With an output of 5,2 million pieces/year in Bozüyük, Vitra is one of the world's leading sanitaryware manufacturer-marketers. A long-standing SACMI customer, the company recently completed a major investment at its headquarters in Bozüyük, with SACMI supplying a complete fourth manufacturing plant. This joins the three existing plants on the site, making it Europe's largest sanitaryware production facility.
Begun in 2015 with the delivery of a casting cell (featuring 2 AVMs with robots, 3 dryers, 2 Gaiotto glazing units with GA2000 robots and a Riedhammer shuttle kiln), the project is now nearing full capacity following the installation of no less than 8 new cells incorporating 16 AVM casting machines. Each cell is controlled by robots that, in addition to governing all the casting, de-moulding and handling tasks, load the pieces onto the SACMI FPV pre-dryer. The innovative FPV uses tangential ventilation to remove significant amounts of water from the pieces in just 60 minutes (as opposed to the 8-12 hours required with routine air-drying), ensuring they're mature enough to be loaded automatically onto trolleys and sent downstream, with consequent savings in terms of space, energy and emissions.
Eager to achieve complete automation of the line, Vitra has ensured it's ready for the future installation of automatic laser-guided handling vehicles. Already, ergonomic design criteria and total automation of de-moulding, pre-drying and on-trolley piece set-down ensure workers no longer have to perform any manual piece handing. In addition to the new casting machines - which bring the total number of cells working at the plant to 12 - the facility has seen the installation of a further 6 drying chambers, each of which can hold 12 loading trolleys, giving the drying and firing departments a considerable boost. Then there is the 135-metre Riedhammer tunnel kiln; one of the most modern and powerful in its category, it features the EMS system for fume control and heat management/retrieval.
Vitra exports over 75% of its output to 75 countries worldwide via its core brand Vitra and other major brands. Its main goal? To apply SACMI solutions that guarantee outstanding levels of automation and quality to strengthen its foreign market positioning vis-à-vis the production and marketing of back-to-wall and wall-mounted WCs. Last but not least, this investment saw close collaboration with the SACMI Sanitaryware technology team (which handled all plant flow design and engineering), ensuring meticulous attention to conditions in the workplace, consumption and logistical efficiency. Once the plant is running at full capacity – expected in early 2019 – Vitra will be able to manufacture new WCs for the medium-high end international market at the rate of 1,000 a day.