products for ceramics

Andrea Barillaro:
the lord of ceramic minerals

The ceramic industry has also been living with the great economic crisis that has affected all of Europe since 2008. Today we can say that the whole Italian ceramic district has reacted quite well: during these 10 years of crisis, the ceramic production plants have changed from a technological point of view and the finished product, the tile, has changed. Italian entrepreneurs, however, have been able to cope with the crisis with professionalism and foresight and manage to respond to the very strong competition from Spain, Turkey and China.

Among them is Andrea Barillaro, 53, from Formigine, a geologist by training, founder in 2009 of the company BAAN in Colombaro. "I was trained by three large multinational companies in the raw materials industry. - says Andrea - Together with my basic geological knowledge and my great love for minerals, quarries, mines and natural resources in general, by performing years of service within these large companies with an international scope, I was able to range greatly by coming to know the whole world of industrial raw materials, mineral processing, and supply logistics chains. I always had the idea of opening my own business that could employ other people and generate quality products, and so BAAN was born."

Baan deals with the purchase and sale of mineral raw materials for the ceramic industry and has among its customers the largest and most famous ceramic companies in Sassuolo.

When we talk about raw materials, we mean the minerals that nature offers: "Quarries and mines around the world offer millions and millions of tons of mineral resources," Barillaro explains, " Quartz, feldspar, clays, kaolin, zirconium, wollastonite, dolomite for example. Come to think of it, a great many objects we use in our daily lives are made up in whole or in part of minerals. It is therefore up to humans with their know-how and technology, which is becoming increasingly innovative today, to make these natural resources usable, with a view to eco-sustainability and not exploitation of natural assets. The encounters I have had in my life through my work with BAAN are many and beautiful," Andrea recalls, " For example, there was a meeting with a missionary nun sitting next to me on one of my quarry trips to Brazil, hours and hours talking together seemed like a few minutes; with the owner of a kaolin quarry in India who picked me up at the entrance of the plant on a white horse without a saddle, and I felt like I was in a movie; with a young girl in the jungles of Bengal who on foot, accompanied by two of her friends, was going to the nearest equipped place to give birth: we gave her a ride in the jeep and I sat in the trunk to make room for her. To work hard and well, that is always my first goal," Barillaro concludes, " Projects and ideas are never lacking. I have always had a focus on emerging countries: Vietnam and India, for example, have great resources and very interesting synergies could be created. And as far as raw materials are concerned, coming out of the mineral field, the big family of polymers I think could arouse future interest." (Laura Solieri, Gazzetta di Modena)

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