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1/28/2002
I C F

Glazed stoneware production line

Sacmi has recently started up an extremely innovative line for the production of porcelained stoneware at ICF, a company belonging to the Cooperativa Ceramica di Imola Group. This system features automatic batching of raw materials, continuous grinding, spray-drying and storage of spray-dried powders. The press feed line features a powder-type dry colouring system and an automatic MDR-type mixing unit. With this equipment the press filler box can be fed with a base mix plus several colours, allowing the user to create a whole host of full-body off-shade and veined effects. The system essentially consists of a series of feed ducts that merge on a rotating diaphragm: of simple design and easy to install, this user-friendly flexible system gives the user enormous scope for product personalisation and guarantees repeatability over time. The presses supplied by SACMI are of the PH 3800 type, a model from the POWER series which features a locked-up press structure. This latest generation of presses features a pressing power of 3800 tons and an inter-column clearance of 2,450 mm, the widest currently available on the market. The pre-loaded structure ensures extreme solidity and reliability over time. The linear filler-box and the much-appreciated SPE proportional ejection system, equipped with axes-control board, allow extremely large moulds (500 x 2000 mm - fired) to be used and guarantee both absolute parallelism of the planes and minimum wear of moving parts. In between the press and the drier lies MONDRIAN, a revolutionary unfired tile cutting device, which, from extra-large pressed slabs, allows users to obtain a wide range of different tile sizes simply by shifting the tool-carrying heads. Positioning of the different cutter units during the various stages of the work cycle is adjusted automatically, and is controlled by an absolute position transducer. Cutting speed is adjusted way of an inverter. The entire system is governed by a PLC with a PC (Windows) graphic interface. Drying is effected via modern 5-level horizontal driers of the ECP 235 type. From a hygrometric and thermodynamic standpoint these machines are designed as a series of independent cells, temperature and humidity inside each one being controlled independently with respect to the others. This aspect, when it comes to providing effective drying precision on very high output production lines, is crucial. The main constructive characteristics of these driers can be summed up as follows:
  • Independent drying levels separated by fixed sheet metal panels.
  • Lateral inspection hatches for access to individual levels.
  • Internal ceramic fibre insulation with interlaid aluminium sheeting to prevent vapour migrating towards the walls (cold zone).
  • Roller drive provided by the tried and tested lubricated helical gear system.
  • Each module has a single drive unit which controls all five levels and all the motors are
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