Featured sessions

The opening panel debate, the Globalization of the Ceramic Tile Industry, has been held at Qualicer since 2014. International leaders of the ceramic tile manufacturing industry debate strategic issues to be faced by the sector in the near future. They’ll also discuss about commercial and industrial policies that make industrial investment feasible in different geographical areas.

The panel will analyse the main technological and business innovations in the ceramic tile sector.

In this edition and with the aim of bringing the debate closer to the vision of the final client, Rick Church, CTDA Executive Director (CTDA Ceramic Tile Distributor Association, USA) will chair the debate.

The following panel members have confirmed their participation:

Sergio Narváez,
General Manager of Lamosa Group (Mexico)

Alejandro Navarro
CEO of ARGENTA (Spain)

Rick Church,
CTDA Executive Director (EEUU)

New colour management technologies are being rapidly developed. They not only facilitate decision-making for implementing new production start-ups by clarifying possibilities, shortening times and cutting production costs. They also allow equalising tones in lines running different hardware and pursuing what appeared impossible: suppressing differences in shades.

At Qualicer 2020, experts from leading corporate solution providers in this field will discuss the current situation, their short- and middle-term perspectives, as well as the training needs for such management.

The panel debate will be chaired by Sergio Cepria, Digital Solutions Deputy Manager at the Esmalglass-Itaca Group.

The following members have confirmed their participation: 

Javier Martí. Technical Director LARGE, Color Solutions (Spain)

Juan Martorell, CEO ColorInLab Color Consulting SL (Spain)

Chaired by:
Sergio Cepriá,
Digital Solutions Deputy Manager,  Esmalglass-Itaca Group  (Spain)

Esmalglass Itaca

Three top managers, from international companies at the forefront of innovation and technology, will be analysing in depth the challenges facing machinery, materials, and services providers when it comes to helping clients develop their own strategies. Do they receive different demands from clients who go for differentiation compared to those who pursue cost efficiency? Do they develop different research lines to meet different strategic needs? Does technology facilitate or impede differentiation? Do companies solely depend on marketing and the sales channel to defend their prices? What are the foreseeable changes in the middle term in that sense?

Fabio TarozziChairman and CEO of SITI – B&T GROUP S.p.A. (Italy)

Martin Haberl, General Director of Zschimmer & Schwarz (Germany)

Rubén Mateu Ballester 

General Manager of Torrecid-Suzhou and Asian Market Manager

Moderador: Jose Manrique

Country Manager Ferro Spain y Frit&Glaze Business Manager  (Spain)

The panel will mainly deal with the threat of new plastic-based products that, on the back of their own digital revolution, threaten the ceramic tile market and whose best-known exponent is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). The alleged characteristics of these products will be analysed and compared with the already well-established performance features of ceramic tile at both product level and as installed product throughout its service life.

Some topics from the panel debate on the Globalisation of Ceramic Tile Quality, which opens the congress, will also be dealt with, as the business associations represented by the panel members will influence industrial and commercial policies, stimulating or discouraging investment and potentially favouring or harming market growth. The panel will chiefly focus on the American market and will be chaired by Bart Bettiga, Executive Manager of the National Tile Contractors Association (USA).

Eric Astrachan
Managing director for the Tile Council of North America  (USA)

Rick Church

Executive Director CTDA – Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (USA)

Armando Cafiero
Managing Director Confindustria Ceramica  (Italy)

Alberto Echavarría
Secretary General of the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association

Chaired by:

Bart Bettiga – Executive Manager of the National Tile Contractors Association (USA).

Understanding technical information developed by tile manufacturers, both in product and installation methods, as an investment instead of a cost, is a key point to facilitate the growth of ceramic tile market in the US. Cost are to be reduced but that is not the case for technical information in a really quality demanding market, not only because of legal or administrative requirements, but also because of its great focus on quality in both product and process.  Executives of ceramic tile manufacturers from USA, Italy and Spain will share experiences and thoughts about what the American market needs beyond the tile itself.

Noah Chitty
Director of Technical Services Crossville Inc. and ISO TC189 Chairman

Andrés Hernandez,
Expansion Director of Grespania

Grespania Cerámica

Bart Bettiga
Executive Manager of the National Tile Contractors Association (USA).


Claudio Bizzaglia

Sales Engineering Director in IRIS CERAMICA GROUP

Technical Directors of leading companies in the area will make a strategic reflection on the current situation of companies in the ceramic sector in terms of Industry 4.0. The session will begin with a ten-minute presentation and will be led by Juan Ignacio Cantero Ramis (Industrial Processes Area of ITC and Telecommunications Engineer) about the six stages based on the guide: Computerization, Connectivity, Visibility, Transparency, Predictive capability and Adaptability. Then, there will be a panel debate and discussion. The participants will comment these stages and their realization prediction. What other sector initiatives could be proposed to benefit companies? Which individual role do they expect their companies would develop? In which geographical areas or markets would it be faster? Will adaptation have a considerable impact on the profitability of companies? The session will allow an international perspective of a sectoral initiative of maximum interest carried out by the Spanish association of machinery and equipment for the ceramic industry.

Juan Ignacion Cantero Ramis

Programmer in the Area for Industrial Processes of ITC-AICE

Alessandro Cocquio
Technical director of Business Unit TILES del Grupo SACMI


Rafa Vicent
Technical Director of KERAjet, S. A


Máximo Dolz
Technical Director of Grespania

Grespania Cerámica

Chaired by:
Juan Vicente Bono
President of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Machinery and Equipment for the Ceramic Industry (ASEBEC)

Ceramic tiles are building material used to make beautiful and durable coverings. Many times, however, the specification and design criteria to build with tile can become a complex task mainly because its behaviour depends also on features like structural movement, adhesives performance and the way it is installed and used.

Relevant questions arise frequently in this context: what kind and how much information on the use of tile should be available for architects, design and builders to allow the best result possible for new projects? Which are the best practices in the international market and how the industry and users can benefit from it? Are current standards enough to cover the new challengers of the construction industry in search of higher levels of productivity? Join this session to discuss the use of tile for buildings and to become aware of how tile need to compete with other material in a worldwide context.

Jonas Medeiros
Technical Director of Inovatec Consultores Associados (Brazil)

Dr. Agustín Escardino
Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engeneering (Universitat Jaume I)
Honorary Life Director of Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC) (Spain)