’re not facing this pandemic alone.

I hope your summer, however totally different than usual, brought you some joy and simple happiness in order to find the energy to face our uncertain future.

Stay healthy and take good care of yourself and your families.
Cordage Institute Happenings
Cordage Institute to Hold Virtual Technical Meetings on October 14-15, 2020
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, October 14th and Thursday, October 15th.

These meetings will tentatively be held between 10am and 1pm EDT 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, an invitation with information on joining the meetings will be sent to CI Members.
Save the Date for the Cordage Institute's Annual Conference and 100th Anniversary Celebration
Please mark your calendar for the Cordage Institute’s Annual Conference and 100th Anniversary Celebration on May 18-20, 2021 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

To commemorate the Cordage Institute’s 100th anniversary, a special President’s Night Reception and Dinner, featuring a black-tie optional dress code, is being planned for Wednesday, May 19th. The evening will feature entertainment, a group photo, presentation of the Gale Foster Award of Merit and the Richards Technical Contribution Award, and several surprises.

The program will also feature technical working group meetings, a meeting of the Technical Committee, the annual business meeting, a technical seminar, the Annual Gale Foster Memorial Golf Tournament, and plenty of opportunities to interact and connect with Cordage Institute members and industry professionals.

Located amid the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia, The Greenbrier is a National Historic Landmark and world-class resort that has been welcoming guests from around the world since 1778. With a guest list that includes 27 of 45 U.S. Presidents, the resort has long been a favorite destination of royalty, celebrities, and business leaders.

Resort highlights include three picturesque golf courses; a world-renowned spa offering a variety of massages, facials, and treatments; a dining collection of 20 restaurants, lounges, and bars; The Greenbrier Casino Club, which was recently ranked the 18th Best Casino in America according to TripAdvisor reviews; an extensive retail collection with over 35 shops and boutiques; over 55 indoor and outdoor activities; and the declassified Bunker at The Greenbrier, a must-see experience that takes you behind the scenes of an emergency Cold War fallout shelter that was once a top-secret U.S. government relocation facility for Congress.

The Greenbrier Valley Airport (LWB) is located only 15 minutes from The Greenbrier, and SkyWest offers daily flights to and from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Washington Dulles (IAD) Airports. Other airports convenient to The Greenbrier include Roanoke, VA (ROA), Charleston, WV (CRW), and Beckley, WV (BKW) with service provided by major carriers.

A meeting notice, with information on the program, will be sent to members and posted on the website in early 2021.
Highlights of the Virtual June 2020 Technical Meeting
On June 3-4, 2020, the Cordage Institute held its first 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.

A virtual Special Meeting of the membership was held on June 4th to review and approve the Cordage Institute's operating budget.

Knots & Notes
by Sarah Padilla, Cordage Institute Technical Director
Back by popular demand, the Knots and Notes section of RopecordNews will inform 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 sarah@ropecord.com or info@ropecord.com.
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.
Member News
Yale Cordage Announces New Investment Partner
Yale Cordage, a longstanding leader for synthetic rope and cable solutions, has been acquired and recapitalized by River Associates Investments LP, alongside Yale management. Tom Yale, Chief Executive Officer and second-generation owner, will be continuing on as a board member and shareholder while he transitions out of his role as CEO of Yale Cordage. Bill Putnam will continue as President with Drummond Boord as Vice President of Operations and Sam Cooper as Vice President of Sales.

“It was important to me to find a partner who appreciates the product creativity and applications innovation that lies behind the strong reputation we maintain with our customers and in the markets we serve. River Associates impressed us with their transparency, their unwavering intent to partner with the management team, and their decades of experience investing in owner-led businesses. This gave us confidence that they would respect and preserve the Yale legacy and add great value through our partnership,” said Tom Yale, CEO of Yale Cordage.

“Tom, Bill, and the rest of the Yale team immediately struck us as smart, ethical and hard working. We’ve found these character traits in the managers of all our best performing investments over the past 30+ years. Yale not only has an impressive history and respected name in the industry, but also tremendous potential for growth. We know that our partnership will be collaborative and steady in preserving the Yale legacy and respecting the team while also exploring a number of exciting growth avenues,” said Mike Brookshire, Managing Partner of River Associates.

River Associates was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Chattanooga Tennessee. It is a private investment firm focused exclusively on investing in superior performing, niche product manufacturing, founder-owned companies and has 30 years of experience in closely partnering with management teams. The partners and professionals at River Associates have diverse backgrounds including operations, finance, accounting, commercial banking and investment banking.

Bill Putnam, President of Yale added, “I look forward to a strong, growth-oriented relationship with River for years to come. We believe their broad experience will help us take Yale to the next level for the benefit of our employees, customers, and supplier partners.”
The Eurocord Corner
A Word from Eurocord's President
Rui Faria

Dear Friends,

As the measures imposed by the pandemic COVID-19 are being eased across Europe, we need to address our “new life” with social distancing and all other necessary measures.

In respect to that, Eurocord has been actively pursuing the continuation of its activities through videoconferencing, with very positive support from all of you!

We thank you all for that and hope we can meet personally again in the near future.

We also recently had our first-ever General Assembly by videoconference, and I’m flattered by your confidence to continue as president of our Board for another year.

Let me assure you that the Board will continue to do its best to take Eurocord towards the future as we prepare for our next Conference in June 2021 in Vienna, Austria. We are working hard to make sure we’ll have a fantastic and unique Conference to remember for years to come.

Enjoy summer and have a wonderful holiday season!

Stay well and safe!
Updates from the Eurocord Secretary General
Philippe Verschueren
2020 is definitely developing as a strange year! For the first time in Eurocord’s history, we will have a General Assembly in “remote control”, thanks to the possibilities offered by Videoconferencing. And your numerous attendance is heartwarming. Admitted, we have some exceptional events to concur (approval of the prolongation of some of our Directors’ mandates with 1 year), and one might have the impression some parts of the world-economy fell to a standstill. Nevertheless, nothing is less true for our sector! Truly, we will all have faced logistical worries and cumbersome social organizations, but our business has all in all, resisted remarkably well to the awful effects of this pandemic. I remain extremely admirative towards the serenity and the ability to face adversity in all our members’ companies! Next year (June 6th to 9th 2021) we will have the opportunity to get together again in Vienna and I sense this will be a great event. Save the date right now.

Industry News
How Strong is Your Knot?
By Jennifer Chu, MIT News
In sailing, rock climbing, construction, and any activity requiring the securing of ropes, certain knots are known to be stronger than others. Any seasoned sailor knows, for instance, that one type of knot will secure a sheet to a headsail, while another is better for hitching a boat to a piling.

But what exactly makes one knot more stable than another has not been well-understood, until now.

MIT mathematicians and engineers have developed a mathematical model that predicts how stable a knot is, based on several key properties, including the number of crossings involved and the direction in which the rope segments twist as the knot is pulled tight.
Mooring Lines Webinar: Resolving MEG4 Market Confusion
By Craig Jallal, Riviera Maritime Media
The webinar was the third in Riviera Maritime Media’s Tankers and Terminals: Gas Carriers Webinar Week, part of an ongoing series of webinars.

The introduction of MEG4 to replace MEG3 guidelines has created confusion as shown in one of the polls in the webinar, where 55% of the attendees felt that transitioning existing ships to the new guidance was the biggest industrywide MEG4 challenge and 30% opted for understanding rope testing certification requirements. The remainder (15%) felt that mooring system condition monitoring created issues. Overall, a confused picture.

Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) technical adviser, nautical, Capt. Sanchay Srivastava sought to bring clarity by explaining the background to MEG4 and why it replaces MEG3. The change was due to an accident in 2015, when mooring lines were used to reposition an LNG carrier. The subsequent report highlighted fundamental issues regarding modern hi-tech mooring lines, their use in practice and the human issues surrounding their usage. This led to OCIMF forming a workgroup and updating the guidelines to MEG4.

Raising the Bar: New Standards for Tethered Tools Provide Needed Guidance
By John Ficcadenti, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News
You don’t need a vivid imagination to picture the dangers of a falling tool. A small 1” socket falling from a height of only 30 feet can cause great bodily injury, or even death, if it strikes someone.

Now picture that socket falling from a height of 300 feet. Clearly, anyone in its path is in serious danger – a scenario no one wants to imagine.

While many recognize the strong need for a profession-ally-designed tethered tool system for technicians working at height, there’s never been a true standard for industries to follow until recently. A new standard covering the use of tethering systems for retrofitted tools is providing technicians with some guidance for securing tools. Hopefully this movement will lead to the new guidance in the area of engineered attachment points on tools as well, as they provide a safer, more effective, and practical solution for working at height.

Upcoming Industry Events
September 14-16, 2020

October 14-15, 2020

December 15-17, 2020
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

April 25-28, 2021
Wailea, Hawaii
Grand Wailea Resort & Spa

May 3-6, 2021
Houston, Texas
NRG Park

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

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

August 23-25 2021
Raleigh, NC
The Cordage Institute | www.ropecord.com

RopecordNews 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 RopecordNews 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 info@ropecord.com.
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Cordage Institute Headquarters

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