Just 30 years ago the ceramic industry was considered to have reached its technological limits, with nothing left to invent. History, however, showed this not to be the case and in recent years the industry has developed enormously, bringing a wealth of new ideas, new technologies, new products and new markets. Traditional ceramic technology is the oldest technology developed by mankind with a pedigree dating back over several tens of thousands of years. Ever since it was invented, the key to this technology has been the firing process, an operation that has been shrouded in myth and secrecy, considered an art and as such kept religiously secret. This situation remained substantially unchanged for thousands of years, as witnessed by the efforts made in Europe to produce porcelain in the late 17th century, almost 800 years after the Chinese.