Newsletter 107 - September 2016
Approximate reading time: 5 minutes


News and Accomplishments


Young, but not without experience – the perfect description of BERALMAR’s young head of production, José Cabello. This 40-year-old husband and father of two is passionate about mountain climbing, martial arts, basketball, rock & roll and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Born in Terrassa, José trained in automotive and mechanical engineering and joined BERALMAR’s Technical Office in 1994. He has now been with the company for more than half of his life.

BERALMAR NEWSLETTER: Since you started here, drawing combustion equipment, both you and the company have evolved a lot.

JOSÉ CABELLO: Tons. Just think that when I started here there was still tracing paper in the Technical Office, computers still coexisted with Rotring pens and parallel rulers, and we only designed combustion equipment and fans. The design department for kilns and dryers was soon created, but I stayed on in the equipment design department, which I eventually became manager of.

B.N.: ...only to later become head of production in 2014. After drawing machines for 20 years you must know something about how to manufacture them.

J.C.: Yes, it was an unexpected leap at the time for me. Two years later, I’d say it’s gone rather well, and I think that’s the general opinion. I feel valued by my colleagues and there’s a good atmosphere in the workshop. But the beginning was not easy at all. It was a huge change for me, in many ways. But yes, my knowledge about the product definitely helped a lot here in the workshop.

B.N.: What were the main challenges of this new position?

J.C.: Having to take on the responsibility of a team much larger than the one in the design department. We were also pressured to finish projects on time in the design department, but it was much easier to manage. There were only five people on the team and coordination was relatively simple. In production, project coordination is more complex because, in addition to depending on providers, the availability of my team changes continuously. Many travel to the client’s location for assemblies and launches, and it’s often all very last minute. So one of the challenges I face is to increase the versatility of the team and to minimize the impact of these situations.

B.N.: You also carried out site management tasks during your time in the Technical Office.

J.C.: For a while, yes. When I was in design I also had to visit many clients to take measurements or to supervise equipment assembly. I really enjoyed it – I like being in contact with the client. I have so many stories.

B.N.: I’m all ears...

J.C.: I remember when we promised to complete a kiln for a client in La Rioja within 12 weeks. The client bet that we wouldn’t be able to finish on time. In the end he owed us a dinner. There was a great atmosphere during the construction of that kiln. I also have very good memories of our long stays in Colombia, of the work and the meals we shared with people from the factory. I remember a good friend and client from Granada who, satisfied with my work, wanted to spoil me so much with the local cuisine that he made me miss my flight back to Barcelona. I also nearly missed a return flight from the United States because I locked my keys in the car... The Americans and Mexicans in the factory made bets about who could get the car open first. I made my flight thanks to the Mexicans! I liked the United States a lot. Since I’m a huge Harley Davidson fan, it was like paradise to me. I was also treated very well in Albania. The people were very warm and friendly. Every morning they would greet me with homemade liquor and they still laugh about the faces I would make drinking it. I also have very nice memories of Morocco. Great people and great food! There’s nothing better than a job well done and seeing the client happy. If on top of that there’s cultural exchange and the opportunity to explore the world, even better. That’s what I miss most in my current position. But I’m not complaining. Just reminiscing. Each stage in life has its good things.

Proud of his “Harley”, José rides it to BERALMAR whenever the weather permits.

B.N.: Talking about stages in life, you still have quite a few to go – you’re only 40!

J.C.: I’ve been at BERALMAR for 22 years. After two tough years of adapting to the position of head of production, I think now is the time to bring about some improvement – though that was easier to talk about and suggest from outside. That’s why I can’t think about any new stages just yet, because I still haven’t gotten anything done around here. Now I can finally begin to really contribute.

B.N.: Young, experienced, knowledgeable about BERALMAR, and full of energy. The only thing left is to wish you luck!

J.C.: It can’t hurt!


The 25th edition of the TENARGILLA fair in Rimini (Italy) concluded on 30 September.

As announced, BERALMAR took part in the fair and here are some of the first conclusions we’ve drawn:

- Despite the CLAYTECH section, which groups together providers from the structural ceramics industry, over the years TECNARGILLA has become predominantly focused on fine ceramics, and with much success. Nevertheless, the CLAYTECH section is becoming more marginal with each edition, both in the number and size of stands as well as in the amount of visitors.

- The duration of the fair has always been excessive (lasting five days), but that was made even more obvious this year due to a decrease in visitors. In the past two editions, 80% of visits were concentrated over just two days: the second and third. The fourth and fifth days are a waste of time and resources for all.

- In spite of all of this – which will surely bring many exhibitors to reconsider participating in this historic fair in the future – what we’ve taken away from this last edition of TECNARGILLA comes from conversations with visitors. We would like to thank them for visiting us: while there may not have been many, they were of the highest quality.

The next edition of TECNARGILLA will be held in 2018, the same year as the next edition of CERAMITEC. For this reason, we can’t promise that we’ll see you in Rimini in 2018, but we will keep you updated through this newsletter.


The ECTS work group (European Ceramic Technology Suppliers), which brings together the leading suppliers of ceramic technology in Europe, will hold a ceramics symposium in the city of Isfahan, in central Iran, on 18 and 19 October.

Advances in the normalization of Iran’s international relations and the end of the embargo that it has been subject to over the past years is making it possible to reestablish relationships between the country’s ceramists and European providers, which is why ECTS believes this is the right moment to celebrate the symposium and help speed up the reunion.

BERALMAR, together with 20 other company members of ECTS, will take part in the symposium by means of a technical presentation titled “Proposals for the modernization of the Iranian ceramics industry”.

Isfahan is an important centre for Iranian ceramics, with a large number of brick factories, some with a long history. After many years without importing European technology, this symposium will surely be very interesting.

The famous Si-o-seh pol in Isfahan.

News and Accomplishments

Specializing even further in the combustion of solid fuels, BERALMAR has developed a new biomass combustion chamber – this time for straw consumption.

While available in large quantities, straw presents several obstacles for combustion:

- Low density: Because straw has a low density, it has to be stored and handled in enormous volumes. The density of straw bales is less than 150 kg/m3. So we had to find a specific solution for the automatic feeding of this type of fuel.

- Difficult to adjust: Straw burns very quickly. This rapid release of energy, in comparison to more slowly reacting biomasses, means that the flame reaches very high temperatures, making it difficult to regulate the combustion equipment.

- Combustion chamber resistance: The temperature of the flame, which can exceed 2,500 °C in a matter of seconds, presents another challenge in the design of the combustion chamber.

Automatic straw bale feeder.

Combustion chamber.

All of these challenges have been overcome by a new combustion chamber designed specifically for the consumption of straw bales. It consists of:

- An automatic straw bale feeder.

- A scraper that gradually loosens the straw from the bale to fuel the burner unit.

- A special burner unit, designed exclusively for the characteristics of straw.

- A CSD combustion chamber adapted to the intensity of the flame in the combustion of straw.

The new combustion chamber is available in various power ratings, up to 6,000,000. kcal/h.

While this straw combustion chamber was developed with the agriculture industry in mind – a sector BERALMAR provides several combustion chambers for each year – it shouldn’t be discarded as an interesting solution for ceramics plants with access to this type of fuel.

Beralmar, 50 years with you!
BERALMAR TECNOLOGIC S.A · Avda. Valles 304 · Terrassa, B 08220 · Spain
+34 937 312 200