The ceramic sector can be represented as a “three-legged table” made up of:
- ceramic companies
- manufacturers and suppliers of machinery and complete systems for producing tiles
- manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles
These 3 players are in constant relationship with each other, but not everyone knows that manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles are the real avant-garde of the sector, the beating heart of technical and aesthetic surface innovation.
In fact, they are not only suppliers of semi-finished products for the production of tiles, but they are also and above all suppliers of innovation and technological know-how.
The sector has strongly developed and renewed over the years becoming:
- An example of chemistry in the service of ceramics.
- A highly globalized sector, with branch offices all over the world.
- A reality that has made essential strong and constant investments in research and development.
- A key partner for ceramic companies.
The term supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies is now outdated, today it would be better to talk about ceramic partner.
In fact, technological and aesthetic innovation arises from constant research applied by suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies which, constantly collaborating with manufacturers of machineries for producing tiles and ceramic companies, develop innovative solutions to improve the performance and aesthetics of their products.
According to the President of Federchimica – Ceramicolor, suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies play a primary role for ceramics. The sector, with constant investments in research and development, focuses on increasingly specialized products which, working with particular attention to environmental compatibility, guarantee ceramic producers of high quality and beauty standards appreciated all over the world.
Interrelationships between companies and development of Sassuolo ceramic district: a virtuous circle.
The Italian ceramic district of Sassuolo is an example of the constant collaboration between ceramic companies, manufacturers of machineries and suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles. This continuous cooperation has been one of the factors of the success of the district over time and ensures the support of the innovation process that distinguishes this unique Italian reality in the World.
The physical proximity of these 3 actors is fundamental. Unlike the foreign competition, in this ceramic district we find ceramic companies, manufacturers of machineries and suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles all located a few kilometers from each other.
However, it must be remembered that this virtuous circle of interrelationships between the actors did not emerge as the result of a solely and exclusively cooperative game, but also of competitive relations.
Collaboration and competition are both fundamental to interpret the dynamics of the district. Cooperation manifests itself, for example, every time that ceramic companies find the answer to a particular technical and/or aesthetic problem in suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles to obtain a special effect.
Competition, for its part, has always encouraged those in a position of lesser advantage to seek the conditions for changing and improving.
Collaborative and competitive relationships in the ceramic district both lead to a common goal, a guarantee of success: INNOVATION!
Technology, research and development: the core of the innovation of the suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles.
The cooperation between ceramic companies and suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles is one of the most evident and consolidated partnerships.
Tile manufacturers need high quality and aesthetic standards and suppliers of raw materials fully meet this need because in addition to the technical aspect (mechanical resistance, resistance to chemical agents, durability of floors and walls, etc …) they also take care of the aesthetic aspect of the finished product (tile surfaces more or less reflective, smooth or with three-dimensional effects of grits and/or thick glazes, soft-touch effects, etc…).
The continuous improvement and innovation of the suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles supporting ceramic companies are given by constant investments in technology and research and development, specifically in chemical research.
Sicer, a historic manufacturer and suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles, is an exhaustive and virtuous example of innovation.
The company has several departments which, supported by the best technological equipment, allow Sicer to always be one step ahead.
In the Technology Lab chemical engineers, supported by the best technologies, analyze and plan the future of ceramic technology.
The continuous investments in the R&D Lab allow the company to always be one step ahead in the research and development of new materials and products.
Sicer Digital Department (Digital R&D Lab) deals with the research and development of digital inks, materials and glues. In line with the corporate ethics code, research is always aimed at innovative and sustainable products.
At the DBU – Decoration Business Unit – materials are transformed and become art. Here the technicians work tirelessly to amaze customers with ever new decorative effects. Metallic effects, raku, precious metals, vitrified effects, are just some of the decorative possibilities that can be achieved with Sicer products.
Suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles and design and furniture sector: distant, but close.
Innovation is not just technology, but also the search for trends for the furniture and design sector, as well as architecture.
… “Today designers and architects take ceramics into consideration for the aesthetic and technical level that has been achieved: by combining large slabs with the world of architecture, the results obtained are particularly appreciated. This change of pace will certainly facilitate the development of new colors and new application systems that will support the increasingly complex processes of embellishing the slab in industrial ceramics ”(President of Ceramicolor).
In Sicer, technical research is developed in combination with aesthetic research, taking into account trends and design, to offer its customers products with the highest aesthetic standards.
The link between suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles and the world of furniture and design is so important that in the Sassuolo ceramic district the trade association Federchimica Ceramicolor (National association of suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles and producers of metal oxides) has decided to open a blog entirely dedicated to color.
The portal talks about ideas, advice, images, interviews and curiosities about the world of ceramics and to support the blog, in addition to suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles, we find architects, designers, photographers and artists.
The challenges of suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles, the challenges of Sicer.
The production dynamics of the ceramic sector are constantly evolving.
Today in the tile industry the demands of producers are increasingly targeted and punctual.
Current and immediate productions must respond to requests for small batches of the highest quality in a very short time. The tolerated margin of error is minimal.
The role of suppliers of raw materials therefore becomes increasingly strategic for the ceramic company and a strong partnership between the two companies is the only winning solution.
Sicer, which does not consider itself a simple supplier but a partner, has been offering customized solutions for years and guarantees constant research, innovation and quality. The development of new ceramic bodies and supports is an example of its constant commitment. This is what Sergio Marcaccioli, Technical Manager of Sicer S.p.A, declared in an interview on ceramicworldweb.it, the leading e-magazine of the ceramic industry worldwide.
If among the objectives of the tile producers there is to stand out and make themselves immediately recognizable on the market, the suppliers of raw materials for producing tiles must be able to make investments to equip itself with technological equipment and specialized technicians in order to create increasingly unique products.
The development of Sicer’s digital printing technologies has led to the achievement of excellent results. Specifically, we are talking about widening the depth of color, applying more digital materials (glossy, matt, metallized), full and non-full field digital glue, adding decorative effects, greater application consistency. The perceived value, therefore, is much higher.
Aiming for “full digital” is a necessary goal for every supplier of raw materials for producing tiles, but it is necessary to merge ceramic know-how with the peculiarities of the digital process. Sicer, for several years, has embarked on the path to achieve this goal and certainly will not fail to respond and fully satisfy the high expectations of its customers.