We can say that 2020 was a difficult and troubled year for the ceramic sector.
The President of Confindustria Ceramica, Giovanni Savorani, expressed himself thus in April 2020 regarding the situation caused by the Covid19 pandemic: “For ceramic sector, it is the most serious crisis in history, lost foreign market shares, absurd lockdown on Ateco codes. We have to go on, but it will be very hard. “
Despite the natural difficulties caused by the Coronavirus, we can say that for Sicer, however, it was a positive year despite everything.
Already in 2019 the group had recorded a consolidated turnover of around 73 million euros, but the growth continued even in the presence of many obstacles and the pandemic.
First of all, after March 2020, Sicer immediately restarted production (https://blog.sicerceramicsurfaces.com/coronavirus-and-phase-2-the-challenges-and-difficulties-of-the-italian-economy-and-companies/) and entered into its own protocol called #SicerCare which incorporates all government provisions and integrates them for greater protection of employee safety.
Technical research and product development has never stopped. For Sicer, even in this sensitive year, it was essential to remain a point of reference for its partners, supporting them with multiple initiatives. One of these was the marketing on the market of new types of products and the improvement of those already present.
Sicer 2020 products
Among the major innovations, in terms of products, this year we find:
The company has proposed a new range of glazes, the GLR Technical Anti-slip Glazes series, which guarantees anti-reflective surfaces, but above all anti-slip.
The product is very technical, but still allows an excellent development of digital colors.
The GLR Anti Slip series guarantees compliance with the regulatory requirements required in each country for the flooring of public environments (Example: airports, swimming pools, etc …) as the surface texture can be calibrated according to the necessary value (from R9 to R13).
According to the different production conditions, the glazes are totally customizable; there are 3 families of glazes with increasing R* value that satisfy every need.
Sicer’s commitment to environmental protection is a constant. The Digital R&D Lab has formulated the already well-known patented series of digital inks and glues .LE Low Emission (https://www.sicerceramicsurfaces.com/product/inks-low-emission-le-series/) and this year has designed the new water-based series with the exclusive SCD3000H glue.
Thanks to the formula based on water and hydro-compatible materials, SCD3000H minimizes the emissions of COT, VOC, aldehydes and odorous substances from the chimneys of ceramic kilns, thus allowing to produce simultaneously on different lines in the same plant without exceeding the threshold values maximum emissions required by law. The water-based glue contains a flux that increases the adhesive power, improves the spreading of the grit, helps waterproof the substrate before applying the glass and further reduces the emission of VOC to the chimney. Drying times are also much longer than common solvent-based glues and thanks to the high printing thickness, the gluing of larger quantities of grit is guaranteed.
SCD3000H is easy to clean and is compatible with the printheads of the main digital printing machines.
WATER BASED – COMPLETE RANGE
The Digital R&D lab is developing a complete series of water-based products, including the GLOSSY and WHITE digital materials and the glaze (SMH) and smaltobbi (SEH) series. The goal is to continue research and offer the customer an increasingly complete water-based range.
Technical research and innovation are always the keywords for Sicer.
The company has further optimized the range of grits for mirror lapping that are digitally applied dry and from which effects of total transparency and depth are born.
The improvement allows to obtain even brighter surfaces, with a precise expansion coefficient and absence of porosity and a total transparency and depth of the glass. This last feature is one of the strengths: thanks to the transparency and flatness of the glass, the GRA DRY LUX series is perfect for creating projects with a black background, as well as some types of marble (Sahara noir and others).
The GRA series is characterized by high resistance to chemical agents, abrasive scratches and total cleanability.
The year 2020 for Sicer
New products, pro-environment policies and constant trust in the future: the major issues on which Sicer has focused in 2020 and on which it will focus again.
The great results obtained despite this troubled year were confirmed by the attention shown by Azimut, one of the largest independent operators in asset management in Europe.
Sicer is among the world leaders in the design, production and distribution of special chemical products for the glazing and decoration of ceramic tiles. For this reason Azimut Libera Impresa has agreed to take over 65% of Sicer. The group is continuing its commitment to support companies of excellence; that’s why it has chosen the company from Ubersetto.
This choice of trust of Azimut has been an important recognition for the work of Sicer, but even more for the personal journey of the individual professionals.
In 2020, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, Sicer decided not to totally give up on fairs and to remain connected at least digitally with its partners and customers. The exhibitions have been temporarily suspended, but the players in the ceramic world have been able to find a solution: there have been many “physical” initiatives transformed into “digital activities”.
Coverings, North America’s largest international trade show for the ceramic industry, announced a brand new digital experience called Coverings Connected. Sicer, as an exhibitor of Coverings 2020, has decided to join, presenting the renewed range of calibrated grits for mirror polishing and dry application.
Furthermore, Sicer has decided to invest in communication and innovation, converting its Ubersetto showroom into a virtual exhibition with a real 360° – Sicer Gallery Tour 2020. (link: https://dimensione3-s-r-l.captur3d.io/view/sicer/sicer-da6b0c)
This choice has been made to facilitate customers, in many cases unable to move, offering them a tool to appreciate the projects and surfaces on display as in reality.
The company then continued its investments also in growth projects for foreign offices: in September 2020, the expansion of the Indonesian headquarters was completed with the inauguration of new premises and a new important gallery. We are talking about a 300 square meter showroom dedicated to the display of products and plates made by local and international customers.
The company then continued its investments also in growth projects for foreign branch offices: in September 2020, the expansion of the Indonesian headquarters was completed with the inauguration of new offices and a new important gallery. We are talking about a 300 square meter showroom dedicated to the display of products and slabs made by local and international customers.
A further milestone in 2020 was the participation in the II level Master in Business and Ceramic Technology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. (http://www.masterimpresaetecnologiaceramica.unimore.it/site/home.html)
Sicer contributed to the training course as a teacher with interventions in the classroom and welcoming students in the company for an internship.
The Master, born from the collaboration between the Enzo Ferrari Engineering Department of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the University of Bologna, Confindustria Ceramica and Federchimica Ceramico, aims to train future managers and technologists in the ceramic sector.
November 26 and December 15, 2020 are the dates of the first graduation sessions of this innovative master.
Getting high is difficult, the harder it is to stay there.
The above mentioned news and goals of Sicer should not be read as a point of arrival or a concluded path: they are first of all the expression of a great corporate collective effort in which no component is secondary.
However, it should not be forgotten that the most difficult thing is to confirm yourself and, possibly, improve. This requires a continuous and demanding attention!
Each of these activities carried out in 2020 has as its ultimate goal, directly or indirectly, the constant pursuit of product excellence and customer service.
For 2021 Sicer aims to be, once again, a reference point and a solid partner for its customers.Paragrafo
Getting to the top is difficult, the harder it is to stay there, but Sicer has no plans to stop.