Toward a Resource Efficient Production

Toward a Resource Efficient Production

The German Engineering Federation, VDMA India organised an ECTS symposium on “Toward a Resource Efficient Production of High Quality Bricks and Tiles in India” in the Hotel Daspalla in Hyderabad on 5th March 2018. Six companies from different parts of Europe, from Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and Greece presented technical solutions for production of high-quality bricks and tiles to the local industry in Telanagana, Andhra Pradesh and neighboring states in southern India.

ECTS stands for European Ceramic Technology Suppliers. It is a working group of European suppliers and a unique network of European suppliers of machinery, materials and engineering services for the production of ceramics and related technologies like heavy clay, fine ceramics, technical ceramics or powder metallurgy. Currently 25 member companies concentrate the state of the art in ceramics technology and provide all products and services along the process chain. By our estimates, a total of around 4.500 employees in Europe generate a yearly turnover of 850 Million Euros.

India has always been a focal point for ECTS activities with market investigation activities dating back to the very beginning of the working group ten years ago.
The Heavy Clay industry in India offers a big market. It is estimated that 200 billion bricks are manufactured every year. The estimated market size of the brick industry is Euro 17.5 billion. Indian brick industry mainly produces solid bricks, which has the potential to be replaced by more resource efficient bricks such as perforated bricks, hollow blocks and fly-ash bricks.
The challenges which the Indian brick and tile manufacturers are facing are manifold. Environmental issues and the strict stand of the government against the depletion of top soil are major concerns. Another factor affecting the industry is the increasing cost of labour as a consequence of government schemes which offer 100 days work in a year to one member of rural families with a minimum wage. Further, the prices of bricks are not increasing in proportion to the rising costs of transport, raw material, labour, etc. This event served as a platform to discuss demands and challenges local brick makers are facing.

After a successful road-show in 2014 in Kolkata, where the ECTS delegation consisting of around 13 members had participated and the seminar drew over 120 brick and tile makers primarily from West Bengal, Jharkhand and neighboring states in eastern and north eastern region and Bangladesh, the fourth time in 2017 the ECTS delegation consisting of around 7 companies from different parts of Europe presented technical solutions for production of high-quality bricks and tiles in Madurai. The seminar attracted participation from Tamil Nadu and neighboring states in southern India.

This visit to Hyderabad was the fifth visit of an ECTS delegation to India in a row. The symposium received an overwhelming response with participation of over 150 brick and tile manufacturers not only from Telanagana, but also from the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh.
The symposium started off with a welcome address from Mr. Ajmal Fawad, Deputy Manager, VDMA India followed by the special address by the Chief Guest Mr. Rajender Reddy, President, Telangana Brick and Tile Manufacturers Association and an address by the Guest of Honour, Mr. Tummala Venkateswarlu, President, Sri Vengamamba Brick Association. Mr. Reddy and Mr. Venkateswarlu pointed out the problems and challenges faced by the local brick and tile manufacturers. Later Mr. Dries van Hapert, Ex-Chairman, ECTS, in his keynote address welcomed the local brick manufacturers and explained the importance of mechanization.

The programme was divided into 6 presentations on different topics made by the respective participating companies. The companies along with the topics of their presentations are as follows:
• Ar-san Makina, Turkey: Your solution partner for hollow bricks
• Beralmar Tecnologic, Spain: Solution for drying and firing – European way for Indian industry
• Ceratec, Belgium: Helping to select the correct steps in the modernisation of the brick plant
• De Boer Machines, Netherlands / De Boer Damle India Ltd.: Helping traditional brick makers mechanize sustainably
• Händle, Germany: Extrusion of hollow blocks and tiles – A step towards a resource efficient production
• Sabo S. A., Greece: Automation in Indian brick industry

During the breaks the interested brick makers had sufficient opportunity to interact with the ECTS members. The symposium concluded with a high tea which provided a good interaction and networking opportunity for both the members and speakers at the event.

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