The value of Bal-Co and the reasons for its success still reside in the intuition and the great entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, Dr. Giuseppe Ballarini, who feeded the company with the very essence of his great personality and professional ability. From the beginning in the 50’s, the incipit of what will later become the company Bal-Co comes through his own words:
“When, in December of 1959, after the university, after being trained by the Motherland to shoot “the enemy side” and after working for two years in an explosive factory, both for production and for controls, and to the tests (the funny part), you find yourself in a ceramic … Well, you really discover another world”.
A world of experiences handed down by people who wanted to grow up and were realizing they were dealing with materials that would become important. It was the era in which farmers and traders risked on their own and, almost for fun, turned into industrialists, little interested in the physical-chemical processes of production, but on the contrary very focused in the final result.
Precisely in this period, after obtaining the Degree in Chemistry, Dr. Ballarini found himself spreading the first scientific rudiments of the production process, in order to compensate the excessively pragmatic side of the ceramic pioneering in the Sassuolo district.
“In the early days of my current activity i was asked, of course, in the Modena dialect: “You are a doctor, can you tell me why these two tiles are not the same?”. And I replied: “You may have used different materials, or you may have prepared the wrong body”.
Their answer was as simple as original: “I only used for one tile the glass of a coca-cola bottle, and for the other, having no more, a piece of glass from a mineral water bottle; but they were both white! “. In the sheet-metal shack, storage of tools and dressing room of the workers who were building the plant, the “chemistry” section was built, which consisted of “cutting-edge” machinery: a jar and a flask, used to fix and develop the future production of glazing, which conceived products that were then imitated by many other companies.
This was not the only experience of “ceramic pragmatism” that I experienced. I remember, for example, one summer afternoon, more or less the year 1962, in a ceramic of the Reggio area, i saw around the vat of the glaze a large amount of empty coca-cola bottles. “Damn, how much your caster workers drink!” I say amazed and naive.
“No, we add coca-cola to the glaze because it spreads better!”.
In the period of Sassuolo ceramic area’s greatest development, after 5 years of production of tiles and refractories, Dr. Giuseppe Ballarini decided to make a choice “a la Sassuolese”, giving life to his own new company and becoming the employer of himself and soon of his family, hiring a large group of collaborators and proceeding with major investments for the company.
From consultant to privileged supplier of the first ceramic pole in the world, Dr. Ballarini directed the activity of the new-born Bal-Co towards the supply of laboratory equipment, refractory chemicals and raw materials, focusing in the future exclusively on raw materials.
“During these first 50 years we have specialized in the supply of raw materials and, for our part, we had the satisfaction of contributing to the whole area development, promoting and using minerals previously unknown.
The 60’s are long gone, the pragmatism applied in those remote customs has given way to scientific research that directs technology and modern production methods.
However, the original elements of mother earth, sand, rocks and clays are processed and transformed to produce products that the whole world appreciates and foreign competitors try to imitate “.
The consolidation of Bal-Co has continued with major investments for the offer and quality improvement, with the aim of going beyond ceramics to serve any other type of manufacturing company.
With this spirit and with the pride of fostering a professional and personal growth as well as economic, Bal-Co faces the commercial challenges of the coming decades under the guidance of a new generation of Ballarini.