April 24, 2014

Del Conca USA inaugurates new factory in Loudon, Tenn.

Del Conca USA, the North American subsidiary of Del Conca, one of the main Italian groups in the ceramic tile manufacturing industry, officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 26th, hosting the firm’s “Inaugural Celebration.” Three hundred guests from across the country, including customers, consultants, vendors, members of the media and both state and local government officials were there to share in this joyous occasion.

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The event was highlighted by a heartfelt speech delivered by Del Conca Group CEO Enzo Mularoni, thanking all those who made his firm’s “American Dream” become a reality. “Construction of the buildings, and the installation of all production machinery were completed just 10 months after the start!” he exclaimed.

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Additionally, small groups of guests were squired by company officials through the newest state-of-the-art tile production facility in this country. The new Del Conca USA (DCUSA) complex is located just south of Knoxville, and includes a 323,000 sq. ft. complex with production facilities, research labs, showrooms and administrative offices.

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After an initial investment of more than $50 million US dollars (Of which $30 million has been invested in world-class Italian tile production technology) DCUSA porcelain tile production has begun, actually ahead of schedule. 100 workers from the region have already been employed, many of whom traveled to Italy for highly professional, hands-on training. Loudon City Mayor Judy McGill-Keller stated, “We are delighted to have such a professional and progressive company here in Loudon. Since day one, everybody has been excited about Del Conca USA, and it’s almost unbelievable that a facility this big, this advanced… and, this beautiful could be built in under one year!”

dcusa ribbon cutting ceremony, paolo mularoni & govt officials (3)







Allen Borden, assistant commissioner of business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development — speaking on behalf of both his department and Governor Bill Haslam — added, “Del Conca USA is bringing great working opportunities to the great state of Tennessee.  And Del Conca USA will find out very quickly that the Tennessean work ethic is as strong as you’ll find in any state in our nation. That’s why so many fine companies have decided to locate their manufacturing facilities here. We are extremely thankful that the Mularoni family decided upon Tennessee.”

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Mularoni and his son, Paolo, president of DCUSA, both emphasized the importance that their “Made in USA” tile production will continue with the very same high levels of quality and style as offered in their “Made in Italy” products over the past three decades.”

Industry Experts to Judge the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, Presented by the ASID Foundation

DALLAS (March 31, 2014) – Daltile and the ASID Foundation today announced the panel of judges for the third Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, presented by the ASID Foundation. From interior designers to industry experts, this year’s judges will determine some of the best and brightest young professionals that the future of interior design has to offer.

This year’s scholarship competition, titled Operation Renovation, challenges students to find a residential or commercial space in need of renovation and then create a redesign to meet the needs of its users. Once students select a space, they must identify the current issues in the space and explore changes needed to make the space both beautiful and high functioning. Now through April 9, students are required to promote themselves and rally votes for their design. The general public is also invited to visit the scholarship website and vote for their favorite entry. The best designs with the most votes will move on to final judging.

Entries will be judged on the space’s functional design, aesthetic design and creative use of Daltile’s newest product offerings by the following panel of industry experts:

Charrisse Johnston, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, Assoc. AIA

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Columbia Business School, with a BA in Behavioral Sciences and an MBA in Management and Marketing, Charrisse was a Wall Street strategic planning executive before turning to interior design.  An Associate at Gensler’s LA office, Charrisse is a workplace and educational designer and project manager, and she leads the office’s community service/pro bono design efforts.  Outside of Gensler, Charrisse has been a member of ASID’s National Board of Directors, Emerging Professionals Advisory Council, and Student Advisory Council.  She currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at UCLA Extension and the Cal Poly Pomona-UCLA Extension Master of Interior Architecture Program Guidance Committee.  She has spoken at many national design conferences and was selected by the Design Futures Council as one of six Emerging Leaders of 2010.

Lori Kirk-Rolley, Vice President, Brand Marketing, Dal-Tile

With more than 15 years of expertise in the building products industry, Lori Kirk-Rolley always has her finger on the pulse of the latest tile, color and design trends. A strategic marketer, Kirk-Rolley oversees the development and execution of marketing programs for the Daltile, American Olean, Marazzi USA and Ragno brands, and leads annual Voice of the Customer research programs that provide insights into design trends, consumer needs and specifier interests and behaviors. With this knowledge, she frequently serves as a thought leader for industry and consumer publications, broadcast programs and trade organizations.

Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC

Barbara Marini is a consultant to architectural firms, developers, and clients on issues that influence interior space. She is principal of Marini Interiors Inc., a commercial design firm and been the recipient of awards in both academics and design. Barbara currently serves as Immediate Past President of ASID, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Art Institute of Michigan, and Boston Architectural College. She has been actively engaged in interior design education and leadership, including her role as program chair at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Troy, MI and College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Barbara is a frequent speaker on design related issues and is currently a doctoral candidate at EMU in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling.

Erika Templeton, Editorial Director, Interiors & Sources

After spending 5 years on the marketing and communications side of the A&D industry, Erika Templeton jumped the fence and joined Interiors & Sources magazine as Editorial Director in June 2013. In this newly-created post, Erika manages the direction and strategic development of the ever-expanding I&S universe, including print and digital content, live events, education and research deliverables, and industry partnerships. Recently, she has been a speaker at the Wallcoverings Association Annual Meeting, and has served on the Program Advisory Committee for NeoCon®. She is also an occasional guest lecturer at Boston University’s College of Communication, where she earned a bachelor’s in journalism in 2009.

Kia Weatherspoon, Allied ASID, Determined by Design

The dancer turned soldier who fell in love with Interior Design. Kia Weatherspoon, President of Determined by Design, a Washington, D.C. based firm specializing in multi-family and hospitality design. She’s a social media maven expanding her design network, and more importantly, connecting with creative minds across the globe. Kia has sustained her creative goals by being actively involved in ASID on the chapter and national level  by serving on the Emerging Professional Advisory Council and the ASID National Board of Directors. Follow her design adventures @DetrminedDesign

The grand-prize winner of the competition will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and will be announced at NeoCon 2014. Winners of the first, second and third prizes each will receive a $2,500 scholarship, and 10 Merit Winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.


About Daltile

Daltile is an industry-leading brand of ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, manufactured stone and natural stone tile products. Daltile products are distributed through over 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards and gallery design centers that service a robust network of trade customers. Dedicated to innovative product development and distinguished style, Daltile provides a rich palette of quality products created to inspire residential and commercial designs. For more information, visit www.daltile.com and follow Daltile on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


About the ASID Foundation

As the leading interior design organization, the American Society of Interior Designers is dedicated to advancing the profession of interior design. The ASID Foundation supports endeavors that capture and disseminate knowledge, encourage innovation, and benefit the health, safety and welfare of the public through interior design research, scholarships and education. ASID Foundation initiatives include Transform, an applied research grant program; a partnership with The 1% program and National Building Museum; REGREEN, a collaborative project with the U.S. Green Building Council; and Rebuilding Together and their Veteran’s Housing Initiative. Learn more at www.asidfoundation.org



natgypNational Gypsum welcomes Rod Lopez as the new Market Development Representative for the PermaBase®brand cement board product line in the company’s Midwest and Central areas.

“Rod brings a wealth of hands-on experience to the PermaBase®brand team,” said Eddie Neel, National Gypsum’s Marketing Manager for PermaBase. “He has worked as a union carpenter, superintendent and lead estimator for the Pinto Construction Group. Rod’s diverse background will enhance our presence and add value to our customers in the Midwest and Central areas of the country.”

Lopez will be based out of Chicago, where he has been in the construction business for more than 18 years. He has worked for NextGen Building Supply as a sales representative for the past eight years.

About National Gypsum
National Gypsum is a fully integrated manufacturer and supplier of building products used worldwide.  Primary emphasis is on Gold Bond®brand gypsum board, including the PURPLE® family of drywall products; ProForm®brand drywall finishing products; PermaBase®brand cement board products; and eXP ® Extended Exposure fiberglass-faced interior and exterior gypsum panels. For more information, visit nationalgypsum.com.

The color PURPLE® is a registered trademark of National Gypsum Properties, LLC


Jesús González III of Marble World in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico has been awarded the 2013 Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Marble Institute of America (MIA). González, who has been an active MIA member for over 50 years, accepted the award at the annual MIA Awards Luncheon held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.
Jesús González III (right) of Marble World receives his Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement from Jonathan Zanger of Walker Zanger, the 2013 MIA President.
When Jesús’ father became ill and passed away many years ago, he took over management of what then was a modest stone business in Northern Mexico. The firm had limited financial resources and its future at the time was uncertain. But, with his passion for stone, imagination and drive, and a dream to build Marble World into the best stone company in Mexico, Jesús III far exceeded his own ambitions.
Today, the business has a worldwide presence. Most of the fabrication work is done at a facility in Gomez Palacio, Mexico, where the firm produces products like hand-carved fire places, hood ranges, columns and other pieces usually made from limestone and travertine. While Marble World has the kind of production equipment you’d find in most major shops, technology is not the major focus. “We search all over Mexico for the best carvers and the most skilled labor we can find to do what we call creative work,” says González.
In addition to the Gomez Palacio facility, Marble World has numerous locations elsewhere in Mexico that do traditional marble and granite work for skyscrapers, shopping centers, department stores, museums, etc. The growth he generated created the need for more stone factories with bigger and better capabilities, so he expanded his operations to include several plants where quarries were close by.  González wanted to be vertically integrated, so he began quarrying and installing the stone.      
Monica Gawet, a former MIA president shared, “his passion, involvement, guidance and support for MIA is unwavering. As a person who was newly elected on the board in 1997, it was board members like Jesús who set the right tone for professionalism, realism, advocacy and support so that MIA could be the best association possible for the membership. He was very familiar with the operations of the MIA and was so helpful to explain things that I wasn’t fully aware of.”
Bob Stasswender, also a former MIA president added, “I did my first job with Jesús in 1978. It was a small order using Rosa Mexicana marble that was fabricated inMonterrey and shipped to Austin for the Paramount Theater renovation. It was my first time dealing with an international order and without Jesús’ help, I would have botched it completely.”
Jesús González has been an ambassador for the MIA in so many ways. He helped attract other members from Central and South America and always represented the interests of contractors and fabricators on the board. His keen business acumen was always present at MIA board meetings and he has provided extremely valuable counsel to the association and staff leaders. A very sharp international business person with knowledge and insight that most domestic stone company owners do not have, Jesús’ reputation reaches far beyond the Americas.
González’s motto has always been, “I will only supply a stone job if it makes me proud.” He has stood by his word for over half a century.
Jesús and his wife, Adriana, have four sons and 12 grandchildren.  
About the Marble Institute of America
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has served as the authoritative source of information on standards of natural stone workmanship and practice and the application of natural stone products for 70 years.
Membership in the association is worldwide and includes over 1,600 natural stone producers, exporters/importers, distributors/wholesalers, fabricators, finishers, installers, and industry suppliers committed to the highest standards of workmanship and ethics.
MIA offers an industry accreditation program for fabricators and installers, markets a range of technical publications and consumer pamphlets on natural stone, sponsors business and technical meetings and seminars on industry-related topics, provides educational programming for architects and construction specification professionals, and conducts the annual Pinnacle Awards competitions recognizing outstanding natural stone projects worldwide.
MIA is also a leading promoter of stone usage in the commercial and residential marketplaces, producing consumer education materials on the use of natural stone and its proper care and maintenance. More information can be found on the association’s website: http://www.marble-institute.com.

35,000-piece Glass Mosaic Mural of Giant Bostik Gecko to be Unveiled at Coverings 2014

bostikBostik, Inc. (bostik-us.com), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of adhesives and sealants, recently introduced its new worldwide branding program, complete with a new corporate logo including a multi-colored gecko . The rationale for using this image, is that a gecko is capable of sticking to almost any surface at any angle… with a remarkably strong bond. Response to the new branding has been excellent.

Bostik’s gecko will be even more focal at Coverings 2014, the world’s largest exposition of tile and stone products. On April 29th at the Las Vegas Convention Center, an 8′ x 8′ mural portraying the gecko, crafted with more than 35,000 individually-placed, tiny glass mosaics, will be officially unveiled at 11:00 a.m. The event will take place at Bostik’s exhibit # 7087; a coffee bar will be on hand for those attending.

To produce a masterpiece-quality glass mural of this magnitude, Bostik turned to Surfaces, Inc., of Miami, Florida, one of the nation’s premier manufacturers and marketers of glass mosaics. Elida Art, a division of Surfaces, has been creating highly detailed, labor-intensive murals for two decades. Albert Claramonte, President of Surfaces, stated, “We took a high resolution image of Bostik’s gecko and then scanned it, using our special software program to elicit a gigantic, pixelated grid.  This indicated to our artisans exactly which color tiny mosaic tile would go where, in order to make our Bostik glass gecko glass mural a visual reality.  From there, they began mounting the thousands of half-inch glass mosaics each by hand, one-at-a-time, on square foot mesh, perfectly following the computer-generated grid.”

Claramonte added that those working on the mural are not just automatons who meticulously follow the gridwork and affix the tiny mosaics in place. “They all are art school-educated, with high sensitivity to the best usage of color. If just one of the glass “chips” is even a bit  off color-wise and they think it would disrupt the flow of the mural, they have the choice to replace that piece, taking time to source the most appropriate substitute mosaic tile. Our mosaic artists are absolute perfectionists!”
Bostik’s Dimension™ RapidCure™, Pre-Mixed Urethane Grout, was the obvious choice to be used to finish the project. In particular, because it contains micro glass beads and a translucent, urethane binder that both reflect light as well as allowing it to pass through. This creates a totally unique reflective, three-dimensional effect within glass tile installations. Visitors to Coverings exhibit # 7087 will therefore see a huge, luminous glass mosaic gecko that will look a bit different from every angle.

“Designers are referring to Dimension as ‘upscale,’ ‘artsy’ and even ‘breathtaking’ … which is absolutely unheard of in the grout world,” stated Scott Banda, Director of Marketing for Bostik’s Consumer and Construction Unit. “Equally important, contractors love it. Dimension gives them an opportunity to up-sell, while cutting their grouting time by one-third to one-half and ultimately delivering true works of tile art. We can’t wait for Coverings to take place and everyone to see our giant gecko mural which showcases our corporate logo… but also, exemplifies the most state-of-the-art way to grout glass mosaic projects!”

About Bostik, Inc.
Bostik is a leading global adhesive specialist in industrial manufacturing, construction and consumer markets. For more than a century, they have been developing innovative adhesive solutions that are smarter and more adaptive to the forces that shape people’s daily lives. From cradle to grave, from home to office, Bostik’s smart adhesives can be found everywhere. With annual sales in excess of $2 billion, the company employs 4,800 people and has a presence in more than 50 countries. Bostik is a company of Total. Visit bostik-us.com for more information.

Contact information
Chris Eichman
Marketing Communications Manager, Consumer & Construction Business Unit
Phone: 414-607-1265  Email: christopher.eichman@bostik-us.com www.bostik-us.com

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Development partners with CEFGA for 10th annual SkillsUSA CareerExpo in Atlanta

skills usaThe Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development) is proud to partner with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) for the 10th annual CareerExpo this Thursday, March 13 – Friday, March 14 at the Georgia International Convention Center.

“This career expo is an exceptional showcase of Georgia’s talented young people,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “I applaud the efforts of the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia and SkillsUSA for providing students with firsthand job experience that enhances their education and guides them toward rewarding careers.”

As the largest youth workforce development event in the construction industry, the expo provides students with the opportunity to explore specific career paths and network with hundreds of organizations and employers across the state. In addition to the exhibits, more than 2,000 high school and technical college students involved with SkillsUSA will compete in leadership and skills competitions that demonstrate their ability to excel in real-world occupations.

“The CareerExpo is an important part of a larger effort we are engaged in to close our state’s skilled labor gap,” said Ben Hames, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. “Through Go Build Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development is proud to partner with these organizations to continue to lay the foundation for securing a skilled workforce in Georgia.”

CEFGA is a not-for-profit education foundation that partners with construction companies and trade associations to support training programs and encourage students to pursue careers in construction. More information may be accessed online at www.cefga.org.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. Career and technical education is learning that works for America. For more information, go to www.skillsusa.org.  SkillsUSA Georgia is focused on serving high school students involved in Architecture, Construction, Communication, Cosmetology, Public Safety, and Transportation pathways. More information may be accessed online at www.skillsusageorgia.org.

Tile of Spain reveals global design trends and innovation at CEVISAMA 2014

tile of spainSpanish ceramic tile exports grew by 8%, making them Europe’s leading ceramic tile producer – and the second largest exporter of tile worldwide

 CEVISAMA, the International Ceramic Tile Fair, recently took place from February 11-14 at the Feria Valencia center in Spain. The Spanish tile industry continues to be vibrant and sales are on the rise for a third year. Spain has grown its tile exports, further solidifying their leadership position at the forefront of technology and design. As a result, Spain is currently Europe’s leading ceramic tile producer, and the second largest exporter at worldwide level. 

U.S. Exports Increase by 22% in 2013
Spain’s ceramic tile sector exports grew by 8%. It is estimated that total sales by the Spanish ceramic tile industry will have hit 2.8 million euros by the end of 2013. Exports to the USA rose by more than 22%.


Key Trends/New Products Featured
The following provides a brief overview of some of the key trends and new products featured at CEVISAMA:
1. Encaustic and Hydraulic
Classic encaustic ceramic hydraulic cement styles in a wide variety of colors and geometric patterns continue to attract attention. From distressed antique to contemporary colors, the mixed pattern look was everywhere at the fair and was shown on walls, floors and counter surfaces.   
2. Beveled
Beveled tile adds dimension, depth and interest to a subway tile pattern. Tile textures and geometric shapes give designers flexibility to take classic looks and recreate them in new, interesting ways.    
3. Geometric and Fashion Inspired
Geometric shapes such as hexagons and fashion inspired Victorian reliefs or herringbone patterns offer a fresh vantage point – outside the rectangular or square box. Shapes also provide a crafted or artisan feel given the attention to detail in execution. Mix and match patchwork takes this effect even further.
4. Technology Advances
  • New 12mm countertop slab sizes in 5′x10′ dimensions were launched by Inalco and Neolith.
  • Inalco presented a unique material with the resistance of porcelain tile combined with an innovative translucent quality called Poise. It allows designers to have light show through the surface.
  • Touché is another new addition to Inalco’s range, standing out in this case for its ultra-white surface, a pioneering achievement in porcelain tile design. This degree of whiteness provides a better background for the creation of classical high-quality marble-effect tiles.
  • Relonda introduced a single fire product with reactive metallic glaze. Kefrin is a beautiful and accessible metallic concept.
    Technology Advances: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3hrtwy8cp8gp4o8/TC-_rBPZs2
5.  Oxidized and Fossilized
Spain manufacturers continue to push the envelope on wood looks creating new petrified or fossilized concepts that have a stone-like appearance. Oxidized looks were also prevalent incorporating rust, blue and metallic tones for a contemporary industrial feel.

Global EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations)
The first AENOR (Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification) Global EPDs were recently awarded to tile companies, making the Spanish tile sector among the first to be awarded type III ecolabels. EPDs form part of a European ecolabelling system for products from the construction sector, aimed at certifying the environmental impact of products during the life cycle and their eco-efficient manufacturing process. The companies that were awarded the certificates were Azuliber, Ceracasa, Iberoalcorense, Peronda, Azulev, Cerámica Ribesalbes, Gayafores, Keraben, Cerámica Latina, Azteca and Novogres, which now join Rosagres, Porcelanosa, Colorker, Vives and Roca. ASCER worked to develop an innovative online tool that allows companies to easily apply to receive EPDs that are accepted in many countries in Europe, Canada and Asia.


High-resolution images are available for download at:


Tile of Spain Awards

This year marked the 12th edition of the Tile of Spain Awards. Both the prestige of its successive juries and the quality of the prize-winning projects have made these Awards a reference point on the international architectural circuit. To view the impressive projects that won – download of images, plans and descriptions at www.dossierpremiosceramica.com. All of the information on the prize awards is online at www.premiosceramica.com.
About Tile of Spain
In Spain, tile makers labor as they have for centuries – pushing their passion for design and innovation to new levels of artisanship. With one of the purest and strongest domestic clays available, Spanish manufacturers have an unparalleled ability to make the end product more diverse. From rustic handmade forms; to technical facades that cool buildings and clean the air; to the impossibly slim, sustainable recycled and ink jet masterpieces that fire the imagination. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) is the private organization whose primary objective is to support Spain’s ceramic tile manufacturers and the industry as a whole by stewarding and promoting the Tile of Spain brand worldwide. A strong global leader, the ceramic tile industry of Spain comprises 125 manufacturers concentrated primarily in the province of Castellón. For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL  33134. Call 305-446-4387 or visit  www.tileofspainusa.com.

For photography, interviews or questions, please call Katie Sikorski at 609-490-0999 x15 or ksikorski@frankadvertisingus.com 







Del Conca USA, the North American subsidiary of Del Conca, one of the main Italian groups in the ceramic tile manufacturing industry, has begun production after an initial investment of more than $50 million US dollars, $30 million of which have been invested in world-class Italian tile production technology.

“Construction of the buildings, and the installation of the production machinery (all strictly Made in Italy) were completed at the beginning of February, just 10 months after the start,” exclaimed Paolo Mularoni, president of Del Conca USA. “From there, we went on with extensive testing of the machinery and training of the new employees who, after learning “Del Conca theories” (safety, product technology …) traveled to Italy for highly professional, hands-on training in the other plants of the group. It is essential that our Made in USA production has the same high levels of quality and style as offered in our products Made in Italy!”

Today officially starts the production of the first tiles by DEL CONCA USA, with quality testing on raw materials, process and finished goods. 

“To begin, we are working with one shift, but as soon as possible, we plan to be working 24 hours a day,” stated Paolo Mularoni. “Initially, we forecast a production of 30 million sq ft per year. Having a domestic product allows us to increase our market penetration, the ability to be more cost-competitive and to be able to respond in a quicker and more flexible way to the needs of the many US customers we are fortunate to already have. In Loudon, TN, we will also stock a selection of our Italian-made tile materials to improve our customer service on those products, too.”

Del Conca USA launched its new products last month during Surfaces 2014 in Las Vegas, but plans for its grand presentation of these products to be held (with a state-of-the-art exhibit more than twice the size compared to those from previous years) at COVERINGS 2014, the largest North American trade exposition for the tile industry, which takes place at the end of April in Las Vegas, as well.

The global revenue of the Del Conca Group is $165 million USD, out of which one-third already comes from the USA, where sales increased by 12% in 2013 compared to the previous year.

“One of the things that impressed me most, when we decided to build in the USA,” admits Paolo Mularoni, “is the warm, ‘welcome to business’ attitude which we continually received. Those who invest are welcomed as bringing something positive into the region; the institutions are actively involved into facilitating investments, not giving out dollars but rather, service and infrastructure,” Mularoni continued. “For example, The State of Tennessee and the Loudon County and City, helped our investment with fast response to all bureaucracy and building, as a tangible welcome, the road to our new factory that was even named “Del Conca Way!” 


The Del Conca Group is one of the main Italian organizations in the ceramic tile manufacturing sector, comprised of four production companies: Ceramica Faetano Spa, Ceramica del Conca Spa, Pastorelli Spa, Del Conca USA, Inc.;  one trading company: Produco; and Fondazione Cino Mularoni, a foundation dealing with cultural and social activities.


Over 600 delegates attended QUALICER 2014


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 seewww.qualicer.org

Crossville Welcomes Sam Dryden as Vice President of Manufacturing

CROSSVILLE, Tenn.  – Officials with Crossville, Inc. have announced the addition of Sam Dryden as Vice President of Manufacturing.

Sam Dryden, Crossville VP of Manufacturing

Sam Dryden, Crossville VP of Manufacturing

Dryden comes to Crossville from Mannington Wood & Laminate Floors division, where he worked since 1998 and most recently served as Director of Manufacturing. Prior to and in tandem with his career in manufacturing management, Dryden served in the U.S. Navy. He retired from the military in 2011 as a U.S. Navy Commander – Naval Flight Officer after 20 years of service. He holds a BA in Accounting from the University of North Georgia and an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.