Vittorio Costa, CEO Sales of Minerali Industriali Engineering, talks about the dry grinding technologies developed for ceramics manufacturing and the enthusiasm about being back at Tecna 2022.
What technology solutions have you been working on over recent years that you will be presenting at the fair?
Our first key line of development focuses on various dry grinding technologies for hard raw materials, such as quartz and feldspar. Raw materials which the group also handles as a supplier.
The second key line is linked to the acquisition of the company Manfredini e Schianchi s.r.l.. With this new asset, we have inherited certain research and development projects for sprayers on which the company had already begun working and which are particularly linked to patented technology called Fusion. This dry grinding technology creates a granulate which can replace conventional wet-prepared spray-dried mix.
At Manfredini e Schianchi, these projects have always been part of the company's mission. Today though, growing energy costs mean the technology has now taken on fundamental importance, while also being a milestone in terms of sustainability.
What do you see in the market in the coming months?
There are various negotiations underway, as all our customers are interested in the Fusion patent, especially in what savings it could actually offer. The market is receptive and requests have been coming in from all over the world, from Turkey to South America. It feels as if we are still experiencing a post-COVID sluggishness, and there is also a sense of slowdown due to inflation, but it is hard to quantify that exactly. For the moment the prospects for the next quarter are positive, making longer-term forecasts extremely risky.
What are your expectations for Tecna 2022?
Our expectations for this year's event are optimistic. We have also recently exhibited at other trade fairs, where we saw firsthand just how much people want to participate actively in these events. After the forced downtime caused by the pandemic, we have been noticing new expectations and a desire to touch and see the technologies in person. The first feedback from our customers and agents indicates there will be a significant number of people attending, as this fair is seen as an opportunity to exchange information and know-how unlike any other.
What countries are you focusing on in the run-up to the fair?
We are mainly concentrating on the areas where, historically, we have always had the largest market, so in South America and Europe. The situation in Asia is more complex. This means we are targeting those markets where we have consolidated customers by strengthening spare parts and customer service activities.
Another strategy we are implementing is to develop comprehensive solutions, since, thanks to our group know-how of raw materials management, we can provide complete customer service throughout the manufacturing process: from support at the deposits to complete processing plants. Our goal is to provide turnkey systems based on our customers' needs. A service that sets us apart from the rest.