The day after tomorrow!

That was the hopeful answer we received from some of the exhibitors and visitors when we asked them, “When are things going to start looking up again?” Trade fairs can hardly be expected to bring about a turnabout, but they can sow hope for better times to come. For us, your trade journal Zi Brick and Tile Industry International, four days of trade fair in Munich this year also meant “Heavy Clay Day” and the TBE General Meeting. Lots of program for such a short time, but also a good chance to interface with lots of international Zi readers.

And “international” it was at Ceramitec, with 60% of the audience coming from outside of Germany. In Heavy Clay Hall B5, the stands and booths were abuzz with a global cross section of the brick & tile industry - despite the fact that there were only about 70% as many fairgoers as in 2006. For many companies nowadays, cost reduction also means cutting back on travelling costs. On the other hand, numerous exhibitors reported having had some good talks with decision-makers and even one or the other wrapped-up transaction. Let‘s hope now that those good contacts will turn into some real projects and orders. Ceramitec was also international in terms of exhibitors: 656 companies (44 more than in 2006) from 35 different countries. Some of the displayers from last time around no longer exist now; even “Keyria”, surprisingly, absent despite their announced intentions to the contrary. There was a Keyria stand, though, tended by the richly traditioned ceramic engineering contractors Keller HCW and Ceric.

This was the debut of “Heavy Clay Day” – hosted jointly by Zi Brick and Tile Industry International and Ceramitec – where visitors from all over the world were able to attend a broad range of lectures on subjects of topical interest. The key themes sustainability and energy efficiency ran like a red thread through the lectures. Closing speaker Frank Appel, of Hans Lingl Anlagenbau und Verfahrenstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, called for an alliance of European brick & tile producers, associations and plant contractors to call the world‘s attention to their innovative, sustainable products and, hence to further strengthen the prestige of heavy clay.

For TBE President Dr. Heimo Scheuch, too, our products‘ sustainability is a key characteristic. At the TBE General Meeting in Munich, one of his main concerns was to call on his brick & tile colleagues to close ranks for heavy clay products throughout the branch. Especially in difficult times like these, he said, the brick & tile industry must stand together behind their product.

We, as the leading international trade journal for the brick and tile industry, regard it as one of our duties to brand more forcefully than ever heavy clay products as modern building materials, both in terms of manufacture and application. And, dear Readers, we are very happy to note your pertinent interest.

 

Yours,
Anett Fischer
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