ECTS Symposium "Mechanization Traditional Clay Brick & Tile Industry"
The German Engineering Federation, VDMA India organised an ECTS symposium on “Mechanization in Traditional Clay Brick and Tile Industry” in the Hotel Haven Intercontinental in Agartala on 25th February 2019. Four companies from different parts of Europe, from Germany, Spain and Netherlands presented technical solutions for production of high-quality bricks and tiles to the local industry in northeast India i.e. Tripura, Assam, Bengal and also Bangladesh.
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 region and Bangladesh, the fourth time in 2017 the ECTS Symposium took place in Madurai drawing participation from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The fifth time, last year, the ECTS delegation consisting of around 6 companies from different parts of Europe presented technical solutions for production of high-quality bricks and tiles in Hyderabad. The seminar attracted over 150 people from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other neighboring states in southern India.
This visit to Agartala was the sixth visit of an ECTS delegation to India in a row. 4 companies from different parts of Europe, from Germany, Spain and Netherlands presented technical solutions for production of high-quality bricks and tiles to the local industry. The symposium received participation of over 60 brick and tile manufacturers not only from Tripura but also from Assam, Bengal and other neighboring states in north eastern India, even from Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The symposium started off with a welcome address from Mr. Ajmal Fawad, Deputy Manager, VDMA India followed by the special address by Mr. Miquel Moix, Chairman, ECTS. The Chief Guest, Mr. Partha Sarathi, Dutta, Vice President, Tripura Brick Manufacturers Association discussed the challenges faced by the industry in the region. Then the Guest of Honour, Mr. Ashoke Tewari, President, Bengal Brickfield Owners’ Association addressed the audience and highlighted about the importance of mechanization in the industry. The special guest, Dr. B. N. Dulal, Secretary General, Bangladesh Auto Bricks Manufacturers’ Association, pointed out the problems and challenges faced by the local brick makers in Bangladesh. Later Mr. Anand Damle, De Boer Machines, member of the board, ECTS, in his keynote address welcomed the local brick manufacturers and explained the importance of mechanization in the current challenges faced by the local brick makers in Tripura.
The programme was divided into 4 presentations on different topics made by the respective participating companies. The companies along with the topics of their presentations are as follows:
Beralmar Technologic, Spain: Solution for drying and firing – European way for Indian industry
De Boer Machines, Netherlands / De Boer Damle India Ltd.: Helping Indian brick makers manufacture resource efficient solid bricks
Refratechnik, Germany: Refractory systems for progressive and economical brick firing
Verdes, Spain: Modern brick making in northern India
During the breaks the interested brick makers had sufficient opportunity to interact with the ECTS members. The symposium concluded with a B2B session which provided a good interaction and networking opportunity for both the members and speakers at the event.
Source of the image : VDMA