Ceramic production has a long-standing tradition throughout Russia, one that goes back to the period of the Tsars and which continued through the Soviet period up to the modern day. Yet changes in the industry have, from a profitability viewpoint, only been seen in recent years when companies began introducing more modern technology that is compatible with a globalised market – a market less and less willing to skimp on quality.
One such company was the Fininvest Service Company, the first Russian investor to focus on, from mid-2005, implementing cutting-edge technology for tableware production. The choice for the investment turned out to be the city of Oktyabrskiy, in Bashkortostan, already home to, since 1963, a historical tile and souvenir factory: the Oktyabrskiy Porcelain Factory, purchased by the investor immediately.
To give the near-obsolete plant a complete overhaul, the company directed by N. Syomin turned to Sama, the German company belonging to the Sacmi Group that is a leading international supplier of machines and complete plants to the tableware industry. In record time Sama provided the Russian firm with a complete machine pool; the raw materials, instead, were supplied by the multi-national Imerys, already a Sacmi Group partner on several projects.
A key part of the new plant was a two-head isostatic press, model 2-38, complete with accessories for the finishing of round and oval articles; this is equipped with a wide range of moulds able to manage the most diverse sizes. Furthermore, glazing, body preparation and glaze preparation machines (TRIPLEX and DUPLEX models) have also been shipped to Oktyabrskiy, as has a PCM 100 – including the relative moulds– for pressure casting. Finally, a filter press equipped with a filling pump and some specialized lining and pressing machines that employ vacuum technology have also been supplied.
Most of these machines came on line in 2006; since then the company has also turned to Sama to purchase a 1-45 press, which can handle both oval and square articles. This press became operational in February 2008. At the same time body preparation machines also came on line. Oktyabrskiy’s current product range includes 45 models, all able to compete, quality-wise, with the top European brands. Oktyabrskiy ceramics will, then, prove to be a milestone in the building of a high-end tableware industry in Russia. Together with quality this company also combines outstanding production efficiency and, as a result, fast delivery times.