Ceramic Industry

INSIDE CI: Creating Success

September 1, 2011

I'm often reminded these days of a quote from Henry David Thoreau, "What recommends commerce to me is its enterprise and bravery. It does not clasp its hands and pray to Jupiter." It could be tempting for manufacturers to simply try to survive until the economy recovers. What differentiates the true successes is their willingness to push forward, take risks and really create their own opportunities.

For example, many of today's manufacturers don't have the staff or the desire to stay on top of all the raw materials-related issues that are necessary for their operations. For these companies, working with a distributor might be the perfect solution. The role of distributors has evolved over the years to encompass much more than just raw material deliveries. Many distributors offer R&D, testing and product trial services to help manufacturers meet their goals. Read "Risks & Rewards" to learn more.

Other manufacturers might benefit from the incorporation of advanced fabrication methods in their operations. 3-D printing based on stereolithography can offer advanced ceramics manufacturers multiple benefits. See "3-D Printing Methods" for the details.

Expanding into new markets might offer the best opportunities for some manufacturers. According to a recent study, high-growth applications for advanced ceramics in Europe include bioceramics, bearings, diesel exhaust filters and wear parts. U.S. opportunities for growth are anticipated to be highest in bioceramics, bearings, membranes and general wear parts. Additional details can be found in "Opportunities in Engineering Ceramics Markets."

Today's successful manufacturers are not expecting to emerge from this recession simply by hoping for the best. They're actively working to increase efficiencies or focusing on new opportunities-or both! I'd love to hear what steps your company is taking to succeed despite the recession. Please contact me at (330) 336-4098 or suttons@bnpmedia.com to share your story.