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9/16/2011
Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola: Continua line enjoys outstanding success

Lightning-fast start-up for the latest SACMI technology at the Borgo Tossignano plant

Last July saw the successful installation and start-up of a new production line at the Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola Group’s Borgo Tossignano plant. This innovative line is specially designed to increase the tile product range and make the plant more efficient and productive, albeit without actually increasing the installed firing capacity.

In just a few short months this project has gone from the design stage to actual tile production. That’s an immensely satisfying result, achieved through Sacmi’s close support and the excellent organisational skills of the Cooperativa Ceramica’s management team at all levels: plant engineering, production and technology. Line design and implementation have been continuously improved, drawing on the results of teamwork between the Sacmi Research Center and Cooperativa Ceramica Product Development –teamwork that placed the focus of investment firmly on the final product.

In response to the customer’s demand for excellence Sacmi has provided the best available technology: the line, in fact, is based on Continua technology, with a PCR pre-compactor and TPV cutter unit, working in unison with the biggest ceramic press the market has to offer, the PH10000, able to press huge tiles as big as 1200x1200, 900x1800 or 1000x1500. These sizes can be the definitive end-product ones or the slabs can be cut into sub-multiples as desired prior to firing with the downstream TPD machine. Completing the line is a Sacmi Forni ECP285 multi-layer horizontal dryer. Innumerable applications can be made along the Continua conveyor / roller unit and decoration can be of the wet or dry type; other zones have deliberately been left free for the future installation of further devices according to trends and requirements.

A key advantage of this technology is undoubtedly the fact that there is ample scope for choosing and personalising applications. Yet it is the installation of Dry Digital Decoration that really makes the most of Continua’s potential. This, in fact, was the main reason why the Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola decided to undertake this strategic investment, which has been an immediate success. Dry Digital Decoration (DDD), the latest application to be developed by Sacmi, allows the controlled deposit of layers of spray-dried powder – or flakes, grains, glazes etc – according to parameters established in a graphics file. Nothing less than revolutionary, this opens up a host of new decorating possibilities and integrates perfectly with the inherent flexibility of the Continua line in terms of sizes, thickness and multiple fillings, which can be executed at the same speed as a single layer. Six dry digital heads are installed and working on the Cooperativa Ceramica line.

A mutual success, then, and another strong link in the bond between Cooperativa Ceramica and Sacmi, two long-standing Imola-based companies that have become international market leaders.

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