Jose Amate of Acme Brick Company is 2013 Winner of Harry E. Ebright Award From the American Ceramic Society

Words: Bronzella Cleveland
Acme Brick
Left to right: Luke Odenthal, North Texas regional production manager; Dr. Garth Tayler, technical director; Bill Daidone, lab manager; Jose Amate; Harland Dixson, plant manager, Texas Clay Plants; and John Spence, plant manager, Oklahoma City Plant.

Every year, the Harry E. Ebright Award is given to a member of the South-West Section of the American Ceramic Society, for outstanding service to the industry. This year, the 2013 Harry E. Ebright Award was presented to Jose Amate, senior project engineer for Acme Brick Company, who has served the brick industry and the ceramic industry across the globe for more than 40 years.

In particular, he was a highly effective and successful engineer and management practitioner with the Agemac Company, a Spanish ceramic machinery and equipment supplier. He worked for Agemac for more than 25 years, during which he spent time in Australia, Spain, England, South America, and the United States designing, installing and commissioning plants and equipment.

Amate came to America as a ceramic engineering consultant with Agemac, eventually becoming president of Agemac USA. During that period, he served the South-West Section with great enthusiasm. He joined Acme Brick as a project engineer in 1998, and has been a key member of Acme’s engineering team since.

Some of his achievements during his time with Acme Brick Company include the following:

  • Construction of New Handmade Brick Plant – Elgin, Texas
  • Construction of New Grinding, Manufacturing, Holding Room – Garrison, Texas
  • Conversion of Elgin Handmade Plant to Extrusion
  • Rebuild of Kiln at Sealy Texas Plant
  • New blending system at Featherlite Block Plant – Round Rock, Texas
  • Upgrading of kiln and setting machine – Tulsa, Okla.
  • Part of New C kiln and setting machine team – Denton, Texas Plant
  • Curing room expansion at Featherlite Block Plant – Abilene, Texas
  • Currently managing dryer rebuild project at Elgin New Plant

Along with his role of managing engineering projects, Amate also developed the Mechanization and Efficiency Monitoring Program now used at all of Acme’s plants. This is a system where management is able to access plant production performance and efficiency statistics, broken down into various departments, on a daily basis. It has proved to be an extremely valuable tool for management and has facilitated many productivity improvements.

In summation, Ed Watson, Acme’s senior VP of production said, “Throughout his career, Jose has made many contributions to the brick industry and particularly to Acme Brick Company. Jose is well respected by his peers and has developed many long-lasting friendships due to being a consummate ‘good guy.’ Acme has been very blessed to have Jose on our team and I’m proud that he is able to finish his career as an Acme associate.”

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