A meeting to discuss cost reduction, standardization and efficiency - all critical factors that play a vital role when it comes to being internationally competitive. Yet also a meeting to make an overall assessment of ceramic culture, starting with the experience of a leader like Sacmi. This, then, was the framework of the international “Ceramics&Tiles” conference organised at the Sacmi headquarters at Imola on 1st October last.
The conference was opened by Sacmi’s President, Domenico Olivieri, who began by reminding those present how technological innovation and awareness “have been the wealth of this cooperative for 87 years, in an industry that is now, more than ever, characterised by tough international competition”. The task of illustrating the rules that govern competition in today’s ceramics fell to the international players of that industry, who were invited to share their experiences at the conference.
The Italian speakers included Alfonso Panzani and Tiziano Bursi – the former the President of Confindustria Ceramica, the second professor of Industrial Economics at the University of Modena – and Filippo Marazzi, chairman of the Marazzi Group. Talks were also given by Arturo Leon of the International Ceramic Society and the entrepreneurs Khater Massaad (Rak Ceramics, United Arab Emirates), Don Carlos Camahort (Taulell, Spain) and Ahmet Yamaner (Eks-Eczacibasi, Turkey). The speakers touched on a range of themes that are essential to maintaining competitiveness in the industry: from innovation to the problem of energy costs, from environmental standards in industrial process and raw material management to transport and logistics.
The conference closed with the consignment of the prestigious Aldo Villa award, that biennial recognition awarded by the Italian Ceramic Society to protagonists who have, at world level, made a special contribution to the development of “ceramic culture”. The tenth such prize to be granted in memory of the engineer who was a driving force in Sacmi for over twenty years went to Ibrahim Bodur, who for over half a century has been at the forefront of things with the Kale Group, one of the Turkish ceramic industry’s pioneers and now an 850-million-dollars-a-year giant.