The 13th edition of QUALICER, World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality, closed its doors on 18 February with the announcement of a new Qualicer event for 2016.
The President of the Castellón County Council, Javier Moliner, and the QUALICER Co-Presidents, Mª Dolores Guillamón, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Javier R. Zunzarren, President of the College of Industrial Engineers, closed the Congress that drew 605 delegates from 19 countries to the meeting in Castellón.
In the course of two conference days, attendees from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Portugal, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Turkey, U.S.A., United Kingdom, and Spain were able to acquaint themselves with 82 oral presentations and posters that put forward brilliant ideas, resulting from months and even years of work of the delegates.
Mª Dolores Guillamón, President of the Castellón Chamber of Commerce, noted: “QUALICER is, for 48 hours, the stage on which the great advances in quality, technology, and innovation in the ceramic and related sectors are presented. QUALICER becomes the banner of a very powerful industry that is fighting for a future in which production and sustainability go hand in hand.” And she continued: “QUALICER has again demonstrated that it is a unique event because of its characteristics. And Castellón is without a shadow of a doubt the natural stage for such an event.”
Javier R. Zunzarren, in turn, highlighted the role of the industry: “Much of the global ceramic industry has joined us here at QUALICER. The industry is vital to maintaining a balanced economy. The industry is the steering wheel that, by its inertia, drives the other sectors and makes them keep moving.”
Alfonso Panzani, Chairman of the Ceramiche Ricchetti Group and Chairman of the European Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Federation, opened Monday’s technical session with his invited lecture on the globalisation of ceramic quality.
His presentation was followed by an interesting panel debate chaired by Juan José Güemes, Chairman of the International Centre for Entrepreneurial Management at IE Business School. Jose Luis Lanuza, of Keraben (Spain); Alfonso Panzani, of the Ricchetti Group (Italy); Bong Kuan Shin, of the Niro Ceramic Group (Zirconio) (Malaysia); and Alain Delcourt, of Agrob Buchtal GmbH (Germany), participated in the debate, setting out their vision of the global tile market.
To be noted, in particular, was the great success of the QUALICER ZOOM sessions, focusing on ceramic digital printing technology, which enjoyed the experience of the world’s leaders in this technique. Julio García, European Manager for frits and glazes of Ferro Spain S.A.; Antonio Blasco, General Manager of Esmalglass, S.A., and Itaca, S.A.; Fernando Roig, Chairman of the Pamesa Group; José Cifre, of Argenta Cerámica; Sergio Ceprià, Director of Operations at Efi-Cretaprint; and José Vicente Tomás Claramonte, Manager of Kerajet, took part in the panel debate on strategy chaired by Jose Cabedo, General Manager of Endeka Ceramics.
The panel debate on technical aspects of inkjet printing featured the participation of Rafael Porcar, Sales Manager and Head of the Technical Service of the inkjet division of Ferro Spain; Jesús Fernández Valenzuela, Manager of the Inkjet Project for the Esmalglass-Itaca Group; Eduardo Casañ, Technical Manager of Argenta Cerámica; José Vicente Tomás Claramonte, Manager of Kerajet; Pedro Benito, Technical Manager of Efi-Cretaprint; and Juan Luis López, Technical Manager of Pamesa Cerámica. Vicente Sanz Solana, Director of the Instituto Universitario de Tecnología Cerámica, chaired the session.
José Luis Borrego, Head of the Department of Laboratories and Product Certification of ENAC (Spanish National Accreditation Body), participated at QUALICER 2014 by delivering an invited lecture entitled: “ENAC, a partner for exporting companies from the sector ceramic”. The lecture addressed the imposition of barriers of a technical type, which require products to meet a series of specifications generally relating to safety, environmental protection, or quality characteristics, known as Technical Obstacles to Trade.
Oral presentations were delivered on the use of rice straw ash in the porcelain tile composition, on ceramic fabrics for architecture, on ceramics in building refurbishment, and on the tile polishing process at QUALICER 2014.
A panel debate on construction solutions, directed by Brazilian expert Jonás Silvestre Medeiros, packed room 2 of the Congress; and the presentation by Ramón Monfort and Jaime Prior, of the Castellón College of Architects, on the Ascer Awards for architecture and interior design, drew some 60 professionals who were able to learn, first hand, the track record of these prestigious awards.
The American William M. Carty, Professor of Ceramic Engineering at Alfred University, one of the world’s leading schools of ceramic technology, closed the working sessions with his presentation on the advanced ceramic industry and the potential opportunities for the ceramic tile sector.
QUALICER is a biennial congress, organised since 1990 by the Castellón Chamber of Commerce (Spain) and the Castellón College of Industrial Engineers. It is devoted to the ceramic industry, and in the course of its 12 events, the Congress has brought together more than 5,500 delegates from all over the world.
The next Qualicer meeting will be held in February 2016. For all information on the Congress, please see www.qualicer.org