Small Reasons for Optimism

Dear readers,

When you pick up this issue shortly after publication and hot off the press, I will be attending the Institute for Brick and Tile Research’s lateral entry seminar in Essen. On the one hand, I am a career changer myself, but on the other, as a ZI editor I am interested in the teaching format and the participants. After all, professional knowledge transfer and further training are becoming increasingly important in the brick and tile industry. Processes and equipment are becoming more complex, and dealing with them successfully is more demanding. At the same time, fewer and fewer new employees in brickworks meet these requirements. The seminar is therefore a small reason for optimism.

Personnel problems also played an important role in discussions at ceramitec in April. In the short term, they even seem more important than the medium-term issues raised by process and energy transformation. In any case, there was plenty to talk about in Munich and, although there were hardly any solutions, there were many promising approaches. The ZI lecture program contributed to this with five specialist lectures. You will find a report on the trade fair on page 34 of this issue.

There was also an opportunity to visit the Krumbach-based company Lingl at the trade fair. The mood at the stand, with its new company name and new main shareholder, was optimistic. You can read about the reasons for this in the interview with Hermann Frentzen, the company’s new and oldest “apprentice” (page 6).

The two presidents of the European association Tiles & Bricks Europe are also optimistic. The agenda is admittedly sporty. But past and present agreements at the European level show that changes for the better are possible. It is therefore worth keeping informed and participating. You can read why Murray Rattana-Ngam and Miroslaw Jaroszewicz are convinced of this from page 12 onwards.

But before you think that this issue is missing out on technical topics, please take a look at page 18 and following. In the third part of the technical article on the use of hydrogen in Thuringian brickworks, Regina Vogt and Marc Homann from IAB Weimar present the results of the laboratory tests.

I wish you an entertaining and informative read.



Victor Kapr


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