Ceramic competence grown over decades

150 years of ceramic tiles from Sinzig

According to the local chronicle, the laying of the foundation stone for the "Mosaik-Fußboden-Platten- und Thonwaarenfabrik" of "F. Frings & Cie" took place in April 1870, which then started production in the summer of the same year. This was the birth of the Sinzig tile factory, which now celebrates 150 years of existence and has been a vital part of Deutsche Steinzeug Cremer & Breuer AG as one of four production sites since the 1990s.

The factory in the course of time 
The convenient location, the great potential of workforce and the proximity to clay deposits may have prompted the entrepreneur Ferdinand Frings to purchase 27 plots of land with a total area of around 30,000 m² in 1870 to build a ceramic production plant. Since then, corresponding products have been manufactured there, such as e.g. colourful stencilled floor tiles, and as early as 1890 the number of employees was around 400 persons. From the beginning of the 20th century, mosaics have also been offered. 

At the beginning of World War I, approximately 300 persons were employed to produce floor tiles and mosaics. After World War I, the demand decreased and other types such as red octagonal tiles appeared, and flamed products were increasingly added. Just as for many other institutions, World War II marked a turning point: the factory was largely reduced to rubble. At the end of 1945, production was resumed under provisional circumstances: first of all with the firing of roof tiles, and from the middle of 1946 onwards, the production of floor tiles also started again, beginning with a quantity of around 10,000 m² per month. 

In line with the upswing of the German industry, a stormy upward trend followed, which was characterized by a strong demand for floor tiles and rapid technical progress, culminating in the heyday of porcelain stoneware, which began in the late 1980s and continues to this day - not least due to increasingly sophisticated processes such as ceramic digital printing. In order to take advantage of the popularity of porcelain stoneware on the one hand, but also to distinguish itself from the competition on the other, the factory is focusing on specialization, e.g. in the form of particularly robust, extra-thick floor tiles which prove their worth in supermarkets, workshops or other highly stressed areas. 

This segment has been permanently intensified in the past, e.g. with formats with edge lengths of up to 90 cm and modern designs. The portfolio is completed by decorative porcelain stoneware series for public and private areas. An important distinguishing feature is the innovative "Hytect" technology, which gives the tiles special characteristics. On the one hand, mechanization and digitalization increased the production capacity to currently approx. 4 million m² / year; on the other hand, the number of employees decreased to around 220 persons (status:  June 30, 2020) as a result of that.

The basis of the whole: the employees
Despite this, the factory still is an important employer in the region in which one is deeply rooted: many employees have been working there for more than 10 years, in many cases already in the second or third generation. It is therefore all the more regrettable that the anniversary is affected by the current Corona circumstances and that attendance events are not possible. Therefore, "contactless" alternatives are practised in order to stay connected despite physical distance. An example for this is an almost three-minute video clip, which was shot for this historic occasion in August 2020 and can be conveniently accessed via 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI5oNcRYFzk

or

Despite the challenging market situation, the company feels well prepared for the future thanks to its motivated employees, the aforementioned specialization in special products and solutions as well as investments already made and planned. Thus, the factory is only historic in terms of the calendar, but modern and up-to-date in terms of the state of the art. 

 

 

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Source: Deutsche Steinzeug AG

Motif 1

The Sinzig tile factory, which has historically grown over decades (photo taken in 2000) is conveniently located by the B9.
Source: Deutsche Steinzeug AG, taken in the museum of local history at Sinzig Castle)

Motif 2

Products back then: Colourful stencilled floor tiles were a well-known trademark in the first decades of the 150-year history of the factory and enjoyed great popularity at home and abroad in monasteries, castles, churches, villas and other demanding areas.
Source: Deutsche Steinzeug AG

Motif 3

Products today: Combinable, earthy-natural colours and formats ranging from 10x10 cm mosaics to 60x60 and 45x90 cm open up attractive creative possibilities for concepts that are both contemporary and timelessly (shown here: collection "Area Pro")
Source: Deutsche Steinzeug AG

Motif 4

Production back then (approx. 1950)
Source: Deutsche Steinzeug AG / Jochen Stüber, Hamburg)

Motif 5

Production today (modern firing kiln)