Palau Ceramicas is a Group of companies of a long tradition. Established in 1875, Northern of Spain, has been dedicated to bricks and tiles becoming through decades a leader as a High Quality Bricks Manufacturer.
It was in Almacelles, Lerida, where Ignacio Palau and his son José Palau built the first traditional kiln, for tile and brick manufacturing.
Soon, in 1887, José Palau built a second kiln closer to the “Lo Vilot” height, where quality clay was extracted…
But it was in 1908, when José Palau with his son’s help, Fernando Palau, purchased 2 acres of land to build a new plant equipped with one of the first Hoffman brick kilns in Spain, representing a significant leap forward.
Between January and September of 1915, father and son, José (59) and Fernando (26) died, leaving a 3 years old son, José Palau, and their widows; María Arnó and María Teresa Pujol, in charge of the business. During 10 years, 1915-1926, both widows were able to keep the business working with great suffering and sacrifices.
In 1926, José Palau finishes his Commerce Studies at the Marist Brothers College in Lérida, and decides to run the family business to success. Thus, with only 14 years old, he starts a brilliant career full of success and great love for fired clay as a clay brick manufacturer:
Between 1930 and 1935, attached to the Hoffman kiln, small production units were built to produce green colored tiles and bricks becoming one of the few colored brick manufacturers.
In 1936 a new Verdés clay brick extruder machine was purchased, but unfortunately, the setting up was interrupted by the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and the following collectivization of the industry.
Between 1939 and 1945, the first dry clay crusher and a new Verdés extruder machine were installed, and in 1950 two new vacuum extruders were acquired while several roofed drying places were built along with the Hoffman kiln. This made possible to keep manufacturing during the 12 months of the whole year.
Between 1950 and 1955 the clay crushing system was modernized, a coal mine was acquired in Mequinenza and a mechanized dosage system for the Hoffman kiln is purchased.
In 1957, Mr. José Palau acquired a land located in Alpicat, Lérida, where a new tiles and bricks manufacturing factory was built.
Two years later, in Almacelles 1959, Mr. José built a new Hoffman kiln, of his own design provided with two parallel chambers. This supposed a significant increased of the productivity, allowing different firing and cooling processes to be carried out simultaneously in different fronts.
At this stage, the old 1908 traditional kiln was demolished, and new artificial drying chambers, with heat recycling systems, were built.
The innovative personality of Mr. José Palau is underlined in 1960 with the start up of a new factory for flat tiles, new and unique in the market, patented as SOLITEX. Furthermore, a new drainage system, using fired clay pipes, is also registered, being notably wide spread and successfully used for agricultural projects, as well as for sport facilities, such as Real Sociedad Soccer Club Atocha Stadium in San Sebastian, and the City Sport Complex of Lérida.
In 1962, Mr. José Palau, from both factories located in Almacelles and Alpicat, Lérida, covered a significant portion of brick demand in Catalonia and Northeast Spain. Meanwhile, planning to expand his action range to Madrid and center areas of the country, he purchases a group of lands located in Chiloeches, Guadalajara, 27 miles far from Madrid. There, they started building a new facing bricks manufacturing and developing factory, which started operating in 1965.
In 1969, José Palau built a new factory in Sariñena, Huesca, where he poured all his love to the fired clay technology.
The “sweet box”, as Mr. José used to call it, surrounded by gardens alongside the Alcanadre River, is a small factory equipped with a Hoffman kiln with two parallel chambers, specially built for facing bricks manufacturing in different ranges of textures and special finishes. This traditional handcraft process was mainly directed towards architects and designers.
This place remained Mr. José Palau’s retreat until his death in 1983.
PALAU – CHILOECHES; AN EXTRAORDINARY UPGRADE
In 1969, Mr. José’s eldest son, Fernando Palau, having his Engineering studies completed in Madrid, takes responsibility for Palau Ceramica Chiloeches.
The factory, equipped with a modern parallel multi-chambered Hoffman kiln, was an example of the most advanced technology during the 60s. Facing bricks manufacturing was carried out in a wide range of colors, supplying mainly Madrid and its influence area.
The quality of the products led to a continuous increase of the demand during the 70s, which expanded significantly the activity area reaching almost any spot of the Spain at the end of the decade.
In 1981, a new factory was projected and located just beside the former one, this time equipped with a modern tunnel kiln. The new plant starts working in 1986; fully automated it increased by four times the former production. The complete mechanized process eliminated any human manipulation during the whole manufacturing procedure, from raw clay extraction to the ready to use brick delivery, except those pieces required for the quality assurance control.
Since then, the company’s general policy is sustained on three basic pillars:
- Continuous Quality Improvement.
- Research and Development of New products.
- Permanent Optimization of the Production processes.
Our constant concern about innovation, technology and developing new products made it possible to create a new face brick manufacturer company in 1999, Palau Tecnología Cerámica, S.A. (PALAUTEC S.A.) – Palau Ceramic Technology Corp.
The main purpose was to build a latest technology new plant for clay processing, extrusion, drying and firing at high temperature, using selected materials. This would allow us later to become a reference as quality brick manufacturer and developing our own colors for the highest quality standards products.
In 2001 the new factory of 3.5 acres, equipped with the latest German technology, started producing the most advanced facing bricks, joining engineering properties with aesthetics and design for cladding.
Nowadays, the Chiloeches plant occupies more than 25 acres, manufacturing under the commercial brand PALAUTEC, leading the market in quality and prestige, and applying our Know - How on one of our passions, Bricks.