70 YEARS OF HISTORY AT A ‘CLICK’.
Talleres Cortés celebrates its 70th anniversary with a video edited for the occasion that reflects the transformation of the factory in l’Alcora and its vocation to continue innovating. It is committed to new technologies to show the world in a minute and a half of interaction the day to day of the company from each department. Only a perfect interplay between the different areas could keep it at the forefront of the manufacture and marketing of molds for the tile industry.
And that space of cooperation and permanent effort to stay at the forefront of the sector is reflected in an audiovisual piece that reflects that times have changed inside and outside the production itself. The facilities located in the heart of the ceramic industry, the design of machinery and parts, transport, the commitment to safety, offices and, above all, human capital leave their mark on this commemorative video.
Seventy years with a perfect chain gear make their mark and open the way to a new way of relating to the environment and customers. Now it is the website, social networks and the industry newspaper that will make the need to tell the world about the progress of an industry that is constantly evolving at all stages of its activity a reality.
However, the pride of belonging to a leading firm that has overcome the ups and downs of the market and the different crises it has gone through in seven decades of history has not changed. The business model remains upright but demands new efforts such as this commitment to open the company from l’Alcora to society through a new audiovisual material.
What is not communicated does not exist and in Talleres Cortés there is an example of overcoming and a job well done. Telling society about it is the latest challenge posed by the management to celebrate a special anniversary and, at the same time, to reach a public that has also changed its way of being informed. The need to know who designs, who serves us, to whom we entrust our machines or products is a fact and this 2022 of profound changes is also an opportunity to open the factory without reservations.
Facing new challenges with the ability to adapt to those who resist change has been a pillar for the stability and growth of a company that today celebrates 70 years of activity with the satisfaction of having fulfilled its duty.
12/2/2021 – CASTELLÓ. The commitment to efficient production is a maxim of Talleres Cortés, especially in the context of the energy crisis. It is for this reason that the Alcora factory has started the installation of solar panels to take advantage of clean energy.
The objective of self-consumption and respect for the ecosystem are key in the roadmap of a company dedicated to machinery for the ceramic industry that has been adapting to new challenges since its inception. In this case, the current moment forces us to seek answers to the difficulties that arise along the way and which translate into a clear increase in the price of energy and a planet that needs alternatives to outrageous consumption.
Talleres Cortés does not escape these claims and in 2021 it has begun work to install solar panels in its factory, a fact that will have a direct impact on the electricity bill of the firm directly and also in the future. “Reducing costs is the only alternative for a company so that the rise in the price of materials and energy does not affect the customer’s pocket,” they explain from the company.
His is an example for so many tile factories and their ancillary industries that there is no turning back and that it is a real solution to a more than notorious problem.
To be more efficient is to be more productive and, therefore, to guarantee the growth and continuation of a consolidated and growing workforce since it began its journey in 1951. The challenges have varied to become a leader in the manufacture of molds and relief design for inkjet systems, without leaving aside the technical and after-sales service so valued by customers.
Today these opportunities go through knowing how to take better advantage of the energy market, in constant tension, and aspiring to self-consumption as a production model. “In a land that enjoys the sun for more than two-thirds of the year, we cannot miss the opportunity to make the most of that strength. The industry has to be a pioneer not only in professionalization and cutting-edge machinery, but also in reinventing its models ”, they affirm. Talleres Cortés achieves this with this decisive change that will mark the future of its production.
CASTELLÓ. The company Talleres Cortés, founded in 1951 by Juan Bautista Cortés Prades and specialized in machinery and ceramic molds, today employs 35 workers at its headquarters located in the town of l’Alcora, plus 14 at its plant in Peru, which serves much of the American market. Today this family business is in the hands of its third generation, with Juan José and Emilio at the head of a business that is a benchmark in the sector and that has made their long experience, closeness, professional zeal and daily work their main visiting card.
In its imposing headquarters in l’Alcora, of 4,000 square meters built on a plot of 10,000, Talleres Cortés still exudes that family character that permeated its founder and his three children – Vicente , Juan and Carmen – and whose legacy today is managed by the children of the first two -Emilio and Juan-. They took the reins of this business to accredit them as one of the longest-lived family businesses in the province of Castellón.
Juan José – Juanjo – and Emilio grew up, like everyone else in the Cortés family, in the family home they had above the workshop, which was then located in the heart of the city. The three houses were, in this way, the home of the three sons of the founder and, from a young age, our protagonists knew the day-to-day of the business. Raised on the sound of machines, milling machines, the dry blow of hammer blows, they became like those bells that mark the passage of time …
-Tell me, what are the most significant milestones in the long history of Talleres Cortés…
Juan José Cortés.- The most important thing that has happened to us in all this time has been to be able to remain open and work as we are currently doing [laughs] . It is an achievement, without a doubt. And I say this because we will have done something well when we got here after 70 years, working as we have been doing, with a staff like the one we have, with a consolidated workforce … it is true that getting here is an achievement, within reach few, but we would not have achieved it if we had not worked day to day as we have done. It should be noted that this year has been a great year and we can say that we are facing the best in our history.
Emilio Cortés.- I would stay with the pioneering character of our predecessors and an important value that characterizes the company, which has been the interest in constant improvement and the experience that we have contributed to the sector. We have managed to consolidate a great team of professionals who are the ones who help a company to move forward, grow and overcome all the obstacles that come up along the way. There are branches such as engineering, mechanics … that you can find with relative ease, but in tooling there are usually shortcomings. It is here where we have reaped great achievements, in forming good teams. In this case, I would not speak of milestones, but of a permanent philosophy in continuing with that entrepreneurial nature and interest in providing solutions at all times throughout these years.
-What markets do you work in?
EC- We work mainly in the national market, although we also have an international presence. It must be said that the export is concentrated in Peru, in the plant that we have there and that serves all of South America, mainly Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, among many other countries. From here we serve the national demand. It is true that you have usually ordered from Turkey, Morocco, etc. … keep in mind that we have been exporting for 25 years and, for example, we already served the Maghreb area … but today we are very focused on the national market, which is very active and where we are known very well.
-How have you seen the evolution of the sector over this time?
JJ C .- If the ceramic sector has evolved and created new needs, we have always tried to provide solutions. We have always gone hand in hand with those clients who have needed us at any time. In other words, to new technical challenges, we have provided technical solutions and investments. It is a process of constant improvement.
EC- It’s like that. And as an example we have this last year with the pandemic. We have made the largest investment in our history in machinery as a result of the needs that were posed to us, due to the inertia that our clients marked us. Here the secret is none other than trying to meet those needs that we are obliged to satisfy and we have always shown that we like to contribute positively. If my clients are committed to growing and they ask me… I have to be there, together with them, whether in large or small format. What we cannot do is tell them what to do based on the machines one has. That doesn’t work like that.
JJC- In addition, we have always opted for prudence in the face of what may come; sometimes things come rolled, but other times they get complicated. We work with the necessary prudence that must be exercised to confront any contingency with guarantees; but always being hand in hand with our clients. Growing up is fine, but maintaining and securing your position is the greatest success.
-What can you tell me are the aspects that differentiate the products and services of Talleres Cortés from the rest of the market?
EC- The 70-year guarantee is an important guarantee, but that is not enough if you do not have a good product, which is highly specialized; Service, personalized assistance is also very important… we really don’t have to explain to our clients what we do and who we are because they know us perfectly. This relationship of years, of many years, is our main business card and new clients come because they know that we offer them all the guarantees and that service and personalized attention that, to a large extent, has a lot to do with a relationship that combines very well the professional and personal aspect. This is a key factor.
JJC- Indeed, Emilio has explained it. And yes, our great strength can be service. Because, otherwise, those who do not have a good product or experience today are simply not in the market.
-Do you keep customers for life? Are you expanding your portfolio?
EC- Indeed, the same clients with whom we have been working for many years remain. And, fortunately, new ones are being added to these. We have clients from several decades ago and they are still there with us. I reiterate that our great value is the highly personalized service we offer, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And that is key since our clients may need us at any time and we have to be ready to serve them. What happen? Well, in the end, what is created is a relationship of friendship, of full trust, between customers and our technicians. This is something we place great value on.
-How have you been throughout this pandemic? Has it upset you a lot on the operational level and in the balance sheet?
JJC- Well, the truth is that it has only affected us in those two weeks of total closure, as it affected us all. For the rest, we have worked normally.
EC- It was practically possible to invoice the same as a year before, about 6 million euros of which 1.2 million correspond to exports. Throughout the period of 2020 we had moments of decreases, but they were compensated with other increases. The last quarter was very good and everything started to go up there. For the rest, it should be noted that with the personal effort of each of the employees we have managed to have a very low incidence of the virus in the company.
-They have talked about the training and how much Talleres Cortés has contributed to the sector in this area…
EC- You have to train the professionals yourself. In so many years that we have been at this, we have tried everything. What has been best for us is to bet on the technicians you have, the forms continuously and the result is evident.
JJC- At this time we have incorporated very young kids, 16 years old even who have found a job opportunity in this profession. We always talk about the figure of the apprentice, which is key for this type of company.
EC- In Talleres Cortés there has always been the possibility of learning a profession and in the end those who join one day become very good professionals in this sector. We have been, I assure you, a true training academy. There is much talk about this dual education and we believe that it is a very interesting factor since, on the one hand, it gives young people the opportunity to achieve a professional career and, on the other hand, over time, staff companies qualified, as has been happening in our company.
-What is designscortes.com ?
EC- Well, it is the first online store where you can purchase designs for ceramic molds. Through designscortes.com a wide catalog of services with exclusive designs is offered, through which you can make purchases and receive orders. We have our own design department to offer the best solutions and, in the same way, streamline the design and manufacturing processes.
The “Round by CICOGRES”resembles the stone effect,with mineral touches and that large round format that confirms Talleres Cortés desire to improve. The manufacture of this unique mould ” confers
personality to an also unique piece that is already manufactured in Castellón. Its diameter of 75 centimeters, the result of the technological capacity of Alcora factory, makes it a new challenge that has been met” the brand points out. From Cortés they state that “ the achievement of this circular tile is not the result of coincidence, but of our will and constant investment to reinvent ourselves and adapt to the needs of the clientele”. In short, it is a specific product tailored to a demanding consumer who seeks a personalized result and which has led the company to increase its R + D + i.
Talleres Cortés has presented an innovative offset punch that will make it possible to manufacture pronounced reliefs greater than three millimeters.
By compensating the high reliefs, fragile tiles are avoided, since in the areas where the tile has the most pronounced relief, it is possible to compensate the difference in height so that the tile is more homogeneous.
At the same time, having a homogeneous amount of resin in the punch prevents greater pressure and wear of the resin extending their useful life.
The research department of Talleres Cortes has developed a new and innovative type of back side punches that will save land in the production of ceramic pieces. Thereby, we obtain the reductions of costs in the production due to we are using less raw material.
The development of these new land-saving punches goes together with the recently introduced by Cortes offset punches for inkjet decorating.
2009 was a year of challenges and improvements. In the middle of the hardest economic crisis that our sector has experienced and, in general, the Spanish society, Talleres Cortés decided to expand its business beyond national borders. Again, the Alcora factory made history by looking for an opportunity, in this case in Peru, where it decided to establish its headquarters in America.
All the beginnings are difficult, and the beginning of the Latin American journey was not easy either. It obliged a large investment in machinery and technology to match the company’s performance in Spain to the new business. And all this at a time of great economic uncertainty. But the bet, founded on the need to serve a market that awakens, is today more than consolidated.
Nearly a decade later, Cortés Moldes Perú operates with the tranquillity of designing, marketing and offering an after-sales service to a customer that has identical guarantees to the local one. Thanks to this ambition, Cortés products are sold in any country in the world. From Spain, they serve Europe, Africa and Asia, while the factory in Peru distributes and markets in America.
Thanks to this conception of the business, the company has more facilities to adapt to the demands of each area. Not in vain, ceramic moulding is also subject to geographic and temporal trends. The client is the only one alive, where he lives and that is where proximity brings all its potential. As in the physical store, repairs and after-sales service also works at full capacity in the plant in Peru, which extends product and service to the American continent.
The own machinery allows a highly qualified team to meet the needs of a client that lacks a similar integral service in the whole of America. All the service offering can be found on the website www.designscortes.com to give visibility to a realistic catalogue anywhere in the world.
Research, development and innovation (R + D + i) are assumed concepts for a company such as Talleres Cortés S.L., which since 1951 has been searching for new solutions for ceramic die-casting. During this time, it has not renounced his vocation to improve in order to meet the demands of a single client. The new challenges of the Alcora factory go through the pressing of large formats and high reliefs.
The research has been the key to the company to be able to adapt without further setbacks than those of the competition to these new trends. These go through a revolution in the conception of the pieces and, therefore, also in the machinery that processes them. This fact led the company to an effort to modernize equipment. This is the case of the pressing of large formats, which has special moulds to facilitate digital decoration.
The research to stay ahead of these new market demands was followed by the development of a new plant concept to implement the 4.0 industry model. Talleres Cortés fulfilled the maxim of innovation at a time of change in the ceramic sector. These developments in the factory will result in cost savings in medium and long-term.
Talleres Cortés fulfills the pretensions of researching, developing and innovating to guarantee the future of the company and contribute to the advances in the sector as a whole. Not in vain, to adjust to those premises in anything supposes to do without the rest of the characteristics that define the first company of Spain dedicated to the manufacture and repair of moulds for the ceramic industry.
Talleres Cortés keeps intact the commitment to the development of a new plant concept, the renewal of machinery to adapt to the demand of large formats and, above all, to attend professionally and quickly to a customer who demands quality.
Talleres Cortés is fully immersed in the transformation of its production process. Aware that the future needs to adapt to changes, the factory has begun to turn towards Industry 4.0. The moulds for the tile industry also have to adjust to the new manufacturing tools and the technology that is taking over the plant in order to work more efficiently.
The first pillar of this work model is the digitization of the workshop, of the whole plant, so that all the gear is under computer control. The second step is to create flexible products and, at the same time, to make production more flexible.
In the case of Cortés, the digitalization of production is already in place. The objective is for the workshop terminals to allow the entire chain, in which, in addition to sales and management, the client is also included, to know the status of each product.
Industry 4.0 is a commitment to high technology machinery operating in the facilities, all designed to meet the demands of a ceramic sector in constant change. The result of this ambition also forces the human team in a new effort to recycle. The professionals of the brand have adapted to this model of the workshop that distances itself from the old practices every day.
In addition, apart from immersing fully in this new conception of work, Talleres Cortés has implemented its own internal management program for production, an internal quality control based on continuous product improvement. The client’s demand, the need to personalize the catalogue and the interest to always offer the best result of his work have led the factory to self-evaluate to maintain that high level of demand.
In this way, industry 4.0 ceases to be the future to become a revolution that is already visible in factories like Cortés. The manufacture and commercialization of moulds for the tile do not escape the implantation of this process of industrial modernization that, in the medium and long-term, will suppose a reduction of the costs and will entail a greater degree of quality to the product.
Talleres Cortés S.L., the first company in Spain dedicated to the manufacture and repair of moulds for the ceramic industry, knows firsthand how important investment is in a factory that looks to the future. Sustaining a business in constant change and adapting to the demands of the market also forces us to introduce innovations in the plant.
That is why the Alcora company has spared no resources, nor will it, to place its workshop at the forefront of the sector. The specific case of Talleres Cortés has in its demand for large formats for the ceramic industry, its greatest need to modernize facilities and equipment. The changes of the tendency now point to pieces of dimensions superior to what was customary in the most recent era, a fact that has led Cortes to renew equipment.
This is the case of the rectifier of flat surfaces, the new CNC or the vulcanizing press, all of them focused a customer that demands large formats. In addition, Talleres Cortés has also increased its fleet of vehicles with a new truck that will contribute to the growth of the firm through a professional service. Investment in state-of-the-art machinery is part of the letter of presentation of the Cortés brand, synonymous with good practices in ceramic dies.
The firm commitment to investment follows the line marked since 1951, in the origins of the company. Thanks to this commitment transmitted between generations, Talleres Cortés has overcome the ups and downs of the sector and the global economy has adapted to the changes demanded by a client with high expectations and today looks to the future with security.
Not in vain, the renovation of the machinery of the plant through constant investments complements the rest of the assets of Talleres Cortés: a personalized service, 24-hour assistance, the strict internal control of quality and the commitment to R & D as shown of a complete business.