The International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers has decided to open membership to suppliers and others associated with the SR industry.
The new class of affiliate members will give companies such as raw material, chemical and packaging suppliers and consultant and service firms the chance to participate in IISRP affairs, said James L. McGraw, IISRP managing director and CEO.
The board of the 39-member association, comprising most of the world's synthetic rubber producers, approved the change during the group's 48th Annual General Meeting, in New Delhi, India, April 16-19.
``We've been discussing on and off over the years about opening up membership to nonproducer, ancillary companies,'' said McGraw. ``Two or three years ago we started getting inquiries from those who came to annual meetings about joining.''
The IISRP always has allowed anyone who so desired to attend its annual meeting, he said. Representatives of companies and consultancies involved in the SR business typically come to that event, but are excluded from committee, regional and board meetings.
Under the new membership plan, affiliates could participate in those activities.
``They would get access to information by becoming affiliate members, access to the membership site of our Web site-that's where everything happens, the minutes, the agendas, the business plans, basically what's going on with the IISRP,'' McGraw said.
The affiliates could participate in discussions about ongoing issues. For example, he said, packaging companies might be interested in joining in on considerations about returnable containers.
Affiliates won't get access to all the detailed statistical information the institute gathers, however. That is available only to the producers of a particular elastomer that participate in the report.
McGraw said details of the new level of membership still must be worked out, including the annual dues, which he estimated will be between $2,000 and $5,000.
The change takes effect July 1.