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.
Talleres Cortés, which opened its doors in 1951, starts 2018 with new objectives after having consolidated a secure trajectory in the creation of moulds for the ceramic sector. From its factory in Alcora, the company has achieved a portfolio of clients attracted by the confidence and the permanent will to renew. In a sector in constant change, the adaptation to the new circumstances and desires of the client has made the competition an added value to the mission of Talleres Cortés.
A reference to the ceramic moulding of the province, the firm has overcome the challenge posed by the economic crisis in society as a whole, and especially in the sector, prepared to face new challenges. Among others, the adaptation to the new claims of the clientele is strengthened and this is demonstrated by the investment made in recent years to acquire the machinery with which to meet the demand for large pieces that have been imposed as a new market trend.
Their new interests do not end there. The web www.designscortés.com is the first online store for the purchase of designs for ceramic moulds, a portal that also offers a virtual catalogue with exclusive designs that include precision moulds, templates, rubber bands or punches. Thus, the client has the opportunity to buy and receive the product with the greatest speed at competitive prices and excellent after-sales service, with the same guarantees offered by the physical store. Not in vain, the 24-hour technical assistance, together with the manufacture and repair of all types of moulds, completes an integral service.
Adapting to changes is vital to stay in a demanding market and digital tools contribute to this, but also the commitment to innovation and design that Talleres Cortés has imposed. In fact, the creation, adapted to personalized service, stands as an essential pillar in the structure of the company. The philosophy of Cortés has not changed despite the passage of time: offering a unique product to a unique client. Wherever you are.
Peru: the expansion of Cortés
This fact, together with the ambition to develop new projects, led the company to open the subsidiary Cortés Moldes Perú in 2009 to meet the demand of America. To the clientele of Europe, Africa and Asia there was added a new market that today brings a new value to the company and the vocation to keep growing.
And this has also contributed to the technological capacity of a company that continues to research large formats and digital inkjet decoration. R & D & I is solved by investing in the future and in the present. Talleres Cortés has incorporated into its team a new CNC, a rectifier of flat surfaces and a vulcanized press to add in that effort for modernization.
In this sense, the Alcora factory is fully immersed in the process to implement Industry 4.0 and also extend it to its customers. The digitization of the workshop and the flexibilization of the production chain add the effort to show in real time the state of the product. It is a revolutionary process that requires dedication and financial support for those who do not think Cortes spare resources. The quality control exceeds the guidelines followed to date to be part of a more intense, more ambitious project.
We refer at this point to the continuous improvement of the product, which is undoubtedly the biggest revolution in the industry in modern times. The smart factory, designed to take advantage of the technology of the moment, has come to stay (and to be perfected) and Talleres Cortés will grow with it.
Making technology compatible with the customer is one of the challenges of the future, but a human team with solid and professional training has already enabled the terminals to be digitized so that all the parties involved can check the status of the goods in real time.
The polyvalence of the workshop has marked the trajectory of the company from 1951 to the present. After 66 years of dedication, Talleres Cortés is a benchmark in ceramic moulding beyond the national market.
This is demonstrated by an extensive and solid portfolio of clients, the strict internal quality control and the external audit to which their production processes are subjected. This is how a chain that aspires to perfection works.
In a sector that is constantly changing and with the ambition and competitiveness that have existed for years in the ceramic business, achieving the label of “pioneers”, more than a challenge, is almost a utopia. However, Talleres Cortés, in its constant effort for innovation, has achieved it in the field of design in the digital environment. The Alcora factory has opened the first online store in the world to buy designs for ceramic moulds.
On the page www.designscortes.com, the client has at his disposal a catalogue of exclusive designs to make his purchase and receive his order quickly. “We have an offer on the web as varied as it is the catalogue of the company,” explain the responsible. In this way, the user can buy designs for precision moulds, templates, rubbers and punches.
To overcome initial reluctance, Talleres Cortés offers the utmost confidence since the after-sales service is not left unattended for the online business.
Through this digital tool, the client can consult all the categories in which the company works: bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, interiors and exteriors, irregular, flooring, coatings and living rooms.
Through a personal account, the customer has a “click” on a website to purchase and transport the product to any part of the world. This digital environment includes tracking of orders and favorite products.
Our speciality is current and innovative design, focused on covering the new trends that are settling in the different markets to which they are aimed, as with the personalized product tailored to each buyer. That is why the factory has its own design department to offer the customer the best solutions, streamlining this process and also manufacturing.
And all this, despite operating in an a priori intangible environment, maintains the advantages of traditional shopping. The company guarantees the advice of the best professionals, solving all doubts.
Tools like this ratify the interest of Talleres Cortés in placing innovation as a differentiating element after more than 60 years developing moulds for the ceramic sector.