On September 23, Chinese Ceramic Industry Trend Forum and 2021 Uniceramics Expo Press Conference was held at the Huaxia Pearl Grand Hotel. Two months after 2020 Uniceramics Expo, numerous big names in the industry gathered again, such as Orfeo Finocchi, General Manager of System China, Luca Pecorara, Vice-president of Ferro Asia Pacific, Ye Delin, President of Newpearl Group, Liang Tongcan, President of Hongyu Group, Bao Jiejun, President of Guiran Academy, Bian Cheng, President of Keda, Zhang Qikang, Director of Monalisa Tiles, etc., and Secretary Generals of furniture and customization associations also presented the conference.
Click on the Video to learn more about the forum.
Two major issues of sintered stones were discussed at the forum.
①With the increasing demand of sintered stones, will Chinese ceramic industry come back to the peak with 10 billion m2 capacity?
②How do you think of the formulation of the sintered stone standard?
Sintered stones have a wide range of applications, which helps ceramic industry come back to the peak with 10 billion m2 capacity
Bao Jiejun said, Chinese ceramic tile market may drop to about 7 billion m2 in 2020, but sintered stones is being applied to the furniture industry and replacing some traditional materials, which drives the growth of China’s ceramic industry. In the future, it is very likely that the production capacity of ceramic industry will come back to the peak with 10 billion m2 again.
Bao Jiejun, President of Guiran Academy
Orfeo Finocchi said, last year we have seen a very increased demand for especially the technology to produce big slabs. In some other parts of the world, there was a big demand, especially here in China. If we talk about big slab press from our side in all the world, we are talking about up to now, 70 lines. This year, China accounts for about 30% of System Company’s global sales, so China is a very important market for big slabs.
Orfeo Finocchi, General Manager of System China
Luca Pecorara said, In Europe and India, they are still struggling to the concept that big slabs are not big tiles. Here, we can see it is something well-known in China. China right now has a good understanding of different markets. It has a big internal market. Since I arrived here two years ago, what surprised me is China’s speed of implementing new technology, new products and new things. And I know several companies are already thinking about establishing some design centers in Italy. I have no doubt about the success of sintered stones in China.
Luca pecorara, Vice-president of Ferro Asia Pacific
Jian Runtong, vice president of Newpearl Ceramics, said, If more and more architects and designers start to apply sintered stones in projects, the ceramic industry is likely to achieve 10 billion m2 production capacity. We believe that sintered stones can account for 10% of the total capacity of ceramic industry. If the total capacity is 10 billion m2, it means sintered stones’ capacity should reach 1 billion. Given the current production capacity of Chinese ceramic industry, it is possible to achieve this goal in the future.
Jian Runtong, Vice-president of Newpearl Ceramics
Some guests at the forum from fields of design and custom furniture also said that the application of sintered stones is increasing significantly in their fields. Some industry players of furniture association believe that the market share of sintered stones will reach 250 billion yuan, which consists of 150 billion in the field of traditional home furnishing, 50 billion in custom home furnishing, and 50 billion in natural stone. In these fields, sintered stones can replace traditional materials and gain more market share.
Sintered stones require a related industrial standard to achieve the 250 billion market share
How can sintered stones achieve the 250 billion market share? There are several problems await to solve. First of all, a related industrial standard for sintered stones should be developed.
1.Is sintered stone a new material or a new category in the ceramic industry? Is it defined by its specifications or ingredients?
Designer Wu Wenli said, “Some of my projects used a large number of sintered stones, but I confuse about how to define it. Is sintered stone a new material or a new ceramic category? The two are different concepts and they account for different market share. Because if we just define sintered stone as a category of ceramic instead of a new material, it will account for a smaller market share.” What’s more, when he promotes the products to consumers, he feels concerned about how to explain the product is sintered stone or not. “Is it defined by its specifications or by ingredients?” he asked.
2.Should the standard be a product standard, material standard, or technical regulations?
Yang Zhihua, Secretary General of Furniture Association of Lecong, Guangdong made suggestions from the perspective of home furnishing standard. He said that sintered stones can be defined as a kind of home furnishing material, or a finished furniture product.
If it is defined as a kind of home furnishing material, the formulation of standard is up to ceramic enterprises. And if government formulates the mandatory standard, we should obey to it.
If it is defined as a kind of finished furniture product, three standards are essential: safety standards, specifications, and physical standards. In addition, semi-finished product or finished product is also a standard, which can be developed jointly by furniture enterprises.
Zhang Qikang, Director of Monalisa Tiles
Zhang Qikang said that when sintered stone is applied to furniture, its standard should be no longer a product or material standard, but technical regulations, which is oriented to the finished products delivered to customers.
If ceramic enterprises attach importance to user experience, the standard catering the needs of consumers is the most important for them, which means each enterprise should formulate its own quality control standard.
This is the 405th issue.