A century in colour. The 100 years of Colorobbia
Led by the fourth generation of the Bitossi family, Gruppo Colorobbia is celebrating a century of innovation at the service of the global ceramic industry
A hundred years have passed since 1921 when Guido Bitossi opened his artisanal ceramic workshop, planting the seeds of what would later become the Colorobbia Group, a multinational world leader in the supply of raw materials, semi-finished products and services for the ceramic industry that has always been at the forefront of technological development in the sector.
Now led by the fourth generation of the Bitossi family, Gruppo Colorobbia is celebrating a century of innovation and international entrepreneurship that has seen it develop industrial solutions tailored to the needs of the global ceramics market.
Today the Tuscany-based group has a solid network of 29 companies with more than 2,000 employees across 18 countries, including Spain, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Portugal, China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a new branch in the United States. Its subsidiaries include: Industrie Bitossi, Inkabor, Minerals 2000, Mariter, Eurit, Colorobbia Art, Bitossi Ceramiche, Bitossi Home and Ce.Ri.Col.
- A history of excellence
Founded in the Tuscan town of Montelupo, historically one of Italy’s oldest centres of ceramic production, the Bitossi brand started out as a distinguished artisanal producer of the area’s famous traditional Renaissance tableware. From those beginnings right up to the present day, Gruppo Colorobbia has constantly proved itself to be a hi-tech pioneer at the service of the global ceramics industry. This approach owes much to the efforts of Vittoriano Bitossi, who took over his father’s legacy in 1942 at the age of just 17 and oversaw the company’s international expansion for many decades until his death in 2018. During the post-war boom years, he took the first steps towards the modern vision of collaboration between ceramics and leading designers, teaming up with such renowned figures as Ettore Sottsass.
It was this contemporary spirit that drove the Bitossi family to expand and become the first important international supplier of materials for decorating ceramic products under the name of Gruppo Colorobbia. They acquired raw materials mines (zirconium with Industrie Bitossi and boric acid with Inkabor) and became increasingly diversified, offering a complete range of materials for the industry, including pigments, frits, digital inks, lead oxide, porcelain glazes, grinding media and products for glass, as well as providing logistical and operational support.
- Research and Innovation
Gruppo Colorobbia is a leading player in one of the most technologically dynamic sectors in the world thanks to the creativity and technological advances achieved at its international research laboratories.
For many years, the company has been at the forefront of digital tile printing through ongoing research into new techniques and high-performance inks with unlimited decorative potential, while also expanding its capabilities with innovative ideas in the textile and glass sectors. Its latest innovations include high-performance water-based inks for ceramics and textiles, as well as new processes for glass decoration and colouring.
The company is also the first to have introduced new techniques for the digital application of precious metals to tableware, tiles and glass, a significant step forward for a technique that until then had been limited to manual application. It will also soon begin producing water-based glazes for digital application, a solution that will revolutionise the decorative potential of surfaces with fully digital textures and effects.
The company’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in the latest technological innovations developed in its research centres, including new antibacterial and self-cleaning ceramic coatings and the innovative patented PHOEBE system, a technology that uses ceramic filters to safely purify the air and environment from bacteria.
With its wide-ranging vision of research and business diversification, Gruppo Colorobbia has also made major contributions to the biomedical sector, nanomaterials research and defence with innovations based on technical ceramics.
After a century of business, Gruppo Colorobbia continues to grow worldwide.
“An innate passion for beauty, art and design is written into our DNA,” says Chairman Marco Bitossi. “This, together with our vast natural and technological resources, unrivalled expertise and wide range of offerings, has made us a dynamic partner capable of providing an all-round service, including advice on raw materials, semi-finished products and advanced decoration techniques. After a century of history, we are more focused on the future than ever. Our growth path will also involve developing new partnerships in the most dynamic markets such as Southwest Asia. At the same time, the fourth generation of our family has joined the group’s management and will play an important role in building an even more solid future.